An Anchorage jury convicted a 37-year-old man Tuesday of several charges, including second-degree murder, in the fatal stabbing of a stranger during a confrontation over a lost dog in 2018.
Surveillance cameras from nearby businesses captured video and some audio from the interaction between defendant Michael Drost and 61-year-old Dwayne English leading up to the stabbing, according to a sworn affidavit filed by Anchorage Police Department detective Ross Henikman.
Drost was chasing after a dog he had accidentally set loose near 12th Avenue and Gambell Street during the afternoon of Dec. 18, 2018, when he encountered English, the affidavit said. The men did not know each other, according to Drost’s defense attorney, John Roberson III.
English told Drost that “no one cares about your dog” and called him names, which sparked an argument between the two men, the affidavit said. The confrontation spilled into the street, where English appeared to punch Drost, the affidavit said. Video footage showed Drost making thrusting motions with his hand toward English, according to the affidavit.
Roberson said Wednesday that Drost did not stab English, but rather, English had been injured before their encounter.
English walked toward the Alaska Mental Health Consumer Web and Anchorage Safety Patrol was dispatched to the area because it was reported that an intoxicated man was outside, the affidavit said. When responders arrived, English told them he’d been stabbed. Tests did not show he had consumed alcohol, the affidavit said.
The Anchorage Fire Department responded, and English died at the scene.
Police were called to a burglary the next day and found Drost hiding inside a home, the affidavit said. Police identified him as a suspect through interviews with witnesses and someone who knew him, the charges said. Clothing seen in the surveillance videos was either with or on Drost when he was arrested, the affidavit said. He was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and first-degree criminal trespass.
Drost, who faces between 15 and 99 years in prison, is scheduled for sentencing in October. He has been in custody at the Anchorage Correctional Complex since the charges were filed in 2018.
Drost was disappointed by the jury’s verdict, Roberson said, and plans to file an appeal.