Kasilof attempted murder trial scheduled to start on Monday

Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in Kenai Superior Court in the attempted murder trial of a 45-year-old Kasilof man who allegedly assaulted his wife and others during a drunken escapade involving rifle fire earlier this summer.

Harold Pence is charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of second-degree assault, four counts of third-degree assault, one count of fourth-degree assault and two counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving weapons. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

According to court documents, on May 25, Pence had been drinking and his wife said he started accusing her of 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 Alaska State 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 was not shot, according to the Kenai District Attorney's office, but she thought Pence 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 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 curled up on the floor and 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, 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 refused to identify himself and became verbally combative, Erickson said in his incident report. 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.

Inside the Pence home, a camper box attached to a lean-to, troopers found a lever action rifle inside a 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 was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility where he remains held on $300,000 bail, pending trial.

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