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Cooper landing man charged with murder after fight

Disabled veteran says homicide was self-defense

Posted: December 6, 2013 - 5:30pm  |  Updated: December 7, 2013 - 9:27am

A disabled veteran called 911 shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday and allegedly said, “I killed somebody.”

Later, when Alaska State Troopers arrived at his Cooper Landing home, Paul Andrew Vermillion, 30, allegedly told troopers that he was in a fight to the death.

“I executed the threat,” Vermillion said, according to a police affidavit filed in Kenai Superior Court on Friday.

A responding trooper at the scene asked Vermillion if that meant that he killed Genghis Muskox. Vermillion said, “yes,” according to the affidavit.

Appearing in court Friday morning on a charge of first-degree murder, Vermillion described himself as an out-of-work disabled veteran living on $1,800 monthly pension and sought a court appointed lawyer. The only asset he could declare was a car.

Police say that Vermillion lived at the home in Cooper Landing owned by his parents, but he gave an Anchorage address and a Texas phone number in court.

An Alaska State Trooper dispatch lists Muskox as being 26 years old and from California when he was arrested in Cooper Landing one night last May on charges of driving under the influence.

Vermillion has one conviction showing in the Alaska court system for driving under the influnce stemming from a September 2013 arrest. 

Vermillion faces maximum sentence of 99 years and a $500,000 fine if found guilty.

According to troopers, Muskox was on the floor and “obviously dead” when they arrived at 2:20 a.m. The affidavit claims that Muskox’ body showed multiple gunshot wounds with at least two shots to the head.

Vermillion remained on the phone with police dispatch during the 27 minutes it took troopers to arrive in Cooper Landing. During that time, Vermillion allegedly said, “I was being beat up. I didn’t know what to do. Not sure how I killed him. He is dead on the floor.”

Declaring Vermillion eligible for a public defender, Kenai Superior Court Judge Sharon Illsley did not ask for a plea on the murder charge.

Illsley advised Vermillion to contact his public defender as soon as possible to discuss bail, set the next hearing date for Dec. 16 and sent him back to Wildwood Correction Center in Kenai.

“At this time you’re not bailable,” Illsley said.

Illsley ordered that Vermillion not have contact with Muskox’ parents, who appeared at the arraignment telephonically. 

Reach Greg Skinner at greg.skinner@peninsulaclarion.com

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