A game camera set up by Demian Sagerser, an Anchor Point man shot dead in July, provided Alaska State Troopers with one of the first clues to who might have killed him.
Sagerser set up the camera outside his cabin after a prior burglary, and that camera caught the image of a dark-skinned man in a red jacket, red T-shirt and a red ball cap walking toward the cabin the night of his death.
Trooper investigators allege the man in the red jacket is Demarqus D. Green, 20, of Anchorage, and that Green shot and killed Sagerser over a marijuana deal.
Investigators said Green told another man that he had gone to buy some marijuana from someone, and that the person “disrespected him” and he “had to take care of business.”
Last Friday, troopers and Anchorage Police arrested Green near his 13th Avenue Anchorage home. Green was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and tampering with physical evidence and is being held at the Anchorage Jail.
A public defender has been appointed for Green and pre-indictment hearings were held this week in Anchorage. Green has not yet entered a plea and no bail has been set for him.
“I am relieved that a suspect has been taken into custody but I find no joy in this,” said David Sagerser, Demian’s father. “Let us hope that this young fellow is not railroaded into a conviction but rather that he has a fair and honest trial that either convicts him with certainty or absolves him. I have no place in my heart for vengeance.”
A friend, Cimmaron Tangman, found Sagerser, 40, dead about 8:20 p.m. on July 7 at his David Avenue home near Mile 149 Sterling Highway after Tangman went to Sagerser’s home to drop off a box of drywall mud. Tangman had been doing drywall work for Sagerser at his cabin in exchange for marijuana, according to an affidavit filed by Alaska Bureau of Investigations Investigator Austin MacDonald.
Sagerser had been shot twice, once through the back and once through his left rib cage. Investigators later determined Sagerser had been shot with 9-mm bullets. Investigators found Sagerser’s cell phone by a couch in his cabin.
Tangman saw that six pint-size Mason jars of marijuana he had seen earlier were gone and he thought Sagerser had been robbed. Tangman attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation on his friend until he realized Sagerser had no pulse.
Tangman knew Sagerser had set up the game camera and looked at the images on his computer to see if he could identify the killer. The only person he didn’t recognize was the man in the red jacket. Although Tangman knew there was a warrant for his arrest in an unrelated incident, he went to the Alaska State Troopers and reported his friend’s shooting at about 1 a.m. July 8. He also gave troopers the game camera.
Tangman had spent the day of July 7 with Sagerser running errands in Soldotna and Kenai. Tangman said he saw a lot of money in Sagerser’s wallet when he paid for things — more than $1,000, MacDonald said Tangman told him. At Sagerser’s house, he helped him unload some Sheetrock and then left.
Tangman also said Sagerser had borrowed his iPhone to send text messages to someone in Anchorage. Sagerser was arranging for someone to buy marijuana from him, MacDonald said Tangman told him. Tangman said Sagerser sent a photo of himself with a bunch of marijuana in his cabin and told the person it was $1,200 for a quarter pound. The person said he was a “big fish” and wanted a better price. Tangman said Sagerser sold pot out of his cabin but grew it at another house, the affidavit said.
While Tangman had been at Sagerser’s house, two women came to Sagerser’s cabin. The women told troopers his mother and two other people came to the cabin, but that Sagerser told everyone they had to leave.
Images on the game camera verified the events witnesses told troopers, MacDonald said. The images of the man in the red jacket showed he entered at 7:02 p.m. July 7 and left at 7:10 p.m. About 8:20 p.m. an image shows Tangman entering the cabin. That’s when he found Sagerser’s body.
Searching Sagerser’s cell phone and other cell phone records, investigators said a call was made at 7:01 p.m. to Sagerser’s phone from an Anchorage number alleged to belong to Jimmy Lamont Stevenson. Investigators tracked the phone with that number and said it was in the Anchor Point area about 15 minutes on July 7.
That phone also went from Anchorage to Sagerser’s home between July 6 and July 7. Investigators connected Stevenson’s phone to another phone, a pre-paid phone they said was known through prior contacts to belong to Green.
The only number Green and Stevenson’s phones had in common was Sagerser’s, investigators alleged.
Investigators got surveillance video from the Kenai Wal-Mart that at about 1 p.m. July 7 shows a dark-skinned man in a red T-shirt and a red ball cap with a man in a gray hoody alleged to be Stevenson. Phone records showed that Stevenson’s phone communicated with a cell phone tower near Wal-Mart and then later with a cell phone tower near Sagerser’s home. Sagerser’s house is near a cell phone tower in the Stariski area.
Troopers in Anchorage kept Stevenson and Green under surveillance in July and August. Investigators got warrants and searched Green’s home last Friday. They found a 9-mm Smith and Wesson handgun and ammunition at his home.
Investigators said Green admitted going to Sagerser’s home on July 7 to buy marijuana and that the man in the game camera photographs was him. Green said he did not shoot Sagerser.
In an interview, Stevenson said he had been in Soldotna on July 7 with Green and that Green borrowed his cell phone and drove away. Green never returned his phone, Stevenson told investigators, claiming it was lost.
Stevenson also said Green told him he had gone to buy marijuana from someone, but that the person disrespected him and he “had to take care of business.”
Stevenson has not been charged in relation to Sagerser’s killing.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.