Man charged with Coast Guard killings

Feb. 16, 2013 at 1:28 AM
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- An Alaska man has been charged with killing an electrician's mate and a civilian employee at Coast Guard Communications Station Kodiak, Alaska, last year.

Federal prosecutors released no details Friday about their case against James Michael Wells, 61, of Kodiak, the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News reported. Wells is expected to appear in federal court in Anchorage next week.

He was charged with the murder of Richard Belisle, 51, a retired Coast Guard chief petty officer working as a civilian, and James Hopkins, 41.

They were found shot to death April 12, 2012, in the station where they worked that monitors radio traffic from ships at sea.

Kodiak Island, 250 miles south of Anchorage, is the second-largest island in the United States. Almost half of its population of 13,000 live in the city of Kodiak.

State troopers investigating the shootings last year told anxious residents there was no reason to believe a killer was likely to strike at random.

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