James Wease Convicted of Murdering Wife
James Wease stabbed his wife to death and then dumped her body
ANCHORAGE - Tears flowed in room 503 of the Nesbett Courthouse Tuesday afternoon, as the Dana Wease murder trial wrapped up with husband James Wease behind bars.
As James Wease, the 68-year-old Anchorage man accused of the murder, walked into the room, he surveyed a packed audience made up of his and her family and friends. He sat down with an emotionless face and held that look through a guilty verdict.
James Wease was convicted Tuesday of stabbing his wife to death in early November of 2007, in their Anchorage apartment. Wease then left her body near Turnagain Arm, where it was discovered weeks later. He tried to clean up the crime scene by using strong chemicals and getting new carpet.
Just moments before the jury entered the courtroom, defense attorney Phillip Weidner stood up at the podium and pleaded that his client had acted in self-defense and in a moment of passion, and asked for a motion to dismiss. He was denied.
A previous statement from Dana Wease’s sister-in-law, Laura Sena, said that even though their family loved Dana Wease she had moments of questionable behavior. According to Sena, Dana Wease battled both drugs and alcohol most of her life and may have turned to prostitution to support her habits.
The defense also asked, no matter what the verdict may be, that the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd behind them stayed silent. At an earlier day in court one of Dana Weases relatives, supposedly, pointed to James Wease and told a nephew of Dana Wease that "that is the man that killed your aunt.”
As the jury announced the defendant was guilty of two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of second-degree murder, Dana Wease’s family and friends broke into emotional silent sobs – James Wease kept an expressionless face.
The jury members were thanked for their time and James Wease stood up and silently exited the courtroom with a somber stare, handcuffs and an escort.
Wease, who has been in jail since 2009, will return once again to a jail cell and wait for a sentencing hearing, which is set to take place on June 29 at 2:30 p.m.
This is the second time that James Wease has been convicted of murder. In 1978 he was convicted of murdering a man and dumping his body by Resurrection River.