Men Charged in Bethel Killing Plead Not Guilty

Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel

Three men charged in connection with the torture killing in Bethel pleaded not guilty in court on Monday.

Defendants Jeff Hout, 46, and Harry Ned Williams, 32 appeared at their arraignment shackled together and wearing yellow jump suits. Hout and Williams are both facing charges of Murder in the First, and Murder in the Second for the death of 19-year-old Benjamin Kaiser of Hooper Bay. Williams was found dead and beaten at Hout’s residence on Oct. 27.  Hout and Williams have also been charged with kidnapping and tampering with evidence, both felony crimes.

In court Williams was represented by a Public Defender from Anchorage.

Hout had no legal representation at the arraignment. He entered his own plea of not guilty.  He was previously represented by a private firm, but that arraignment is no longer in place.  Hout told the judge he plans on filing paper work to obtain a court ordered attorney, but he said he’s waiting for his mother to provide him with his financial information.  Hout told the judge his mother takes care of his finances.

A third Defendant, David Kenny, 37, was present telephonically.  His lawyer, who was also on the phone, said that Kenny was currently hospitalized, but did not explain further.  Kenny entered a not guilty plea for charges of hindering a prosecution and tampering with evidence. Those are both felony charges.

The judge for the case is Michael McConahy of the Fairbanks Superior Court.  McConay said he will conduct much of the proceedings telephonically, but he also said he will come to Bethel for the trial itself.  He scheduled the trail to begin the last week of Janurary.

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