A Lower Kalskag man faces charges of first-degree murder and arson after a house fire that killed two people and forced others to jump out a bedroom window to escape.
Levi Levi, 26, is being held on $500,000 bail, Alaska State Troopers said. He and 18-year-old Alexandria Evan are accused of trying to stab multiple people before the house was set ablaze, according to a complaint filed in Bethel on Sunday. Evan was charged with felony third-degree assault.
Upper Kalskag is roughly 70 miles northeast of Bethel along the Kuskokwim River.
Witnesses told troopers that Levi and Evan were drinking with a group inside an Upper Kalskag home Friday, according to a sworn affidavit filed with the complaint by Trooper Timothy Miller. Levi began threatening to hurt others and grabbed a knife from the kitchen that he used to try to stab people with, the affidavit said. Evan also began threatening people with a knife, Miller wrote.
The group barricaded themselves into a bedroom to escape Levi and Evan, who tried to break in, the affidavit said. One of the people in the room called for help around 8:30 a.m., and troopers said they began heading toward the village in a state aircraft, according to the affidavit.
The witnesses told troopers that at some point they could not longer hear Levi and Evan, and they began to smell smoke and realized the house was on fire, the affidavit said. They jumped from a window to escape the blaze.
One of them experienced difficulty breathing and received oxygen at the clinic, according to the document.
Troopers were notified before they reached the village that the home was on fire. As they approached, Miller said he saw the building fully engulfed by flames, with heavy smoke pouring from it and numerous people and vehicles around the home.
State fire marshals investigated and found two people dead inside the home, the affidavit said. Officials believe they know who the victims are, but the remains were sent to the State Medical Examiner Office for positive identification, the affidavit said.
The house was destroyed by the fire.
Troopers contacted Evan and Levi at another man’s home nearby, the affidavit said. The man told troopers that he woke up when Levi came in, said something derogatory about the house, then showed the house on fire to the man, according to the affidavit.
Miller wrote that Evan and Levi appeared to be severely intoxicated. They were arrested and taken to the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center in Bethel.
Levi was interviewed by troopers at the Bethel jail, and the affidavit said he denied starting the fire but did not remember portions of the night.
He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, first-degree arson and two counts of third-degree assault.
Levi is also facing a charge for violating conditions of release because he was charged in October with third-degree assault and was ordered not to contact Evan. An online court database shows that Levi was released from custody in that case on $500 bail in November.