Grand jury indicts teen-ager on murder, theft charges

Posted: Monday, May 07, 2001

KENAI (AP) -- A grand jury has indicted 18-year-old Robert O. Holt Jr. on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree vehicle theft.

The charges stem from the shooting of Harold J. Sipary, 44, of Soldotna, last Tuesday after authorities say Sipary picked up the teen near Hope. Holt was indicted Friday. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Troopers said Holt was hitchhiking on the Seward Highway near the Hope cutoff Tuesday at about 10:45 p.m., when Sipary picked him up.

Alaska State Trooper James Helgoe said in an affidavit Holt confessed that he had shot and killed Sipary.

Medics from Cooper Landing ambulance service responded to a call received at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. They responded to Mile 48 of the Seward Highway and pronounced Sipary dead. A trooper investigation indicated Sipary died from a small caliber gunshot wound to the head.

According to the affidavit, Holt told troopers he was hitchhiking alone from Anchorage toward Soldotna with a .22 caliber pistol in his waistband. After Sipary picked him up, Holt decided to steal Sipary's truck. Sipary was shot when he refused to get out of the truck.

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