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Bail set for man accused of murder

Posted: January 16, 2014 - 9:34pm

A Cooper Landing man accused of murder returned to court Wednesday for a bail hearing.

Paul Vermillion, 30, is charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and one count of manslaughter for the death of Genghis Muskox, 27, on Dec. 5 at Vermillion’s home in Cooper Landing.

Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet appointed Gregory Thompson, a family friend of the Vermillion’s, as third party custodian, and set a $1 million cash appearance bond (10 percent to be paid in cash) and a $50,000 cash performance fee.

The court is waiting to release Vermillion to Thompson until a GPS tracking device can be obtained at a second bail hearing. Vermillion remains in custody at Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

Public defender Josh Cooley and Assistant District Attorney Amanda Browning interviewed Thompson to determine if he was a suitable third party custodian. Thompson, a retired airline mechanic who lives in a rural area outside of Houston in the Mat-Su Valley, said he understood the serious charges against Vermillion and wants to help him because he is concerned.

“I like him. (Vermillion) has good character,” Thompson said. “He is always happy and helpful.”

Thompson said he has known the Vermillion family for six years. His wife is a nurse at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage where the defendant’s father, Doug Vermillion is a doctor.

Browning said Thompson is not a suitable third party custodian because he entered the crime scene and cleaned up the day after the murder occurred.

Thompson said he was asked by the family to pick up Vermillion’s medication at his house because it was important and the State Troopers had already taken pictures of the scene.

Browning asked Thompson if the Vermillion family was compensating him for being the third party custodian. Thompson said no, adding he is well off with more than $1 million worth in real estate from other properties owned.

Judge Huguelet said Thompson is a good third party custodian because he has something to lose, which makes him more willing to comply.

Muskox’s parents appeared telephonically at the hearing and each said they don’t feel Vermillion should be released.

“I feel he is mentally unstable and I don’t think anything has changed,” John Cox, Muskox’s father, said. “I implore the court to deny the request or at least set the bail high enough to make the family feel it.”

According to the police affidavit, Vermillion called 911 and stated, “I killed somebody.” Vermillion and Muskox were drinking at Vermillion’s home when they got into a fight.

According to the affidavit, a trooper arrived at the scene and found Muskox deceased with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. After receiving his Miranda advisement, Vermillion said, “I was in a fight to the death and I executed the threat.”

Under the court conditions, no alcohol or firearms are allowed in Thompson’s home. Vermillion, who would be staying in their downstairs basement, must be under Thompson’s supervision at all times.

 

Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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