Crime & Courts

Teens killed Kotzebue man over marijuana and alcohol, police say

A 27-year-old Kotzebue man was killed by three teens for marijuana and alcohol, court records say. Then they allegedly hid the evidence on the sea ice.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Kotzebue court Sunday, Joshua Sours Jr., awoke around 1:18 a.m. to the sound of a gunshot. He found his son, 27-year-old Joshua Floyd Sours III, bleeding from a gunshot wound. His son claimed "Brandon" had shot him, the document says.

Joshua Floyd Sours III was taken to a hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Investigators found a single spent .243 rifle casing just outside the Sours home.

Police interviewed 17-year-old Brandon Nelson. According to the complaint, Nelson told investigators he drove Tony Jackson, 18, and Frank Jackson, 19, to the Sours home by four-wheeler on Jan. 22.

Nelson told investigators the three intended to rob Joshua Sours III of marijuana and alcohol, and in the course of the robbery they shot him, the complaint said. The three left the home with bottles of whiskey, marijuana and cash.

After the teens fled, they "concealed" evidence of the robbery and murder in the sea ice of Kotzebue Sound. Police later discovered the murder weapon, a .270 rifle, and a backpack that belonged to Sours III on the ice.


Another search warrant discovered a "small amount" of marijuana, two empty whiskey bottles and a full one in the Sours home.

Nelson and the Jacksons made their first appearance in court for an arraignment Monday. They've been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and tampering with physical evidence.

Because of Nelson's age and the seriousness of the crimes he is charged with, in accordance to state law, he was automatically charged as an adult, the Kotzebue Police Department wrote in a release earlier this week.

All three are expected back in court for a preliminary hearing Thursday. Their bail has been set at $100,000 each.

Tony Jackson was charged with two counts of unauthorized use of an access device and second-degree theft Jan. 23. In late November, he was charged with reckless driving, not notifying authorities of an accident, a minor operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol, the repeat offense of a minor consuming or possessing alcohol and first-degree assault.

Frank Jackson was charged with the four counts of unauthorized use of an access device and second-degree theft Sunday. In late November, he was also charged with first-degree vehicle theft, reporting false information, two counts of criminal mischief for riding in a stolen vehicle and the repeat offense of a minor consuming or possessing alcohol.

Both of the Jacksons' previous cases are ongoing.

Megan Edge

Megan Edge is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch and Alaska Dispatch News.