Crime & Courts

Death of Anchorage Correctional Center inmate is second at facility in a week

A man died Monday while incarcerated at the Anchorage Correctional Complex, the second death within a week at the facility.

David Eric Bristow, 62, was pronounced dead just after 5 a.m., according to the state Department of Corrections.

Bristow had been in custody since July 21 on a probation violation for a previous conviction of possession of child pornography and failing to register as a sex offender, the department said. He was also facing federal charges related to child pornography and sexual exploitation of children.

On Friday, 34-year-old Austin Wilson was found unresponsive in a cell by himself at Anchorage Correctional Complex and later pronounced dead, according to the Department of Corrections. Wilson had been jailed only one day earlier and was facing misdemeanor charges of trespass and disorderly conduct.

A spokeswoman said the corrections department does not release the cause of an inmate’s death “due to confidentiality.” Neither deaths were suspected to be tied to foul play or related to COVID-19.

All in-custody deaths are reviewed by the Alaska State Troopers and the state medical examiner’s office.

Another inmate, 91-year-old James Patrick Wheeler, died July 29 at Goose Creek Correctional Center, according to the corrections department. Wheeler’s death was the first this year within the state’s correctional system linked to COVID-19 , spokeswoman Betsy Holley said. He had been in custody since 1993 on a murder sentence.

Eight people have died while in Department of Corrections custody so far this year, according to DOC. The same number of people had died in custody by last August, Holley said.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at