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Crime & Courts

Fairbanks man arrested, charged with murder

  • Author: Tegan Hanlon
  • Updated: June 25, 2016
  • Published January 22, 2016

Fairbanks police arrested 35-year-old LaRoy White Friday evening on a first-degree murder charge after he confessed to hitting a man in the head with a pipe numerous times, according to a felony complaint.

Fairbanks Police Detective Avery Thompson wrote the complaint, which tells the story of a complicated love triangle that ended with the death of 44-year-old Donald McLean in a small studio apartment on Rickert Street.

According to the complaint, White and McLean were both "seeing" the same woman and neither were happy about it. White had two children with the woman and McLean dated her on and off, the complaint said.

The men had fought at least once in the past. "During that fight, LaRoy had pistol whipped the victim several times and at least one gunshot was fired," the complaint said.

On Tuesday, White had found text messages between the woman and McLean. He and the woman fought. It was loud, but not violent. White left the apartment, according to the complaint.

When the woman couldn't get in touch with McLean, she told police that she went with her sister to his apartment and found blood on the bed. "She was scared and left the apartment with her sister," the complaint said. She picked up her child from the bus stop.

At 6:24 p.m., the woman called 911 to report the blood at the apartment. She told police that she didn't call earlier because she wanted to see her children. Her sister had called 911 reporting the blood a few hours earlier, the complaint said.

On Thursday, police detectives were told that White would talk to them. White said he had lived with McLean for about six months, years ago.

"He initially denied having involvement in the crime, but eventually stated that he had been at the apartment," the complaint said.

White said he was upset about the text messages between McLean and the woman. He took his children to daycare and then drove to McLean's apartment. McLean let White inside and they started to talk about the woman. White said he thought there was a gun on the table, the complaint said.

White told detectives that he got up to leave after McLean went to the bathroom, but when he got to the door McLean jumped on his back, wrapping his arms around his neck and waist.

They fought on the bed. White told detectives that he feared McLean had the gun. So he found a piece of pipe on the bed and started to hit McLean with it. He took an electrical cord and "pulled the cord, while leaning back," the complaint said. He believed it was around McLean's neck. He then hit McLean until he stopped moving and rolled McLean's body into blankets. He ran back to his car and left, the complaint said.

A medical examiner found strangulation marks on McLean's neck and multiple wounds on his head.

Police arrested White and took him to the Fairbanks Correctional Center.

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