Tanana man charged with murder in shooting of relative

a trooper car
An Alaska State Trooper K-9 Unit SUV in Anchorage. (Joey Mendolia/Alaska Public Media)

A Tanana man has been charged with first-degree murder, after Alaska State Troopers say he fatally shot a family member who lived next door.

Troopers arrested 25-year-old Francis James Roberts on Saturday after the wife of the victim told an investigator that she saw him shoot 72-year-old Francis Edgar Roberts, following an argument the two had on Friday afternoon. Katherine Roberts also told investigators that the victim is the defendant’s great-uncle, and that they’re neighbors.

According to an investigator’s affidavit, the victim, Francis Edgar Roberts was taken to the village clinic for treatment of multiple gunshot wounds. Before the victim died, he told an investigator that the younger Roberts was the shooter. Katherine Roberts told the investigator that he shot the elder Roberts after he accused the younger man of dumping snow in his driveway, according to the affidavit.

An Alaska Bureau of Investigation report says Francis James Roberts, the defendant, was held at the Tanana Village Public Safety Office before he was transported and jailed at the Fairbanks Correctional Center. The defendant was arraigned on Sunday, and is now being held on a $5 million bail.

Tim Ellis is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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