Man indicted for attempted murder

Posted: Friday, June 06, 2008

A Kenai grand jury has indicted a 45-year-old Kasilof man on one count of attempted murder and four assault charges following an alleged drunken escapade involving rifle fire May 25.

Harold Pence, who was arrested by Alaska State Troopers and taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility, is scheduled to be arraigned in Kenai Superior Court Tuesday on one count of first-degree attempted murder, one count of second-degree assault and three counts of third-degree assault.

Court documents say Pence had been drinking and his wife said he started accusing her of not caring about him and having an affair with a teenage boy. Pence allegedly grabbed a rifle and pointed it at her.

Not wanting to be shot, she reportedly grabbed the rifle barrel and the gun went off, knocking her out of the door of the camper in which the couple lived. She told troopers she thought she had been shot. She could not hear and the arm with which she grabbed the rifle had gone numb.

She was lying on the ground when Pence walked toward her saying something, but she couldn't hear what he was saying because her ears were still ringing from the gunshot.

She thought he was going to kill her.

Pence then walked toward the motor home of an acquaintance, which was parked in the driveway of the Pence home on Ridge Street. Pence's wife, still thinking she had been shot, ran into the woods toward a neighbor's house.

Pence, who had been drinking earlier with the motor home owner and an 18-year-old male as they helped fix the starter on Pence's vehicle, then approached the motor home with the rifle in hand.

The motor home owner said Pence was obviously angry and was yelling for the owner to come out. The owner refused and Pence reportedly punched out a window of the motor home door with his fist and fired off a shot with the rifle. The man inside took cover.

Pence walked away and the motor home owner ran into the woods to get away from the area.

Troopers responded to the home of the neighbor who called 911 at about 10:20 p.m., saying Pence's wife showed up at his residence on Linda Lane and passed out in his driveway. Pence followed shortly afterward.

Trooper Larry Erickson contacted Pence, who appeared to be impaired by alcohol and was bleeding from a cut on his right hand.

Pence refused to identify himself and became verbally combative, Erickson said. Pence was placed in custody.

Pence's wife was on the ground in the driveway and appeared to be having a seizure, according to the trooper. The seizures continued until paramedics took her from the scene. She was rushed to Central Peninsula Hospital. According to the District Attorney's office, she was not shot.

When troopers went toward the Pence home, a camper box attached to a lean-to, broken glass and blood were found on the ground near the motor home and fresh blood was found on the ground outside the Pence home and on the floor just inside. Spent rifle casings also were found near the motor home and the Pence home.

Inside, Erickson found a lever action rifle inside a hard rifle case on the bed. Blood was found on the handle of the gun case and on the lever action and butt of the rifle. Several rounds of rifle ammunition were inside the gun case.

Pence is being held in jail on $300,000 bail pending arraignment.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.



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