ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Fairbanks News-Miner reports a 35-year-old Healy Lake man is behind bars, charged with murdering a 43-year-old woman who is a local tribal leader.
According to court affidavits obtained by the News-Miner, Sidney Randolph Huntington told Alaska State Troopers he was drunk and blacked out during the time he allegedly killed Melissa Erickson.
Documents signed by State Troopers say Erickson suffered multiple blows to her head, and that an axe was found near her body when they arrived on scene at Huntington's home Friday.
Witnesses told the troopers they saw Erickson and Huntington leave a party together and shortly after that, shots rang out in the area. Another resident is reported to have told troopers they went over to the property and Huntington was walking around, shirtless, carrying an axe. The resident told troopers they fired a warning shot and told Huntington to stop. Troopers say they recovered an axe on the property that had hair and blood on it.
Erickson's brother Brian described her as an "outdoorsy person" and a "wonderful lady." Melissa Erickson was reportedly taking care of her grandson. Brian also said his sister was a quarter Athabascan and the News-Miner found her listed as President of the Healy Lake Traditional Council in an online newsletter.
Huntington was formally charged Saturday and is being held at the Fairbanks Correctional Center on $600,000 bail. Judge Earl Peterson told the News-Miner he believed "Huntington represents a grave threat."
Huntington is being held at the Fairbanks Correctional Center on first-degree murder charges and could face up to 99 years in prison if he's convicted. A check of Alaska court documents shows Huntington's criminal history includes past charges of DUI, Driving without a License Burglary, Assault, Trespassing, and Indecent Exposure.