ANCHORAGE -

The most recent spat of ads from the top candidates for U.S. Senate attempts to connect republican nominee Dan Sullivan to a 2013 murder case.

Sullivan's campaign calls the U.S. Senator Mark Begich ad distasteful, while the Democrats claim an oversight on Sullivan's part could have helped a dangerous criminal go free.

The ads refer to the 2013 murder case where Jerry Active was accused of murdering an elderly couple and sexually assaulting their 2-year-old great grand daughter just hours after being released from jail for another violent crime.

While Active faced charges, the Department of Law released a time line of Active's records that showed Jerry Active received a lighter sentence than he should have based on a mistake made in 2009.

The Begich campaign released a statement showing Active's plea deal from 2010 with Sullivan's stamp on the ad. The Sullivan campaign called Begich's ad in poor taste.

Sullivan released a commercial countering what Begich's ad had said.

"Mark Begich's lies about this tragedy are shameful," Sullivan tells the camera in his ad.

"Shameful" was used by Sullivan campaign manager Ben Sparks to describe the commercial.

"This is about human decency," Sparks said. "This was wrong, and Begich knows it was wrong."

The Begich campaign counters it was just holding Sullivan accountable for his record as attorney general.

"Sullivan is trying to blame folks that went before him but he approved the plea deal. He was the attorney general," said Zack Fields, Alaska Democrats spokesperson.

While the candidates battle across the airwaves, Jerry Active is in jail awaiting sentencing. The families of the victims, Sorn Sreap and Touch Chea could not be reached for comment on this issue.