Husband on Trial for Murder Accusations
James Wease is accused of stabbing his wife
ANCHORAGE – The trial has begun for an Anchorage man charged with murdering his wife.
James Wease is accused of stabbing his wife, Dana Wease, in their Anchorage apartment, then dumping her body in a ravine off the Seward Highway near Turnagain Pass in 2007.
Laura Sena, Dana Wease’s sister-in-law, was the first to take the witness stand on Wednesday.
“She was a goofball and a clown but all of her nieces and nephews adored her, just adored her,” said Sena.
But Sena also described a different side to Dana, a woman who battled drugs and alcohol for most of her life and who may have turned to prostitution to support her habit.
Defense attorney Phillip Weidner was eager to hear more about that side.
“How many years, to your knowledge, was Dana addicted to drugs?”
“Once an addict, always an addict,” answered Sena.
The defense said James Wease was worried his wife of only a few months had fallen back into the “drug life” when she failed to come home or show up for work in the fall of 2007.
According to the state, James Wease killed his wife in their Anchorage apartment and then tried to clean up the mess with strong chemicals and a new carpet.
Prosecutors also pointed to cell phone records they said show James Wease was in the area where Dana’s body was discovered two weeks later, but defense attorney Phillip Weidner had a different explanation for his client’s drive down Turnagain Arm.
“You know why he was going to Girdwood? He was taking these [missing person] posters out to try and locate Dana.”
It took police two years to investigate the case and arrest James Wease, who has been sitting in a jail cell since 2009.
It isn’t the first time James Wease has been a prisoner. In 1978 he was convicted of murdering a man and dumping his body near the Resurrection River outside of Seward.