Former Alaska legislator’s alleged killer, his son, now indicted on first- and second-degree murder charges

a man in a kuskpuk speaks into a microphone
Rep. Dean Westlake, D-Kiana, speaks during a House Floor Session on Feb 3, 2017. (Photo by Skip Gray/KTOO)

An Anchorage man arrested on manslaughter charges in the beating death of his father, a former state legislator, has now been indicted for murder.

Anchorage police arrested 36-year-old Tallon Westlake on Aug. 20 and charged him with manslaughter, which is an accusation that he “recklessly” caused the death of his father, 62-year-old Dean Westlake, who served in the state House representing Northwest Alaska in 2017.

But on Monday an Anchorage grand jury indicted Tallon Westlake on charges of first-degree murder — that is, for allegedly acting with intent in killing his father — and second-degree murder, under the alternate theory that he showed “extreme indifference” to his father’s life.

Assistant District Attorney Trina Sears said Tuesday she could not discuss what specific new evidence came to light.

“Even when somebody’s arrested, the investigation continues in the case. It doesn’t stop,” Sears said. “And so, in this case, you know, between gathering evidence, medical evidence, police investigation just continued, and we just got more information.”

According to the initial charges, Dean had planned to evict Tallon from an apartment Dean’s girlfriend owns. A neighbor heard them arguing hours before Tallon called police to say Dean wasn’t breathing, and officers found Dean dead, with blood on the floor and walls, looking like he’d been “pummeled,” the manslaughter charges say.

Sears, the prosecutor, said grand jurors heard additional evidence gathered after Tallon’s arrest when they indicted him on Monday.

Tallon Westlake remains jailed on $50,000 cash bail. His court-appointed attorney declined Tuesday to comment on the indictment.

Dean Westlake served as a Democratic representative for House District 40 from January to December 2017, when he resigned amid accusations of sexual harassment.

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Casey here

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