Holiday murder trial begins

Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2003

KETCHIKAN (AP) A man accused of beating another man to death during the holidays two years ago begins his trial Tuesday.

Brock G. Charles, 39, is accused of killing Gordon Rasnick late Christmas Eve or early Christmas morning, 2001.

Rasnick, 50, died near the front door of his home on Front Street, above the downtown tunnel, after suffering a beating underneath the wooden stairway at the south entrance to the tunnel. Police said evidence indicated that Rasnick crawled up the stairs before dying.

Police got a break in their investigation in March 2002 that led them to a witness. The witness reportedly told officers that he and Charles had been drinking Christmas Eve at Charles' apartment and that Charles had argued with his girlfriend. Charles then allegedly left the apartment in a rage, stating that he wanted to find somebody to fight, according to police.

The witness said that the two men were walking north into the downtown tunnel when Charles bumped shoulders with an older, smaller man. Charles then assaulted the man and the witness walked away, but could hear the assault continuing, according to police.

Ketchikan police arrested Charles later that month on charges of first-degree murder. Charles has pleaded innocent.

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