Of all the criminal charges a resident from Alaska could face, rape and murder are the most severe. A conviction might result in a sentence of life in prison. One man has recently appealed his conviction for a crime that occurred nearly 30 years ago.
About the rape and murder conviction
In 2019, a man from Maine was convicted of the 1993 rape and murder of a woman in Alaska. After being found guilty, he received a sentence of 75 years in prison for the heinous crime, which took place while he was 19 years old.
The 20-year-old victim was also a college student who attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The young woman was not attending school at UAF at the time but was there visiting a friend. She was found dead in a dorm room, but the case went cold for around 19 years. Investigators were perplexed as to who could have committed the crime until a genealogy expert was brought in.
In recent years, the use of genealogy technology has grown to locate suspects in cold cases when the DNA is not currently in the database. Testing can determine the individual’s family members and trace the DNA down to a single suspect. The technology was used to catch the Golden State Killer in California in 2018.
The man did not testify during his trial, but the jury was able to hear a conversation between him and investigators. It was determined that the victim had been shot with a .22 caliber rifle. Investigators uncovered that exact type of firearm at the defendant’s home.
Man appeals his conviction
The defendant, now 48 years old, has appealed the conviction and sentence. The appeal was filed with the Alaska Court of Appeals, but the attorneys who previously represented him filed a motion to withdraw. According to the motion, the man can no longer afford to retain them for representation. He is now looking to be represented by a public defender.
These types of crimes are serious and require the strongest possible defense in the case. Defendants have the right to appeal their convictions.