Crime & Courts

Anchorage man charged with death of unborn child in domestic violence assault

A 21-year-old Anchorage man was indicted by a grand jury this week on murder charges in the domestic-violence assault death of his unborn baby earlier this year.

Iohani Dean was originally charged in mid-April with the assault that ultimately caused the baby’s death, according to charging documents. An Anchorage grand jury handed up an indictment on charges of murder of an unborn child, manslaughter of an unborn child, and assault on Wednesday.

The child’s mother was 34 weeks pregnant in April — nearly full term —when Dean repeatedly punched her, including in the stomach, and pushed a stroller into her stomach, according to a summary of the police report written by Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Daybell and filed with the original assault charges. The assault occurred at a home the woman shared with Dean, who she was in a relationship with, it said.

She told officers Dean hit her almost weekly during her pregnancy, the summary said.

The woman called 911 on April 16 and was hospitalized because she was experiencing contractions and extreme pain after the assault, the summary said.

During the assault, Dean threatened to kill the woman and her unborn child, according to the summary. She was eventually able to leave the home and call for help after he locked himself in a separate room, it said.

The woman’s pregnancy was more than 36 weeks along when the fetus died, the Department of Law said.


The indictment filed against Dean on Wednesday said he intended to cause the unborn child’s death.

Department of Law spokeswoman Patty Sullivan said in an email Friday that charges of murder of an unborn child are “rare” but not unprecedented. A Selawik man is facing the same charge after he was accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend last year, and six people were charged with the crime in 2019 after a pregnant woman was violently attacked near Wasilla.

The woman involved in the April assault case obtained a protective order against Dean while she was still hospitalized, according to the court order.

Dean was arrested in April on the original assault charges and then released in May on bail and court-ordered conditions of release, according to a state courts database. Since then, he filtered in and out of custody after being charged with violating the conditions of release and also for violating the protective order, according to court documents.

Charges in several of the cases describe him making numerous calls to the woman from jail.

Dean was also arrested in October on charges of assault, misconduct involving weapons, resisting arrest and violating the conditions of his release. Charges filed in that case say he was intoxicated and had a gun when an officer patrolling downtown saw him. He didn’t drop the gun or comply with officer instructions, the charges say.

Dean was scheduled to appear in court on the murder indictment Friday, but refused transport from jail. He was rescheduled for an arraignment hearing on Monday.

He remained in custody Friday at the Anchorage Correctional Complex. The public defender representing him could not be reached by phone on Friday.

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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