A Sterling man charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder was arraigned at the Kenai Courthouse on Sunday.
According charging documents filed by Alaska State Troopers, Theodore Cummings, 49, allegedly shot at two of his neighbors while they were driving on Bear Road in Sterling Saturday afternoon.
The couple was traveling north on Adkins Road nearing the intersection of Bear Road when they saw Cummings on an all-terrain vehicle coming from the south toward the same intersection. Cummings turned onto Bear Road and onto a pull-out on the left side of the road. As the couple passed Cummings, they saw him reach inside the top of his coveralls and take out a revolver. The report states Cummings followed the couple on his ATV. Troopers report the couple said they could see the recoil of the revolver as Cummings allegedly shot at them, but they could not hear the shots. The driver of the pickup truck sped up and eventually lost Cummings in the dust. The couple went to the driver’s parent’s home next door to their home and called 911. They informed troopers they do not know Cummings, but had seen him in their driveway multiple times.
The report alleges Cummings was “immediately hostile” to the troopers when they arrived at his residence. He began yelling at them before troopers said anything to Cummings. Cummings said a neighbor had come onto his property and was “in his face” earlier that day. He admitted having a gun, but denied firing it at his neighbors.
The document makes allegations that Cummings appeared to be talking to an imaginary person at two different instances during the interaction with troopers.
“Are you guys serious?” Cummings is alleged to have said during one of his conversations with the imaginary person, according to the affidavit. “You didn’t really think you’d get away with this, did you? You really thought you’d get away with this.”
The troopers tried to explain the neighbors’ complaint when Cummings became very upset and began walking away. The report alleges Cummings resisted arrest, and officers had to manipulate Cummings to handcuff and ankle-cuff him.
Troopers spoke with the driver’s father who confirmed that he had a verbal altercation with Cummings earlier that day, and that he heard gun shots prior to the victims’ arrival at his home. Troopers did not find any bullet holes in the truck.
A neighbor, who did not see the shooting, told officers he heard between two to five shots from Bear Road earlier that afternoon.
Troopers were granted a search warrant to look in Cumming’s home for the revolver, and later granted approval to search for illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia and to obtain three vials of blood from Cummings.
While searching Cumming’s trailer house, troopers found a revolver and multiple empty shell casings. Cumming’s mother, Joanne Cummings, 80, was at home during the search. Troopers advised her to stay out of the trailer. Troopers discovered a marijuana grow and were away from the trailer for a short time photographing the scene. When they returned, the revolver was missing. Joanne denied removing the revolver and said she didn’t remember taking the gun and didn’t know if she had taken the gun. Troopers eventually found the same gun covered by clothing in the bottom of a box in the trailer.
Along with the two first-degree attempted murder charges, Cummings was charged with first-degree misconduct involving weapons — a felony charge — as he allegedly shot his firearm while operating an all-terrain vehicle on the roadway under the influence of controlled substances. He was also charged with a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.
Joanne Cummings was arrested and faces two felony charges: tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution by allegedly hiding the firearm discovered in their trailer.
Both are in custody at Wildwood Correctional Center.
Their next court dates are both scheduled for June 12.
Kaylee Osowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.