Crime & Courts

Western Alaska man charged with murder in father’s shooting death

A 35-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his father at the home they shared in the Western Alaska village of Koyuk, according to a criminal complaint filed in Nome this week.

Franklin Adams called 911 to tell dispatchers that he shot 74-year-old Dennis Adams multiple times, according to a sworn affidavit included with charges by Alaska State Troopers Investigator Timothy J. Miller. He then went to the city office and was detained there until the investigator was able to travel to the village, the affidavit said. The mayor and a health aide confirmed that Dennis Adams was dead, and a trooper maintained scene security, it said.

Troopers said they received a report of the shooting just before 6 p.m. Saturday.

During an interview with the trooper on Sunday morning, Franklin Adams said he was at home with his father watching a movie in his room and had smoked marijuana, the affidavit said. He told the trooper he believed the marijuana may have been laced with another drug because he blacked out, fell to the floor and awoke with a cracked tooth and injured lip, it said.

At that point, Adams told the trooper, he picked up the shotgun and shot his father with that weapon as well as a different shotgun, according to the affidavit. He said the men initially struggled over the first weapon, it said.

Adams remained in custody Wednesday morning at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome.

Koyuk is a community of just over 300 people located on Norton Bay about 90 miles northeast of Nome.

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