ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Federal charges will not be filed against the 25-year-old man accused of fatally shooting the commander of the U.S. Coast Guard station on St. Paul Island.
Carl Merculief Jr., who is being held in Anchorage, awaits a state trial on numerous charges, including first-degree murder, in connection with the death last month of Chief Warrant Officer Timothy Harris, 33. Harris was found dead July 24 outside the barracks at the remote Bering Sea station.
According to charging documents, Merculief killed Harris because he believed the officer was having an affair with Merculief's estranged wife.
Timothy Burgess, acting U.S. attorney for Alaska, said his office decided not to bring charges against Merculief in U.S. District Court. Burgess said he is satisfied to let the state continue with its proceedings against Merculief.
Merculief could have faced the death penalty if he had been charged in federal court with murdering a federal officer.
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