Crime & Courts

Son of former Alaska state Rep. Dean Westlake charged in his death

Juneau, legislators, representatives, senators, Dean Westlake

The son of former Alaska state Rep. Dean Westlake was charged Sunday in the killing of his father in a South Anchorage apartment Saturday morning, according to charging documents.

Tallon Westlake, 36, faces charges of manslaughter and tampering with evidence. According to charges filed Sunday, he called Anchorage police around 7 a.m. Saturday, saying his father was unresponsive in the son’s apartment in the 7500 block of Rovenna Street, just west of Arctic Boulevard and north of Dimond Boulevard. Police and medics with the Anchorage Fire Department responded.

When officers arrived, Tallon Westlake was outside and told officers that he did not want to talk to them, according to the charges. Dean Westlake, 62, was pronounced dead inside the apartment, charges said.

Dean Westlake’s body was on the floor in a hallway, and officers saw blood on his hands and feet, as well as on the walls in the hallway, charges said. Blood was found on kitchen walls and cabinets, charges said. Officers also observed wet floors as if they were recently mopped, as well as a running washing machine and what appeared to be a bloody towel inside the suspect’s car, according to the charges, which were first reported Sunday by the Alaska Landmine and subsequently obtained by the Daily News.

When officers were taking Tallon Westlake into custody, they saw that his right hand was swollen and that he had a blood-like substance on his hands and clothes. The officers didn’t see any injuries on his body except for minor scratches consistent with his job as a welder, charges said.

According to the charges, detectives interviewed Dean Westlake’s girlfriend, who owns the building, who said Tallon Westlake has been staying in the bottom unit and was behind on rent. She said Dean Westlake, who lived in Fairbanks, planned to evict him, according to charges. Dean Westlake’s daughter confirmed that information, charges said. The victim’s girlfriend also mentioned that Tallon Westlake had drug problems in the past and was not dealing well with the recent death of his mother, according to the charges.

Detectives interviewed a neighbor who said she heard loud arguing at Westlake’s apartment that night, which included a phrase, “Screw you. I’m not leaving,” charges said.

Westlake was being held in the Anchorage Correctional Complex.

An autopsy was planned for Monday, according to the charges.

Dean Westlake was elected as a Democrat in 2016 and served in the Alaska House of Representatives in 2017, representing the 40th District in Alaska’s North Slope and Northwest Arctic regions. He resigned from his seat in late 2017 after being accused of sexual harassment by multiple women and in the wake of the revelation that he fathered a child with a 16-year-old girl when he was 28.