Nome man sentenced in girlfriend's death

Posted: Wednesday, October 02, 2002

NOME (AP) -- A Nome man has received a 75-year prison sentence for the shooting death of his girlfriend last year.

In his April trial, Ben Noyakuk, 34, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the March 2001 death of Martha Butler, 29. He was sentenced Friday.

Noyakuk was accused of hiding Butler's body in the snow near the Penny River after shooting her with a shotgun. He also was accused of throwing the shotgun into the Bering Sea and trying to hide other evidence.

Noyakuk reportedly told his brother, who reported the crime to Alaska State Troopers.

At his sentencing, Noyakuk tearfully apologized to Butler's family for causing them pain.

Noyakuk will be eligible for parole when a third of his sentence is served.

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