ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A southwest Alaska man charged with fatally shooting an off-duty village public safety officer has been acquitted of murder charges.
Adam Williams, 21, of Napaskiak, was acquitted Jan. 15 at the end of a two-week trial in Bethel, Anchorage television station KTUU reported.
Williams was charged with first- and second-degree murder in the death of Kyle Wassillie, 26, of Nunapitchuk. Williams was represented by Andrew Dunmire, an assistant public defender from Juneau.
Williams spent two and a half years in jail before the trial. Williams’ first public defender launched a lengthy investigation but left the agency, Dunmire said.
Dunmire set out to prove that Williams acted in self-defense.
Wassillie on the day of the shooting was visiting from Nunapitchuk. He was found mortally wounded in the entryway of a home belonging to a member of the Williams family, according to the charging document.
Testimony at the trial indicated that Wassillie brought alcohol into Napaskiak, acted aggressively after drinking and picked fights with people, including village police officers, Dunmire said.
Williams and Wassillie argued and fought, Dunmire said. Williams pushed Wassillie out of the home, went back inside and loaded a rifle to defend himself. Wassillie returned to the home and was shot, Dunmire said.
Williams was intoxicated and had no memory of the shooting, Dunmire said. Williams did not testify.
About 25 family members and friends were present for the sentencing, Dunmire said. After Williams’ release, they traveled in a snowmobile caravan back to Napaskiak to celebrate Williams’ acquittal, Dunmire said.