Fairbanks police charge teen in shooting death

Posted: Monday, July 24, 2006

FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks police charged a teen in the death of a man found on a bike path beside the community's civic center.

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David Cox, 18, was charged with second degree murder.

He is accused of killing Gary Lee Wilson Titus, 22, whose body was found Saturday morning near the Carlson Center.

Police said Titus suffered a head wound.

They recovered .22-caliber shell casings from the scene and said Titus had been shot at least once in the head.

His body was sent to the medical examiner in Anchorage for autopsy.

Titus' body was found at about 6 a.m. Saturday as participants in the Golden Days Parade began assembling nearby. Golden Days is an annual July event celebrating Fairbanks' mining past.

Police Lt. Dusty Johnson said Titus had a Fairbanks address. A relative in Minto declined an interview, saying the family had just heard of Titus' death and was mourning.

According to documents filed in court, investigators contacted five people who said they were present when Titus was shot. They told police Cox was selling marijuana to Titus.

When Cox discovered Titus and his companions did not have money to pay for the drugs, Cox reportedly became upset and fired several rounds from a handgun, at least one of which struck Titus, according to investigators.

Police interviewed Cox, who initially denied any involvement. He later acknowledged he was near the Carlson Center to sell marijuana to Titus and that he was not paid for the drugs.

Cox told police when he realized he was not going to be paid for the marijuana, he left the area. He denied shooting Titus.

District Court Magistrate Patrick Hammers set Cox's bail Sunday at $500,000 cash. Cox remains in custody at the Fairbanks Correctional Center.

Christin Glaeser, an administrative assistant with the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, found Titus' body Saturday morning.

She had parked her truck in the Carlson Center's back lot and was heading toward Pioneer Park to retrieve a golf cart for the parade.

Officers cordoned off the Carlson Center's front parking lot, and the department's entire detective bureau responded to investigate as hundreds of parade participants converged on the area.

Many parade participants were unaware that police were conducting a homicide investigation. Some ignored the bright yellow police tape, marked "Police line, do not cross," surrounding the Carlson Center's front parking lot and wandered into the perimeter, frustrating patrol officers, who shooed them away.

The Midnight Sun Intertribal Powwow and the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics also were being held at the Carlson Center.

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Information from: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com



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