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Alleged kidnapper released on bail

Posted: May 22, 2013 - 10:20pm

An Anchor Point man charged with kidnapping his wife and daughter and holding them at gun point was released from Wildwood Correctional Facility on May 17.

Ilya Gherman, 53, made bail after his original $100,000 bail was reduced at a hearing on May 13.

He is charged with five felonies: two counts of kidnapping, two counts of third-degree assault and a charge of second-degree misconduct involving weapons. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

According to charging documents, on Feb. 12, at about 11:30 p.m., Gherman’s wife contacted Alaska State Troopers and reported that her husband was mentally ill, had drank about a fifth of hard liquor and was shooting a firearm inside their home. With a handgun, Gherman allegedly shot about eight rounds into the floor and wall. His daughter, who was also home during the alleged incident, said she was scared Gherman was going to shoot her mother. After Gherman fell asleep, his wife and daughter escaped in their stocking feet.

In the documents, Gherman’s wife reported to troopers that her husband, who had recently been released from Alaska Psychiatric Institute, had been drinking and using methamphetamine since he returned home. Gherman had also accused his wife of being a Russian spy multiple times. Gherman’s daughter advised troopers that this type of behavior had been happening for a long time.

At the hearing, Gherman’s wife asked for bail to be reduced so Gherman could return to work and begin providing for his family again.

“I don’t feel like he’s a threat to me or the community,” she said.

Gherman’s wife said she thinks his alleged behavior is “triggered by excessive use of alcohol and, as long as he stays away from alcohol, he will be alright.”

Two third-party candidates, Lee and Jessica Tenhoff, were approved by Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman.

Lee Tenhoff said even though what was alleged to have occurred on Feb. 12 concerns him, he would still “gladly” be Gherman’s third-party custodian.

“He’s an old friend. I just want to help the whole situation,” he said. … “I know when he drinks he gets out of control. That is the whole problem.”

The Tenhoffs, who live in downtown Homer, have known Gherman for many years. Gherman has even worked for Lee Tenhoff, who is a carpenter and runs three yurt businesses.

Gherman will work for Tenhoff again and help rebuild the couple’s home that burned down in a fire five years ago. The couple is currently living in a yurt behind their building project. Gherman would be living in separate yurt with an audible alarm for egress while working for Lee.

Gherman was released May 17 under 24 hour sight and sound supervision by the Tenhoffs and was granted third-party custodian-supervised contact with his wife and daughter — the alleged victims in the case.

A competency evaluation has been scheduled for Gherman.

Trial is scheduled for the week of June 24.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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