Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, February 09, 2007

Defense tries to plant doubt in Beluga trial

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KENAI - Alaska State Troopers erred in concluding that Shawn Rogers intentionally killed a man in the tiny community of Beluga, his attorney said.

Rogers, 33, of Kenai, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Brian Black, 43, of Beluga, in July 2004.

"This case is really about jumping to the wrong conclusions,'' said defense attorney Chuck Robinson on Wednesday.

Robinson said evidence will show that during a struggle in Fat Albert's Tavern and Bunkhouse, the only bar in Beluga, someone other than Rogers caused his .45-caliber handgun to go off.

Assistant district attorney Scot Leaders in his opening statement said bad choices led to Black's death.

Rogers chose to consume alcohol to the point of being out of control, Leaders said. He was looking for a fight, and after words were exchanged with Black, he stuck his loaded handgun into Black's left side and fired, Leaders said.

Beluga, population 21, is 40 miles southwest of Anchorage on Cook Inlet.

Williams named to harbor board

JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly appointed Michael Williams to the Docks and Harbors Board at a special meeting on Wednesday.

Williams will fill the remaining four months of an expired term on the board and has been appointed for the subsequent three-year term that expires June 30, 2010. His application states he is interested in working vessels, boating, local scuba and wreck diving, running and swimming.

Williams works as a procurement officer for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and is a part-time staff member of the Augustus Brown Swimming Pool, where he is head guard and a water safety instructor.

Education reps plan talk on student aid

JUNEAU - Experts in financial aid for college are offering advice for local high school students Sunday at the University of Alaska Southeast.

College Goal Sunday is scheduled at the Juneau-Douglas High School commons beginning at 2 p.m. The event is free and open to all high school students who plan to go on to college.

Financial aid experts from the university and the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education will help students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as FAFSA.

Student are urged to bring 2006 tax information including W-2s, year-end pay stubs and investment information. Similar events are taking place in Sitka and 17 other locations around the state.

Body found near mouth of Kasilof River

KENAI - The body of a man was found by an Alaska State Trooper on a beach near the mouth of the Kasilof River.

Alaska State Troopers said the body was that of 18-year-old Jared Struthers. He was reported missing after attending a party in Kasilof, prompting an unsuccessful air and ground search.

The body was found on the beach Monday by a trooper responding to a call about an abandoned vehicle.

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