Former Alaska state Rep. Westlake died after son ‘pummeled’ him, according to manslaughter charges

a man in a kuskpuk speaks into a microphone
Rep. Dean Westlake speaks during a House floor session in 2017. (Skip Gray/KTOO)

Former state Rep. Dean Westlake’s son is charged with beating Westlake to death Saturday morning in Anchorage.

Tallon Westlake, 36, faces charges of manslaughter and evidence tampering in the death of his 62-year-old father, Dean, who was from Kiana and served in the Alaska House of Representatives from January to December 2017.

Early indications are that the father and son had fought over a rental dispute related to the South Anchorage apartment where Dean Westlake died.

According to a charging document, this is what Anchorage police and prosecutors say happened:

Tallon called 911 a little before 7 a.m. Saturday asking for an ambulance for his dad, who he said was not awake. Dispatchers asked Tallon to see if his father was breathing, and after first telling them he “did not want to be next to a dead body,” Tallon did check and told them Dean was not breathing and was cold and stiff, the charges say.

Medics arrived, confirmed Dean was dead and put a blanket over his body.

Tallon told detectives he did not want to talk to them. Examining the body, which was facedown in a hallway, it looked like Dean had been pummeled. They saw streaks of blood and blood spatter in the hallway. They could smell a heavy odor of bleach and saw wet floors that appeared to have just been mopped.

Tallon had an open warrant for a 2021 case in which he allegedly failed to stop at the direction of a police officer, so the detectives arrested him and brought him in for questioning. Tallon still refused to talk, but the detectives saw what looked like blood on his hands and that his right hand was swollen.

The detectives soon learned that Dean’s girlfriend, who was out of town, owned the building. By phone from New York, she told them Tallon had been living in the apartment but had not paid rent in four months.

She said Dean, who lived in Fairbanks, had planned to evict Tallon and also mentioned that Dean had recently had his hip replaced and was on blood thinners due to an issue with his heart.

She said Tallon had struggled with drugs in the past, had a short temper and had “been doing badly since the death of his mother about a year prior,” the charges say.

The detectives also talked to a neighbor who’d heard loud arguing sometime around 2 or 2:30 a.m. Saturday. 

“She heard a lot of ‘F you’s’ and ‘get the “F’ out,’” the charges say. “The other person then said, ‘Screw you. I’m not leaving.’”

Court records show Tallon Westlake was jailed in Anchorage on $50,000 cash bail and had a court-appointed public defender.

Dean Westlake was a Democrat who represented Alaska’s North Slope and Northwest Arctic in state House District 40. He resigned in December 2017 after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment and, according to the Anchorage Daily News, reports that he had fathered a child with a 16-year-old when he was 28.

Casey Grove is the host of Alaska News Nightly and a general assignment reporter at Alaska Public Media with an emphasis on crime and courts. Reach him at

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