FAIRBANKS (AP) — A 16-year-old Delta Junction boy stole alcohol from a lodge, burned it down and sold the booze out of his vehicle, according to state prosecutors.
Vasiliy Bill Malyk has been waived to adult status and will be prosecuted as an adult for fires that destroyed Clearwater Lodge and a Delta Junction home, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. He is being held without bail at Fairbanks Correctional Center.
Malyk is charged with nine felony counts, including arson, theft and evidence tampering.
Clearwater Lodge, a 55-year-old structure near the banks of the Delta Clearwater River, burned May 15.
Prosecutors said Alaska State Troopers investigators could not immediately determine how the fire started but on June 24, but they interviewed a man who said he has secretly recorded a conversation with Malyk in which the youth acknowledged a role in the crime.
The witness told troopers he confronted Malyk about alcohol he was selling from his vehicle.
“(The witness) stated Malyk told him he was there and that he’d take the fall before tatting out the others that helped,” Trooper Steven Lantz said in the criminal complaint.
The witness told troopers he erased the recording because he was afraid of retaliation.
A second fire on June 17 burned the home of a couple on vacation. Three rifles, jewelry and a laptop computer were stolen from the home. The charred wreckage revealed two fire-ignition points and piles of burned and unburned paper, troopers said.
Troopers arrested Malyk on Monday, and he acknowledged setting the home fire to cover the theft, prosecutors said. He also “confirmed his presence” at the lodge the night of the fire and said he took part in taking $750 in alcohol, prosecutors said.
He told investigators the fire was set by igniting boxes in the lodge basement, troopers said.
Malyk will be represented by a public defender. The public defender’s officer routinely declines comment on pending cases, and a person who answered the office phone Thursday in the Fairbanks office said no one was available to comment.