Trial begins for man accused of killing Alaska prosecutor with a shotgun

A photo of the outside of the home on Laura Madison Street where the killing allegedly took place.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The trial is underway for a man prosecutors say killed a well-known Barrow attorney with a shotgun back in 2014.

The victim, 47-year-old Brian Sullivan, was shot twice in the face with a pump action Remington firearm. The man arrested for the crime was Ronald Fischer, 48, who allegedly found Sullivan at the home of his ex-girlfriend, and shot him.

Prosecutors argued in opening statements that Sullivan was found seated on the couch, with his hands in his lap and his legs crossed, totally defenseless to what attorneys called "an ambush" where Sullivan was "shotgunned, killed dead right where he sat."

According to the prosecution, Fischer apparently had previous domestic issues with his then ex-girlfriend, and saw her with Sullivan earlier that night at a local gym. After that, according to surveillance records, he went to the supermarket and bought two bags of groceries. And after that, he burst into the home's arctic entry, and opened fire.

The ex-girlfriend, Mabel Kaleak, allegedly heard a man shout "who are you?" and then a gun shot. She hid in the closet and later tackled Fischer, a move which prosecutors say saved her life.

In the opening statement offered by the defense attorney in charge of Fischer's case, they say that they don't intend to dispute the fact that Fischer killed Sullivan, but instead argue that the mitigating circumstances surrounding the killing hinge on volatile human emotion, and asked the jury to consider all the evidence and testimony before reaching a decision.

"Until the end of this trial, I want you to keep an open mind and I want you to think about the ideas of love and emotion and loss, and what could possibly drive a human being to do what Mr. Fischer is charged with doing," the defense said.

The trial is scheduled to continue later Wednesday, with witnesses being called to the stand next.