Crime & Courts

Anchorage man faces murder charges after fatally stabbing friend, police say

A 38-year-old man faces murder charges after he repeatedly stabbed a friend Thursday night inside an Anchorage apartment, police say.

James Patlan of Anchorage called 911 at 9:20 p.m. to turn himself in, saying he had stabbed another man at an apartment on the 1000 block of West 26th Avenue, according to an arrest warrant signed by Officer Brandon Lee of the Anchorage Police Department.

Patlan told dispatchers he used “a couple of different knives,” Lee wrote. He reported that he applied pressure to the victim’s wound before stepping out of the apartment just before police arrived.

Patlan was arrested, police said.

Officers provided aid to the injured man until medics arrived, according to the warrant. He was brought to Providence Alaska Medical Center but was pronounced dead about 20 minutes after Patlan first called for help.

During an interview with detectives, Patlan said he had been friends with the victim for more than 20 years, Lee wrote. Patlan became upset with the man because he’d asked him to leave the apartment.

Police on Friday classified the death as domestic violence and said they would not identify the victim.

Patlan was charged with first- and second-degree murder and appeared in court Friday afternoon.

The victim’s sister spoke during the hearing, telling the judge Patlan was dangerous.

“What happened to my brother shouldn’t ever happen to anyone else,” she said. “... I don’t see how he could guarantee that he wouldn’t do this to someone else’s child or brother or father.”

Anchorage District Court Judge Pamela Washington set Patlan’s bail at $200,000 cash, noting a history of convictions tied to domestic violence. He was being held at the Anchorage Correctional Complex as of Friday afternoon.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at