66-Year-Old Woman Arraigned for Murdering Roommate
Berne Marie Peterson is being held at the Anchorage jail on $500,000 cash bail along with a third party approved custodian.
An Anchorage woman is being charged with the murder of her roommate after police say she didn’t get up to help walk her to the bathroom.
Berne Marie Peterson, 66, was arraigned in court Thursday on two counts of murder for the death of her friend and housemate, Colleen Fukuda, 58.
"They’d been living together for several years, and when a roommate needed help she got that assistance from her roommate," said Anita Shell, spokesperson with the Anchorage Police Department.
On Wednesday night Fukuda's body was found in bed at their home on the 3000 block of Turnagain Street in West Anchorage. She was found with a single shotgun wound to her head, and according to detectives, it appeared that she was shot execution style with a .410 gauge shotgun.
Detectives say Peterson had been drinking the same night at the home and was upset that Fukuda ignored her request to help her walk to the bathroom and became upset.
"Evidently she doesn’t walk well, she needs help from time to time and when her roommate did not offer assistance she got angry, went into the bedroom, produced a rifle and shot her," Shell said.
Both women have lived together for over twenty years and were known to argue. Police had been to the home just a night before the shooting where officers say they found Peterson intoxicated and holding a knife, she was ordered to drop it, but because there were no injuries, no arrests were made.
"Sounds like it was kind of a volatile relationship, arguments from time to time," Shell said.
Neighbors say they frequently heard arguing from the home.
"They pretty much kept to themselves and were quiet for the most part except very frequently we did see the police pull up or the ambulance," said neighbor Diana Rybezynski.
Peterson’s bail was set at $500,00 cash only, along with a third-party custodian. Her pre-trial arraignment has been set for April 26.