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Kodiak Coast Guard trial enters second day

By Lauren Maxwell 7:56 PM April 2, 2014

Jurors hear from man who encountered bodies first


The murder trial for a man accused of killing two men on the Kodiak Coast Guard Base entered its second day on Wednesday. Jurors heard from the Coast Guard officer who was the first to discover the bodies of his co-workers.

Petty Officer Cody Beauford worked with the victims as well as the man accused of shooting them. They worked together at a building called the rigger shop. Their job was to maintain the huge communications antennas on base.

Beauford testified that on the morning of April 12, 2012, he arrived at the Rigger Shop a half hour later than his colleagues. Nothing was unusual outside the building. When he entered, however, he smelled gun smoke. It didn’t take long for him to find out why.

In the break room of the rigger shop, Beauford found his supervisor, James Hopkins, lying in a pool of blood. A civilian coworker, Richard Belisle, was in his office, also covered in blood. Beauford testified that for a moment he thought the men might be pulling a prank, but soon realized they were really dead.

Much of the questioning concerned security in the building itself. Petty Officer Jason Bullis was the man charged with checking locks at the rigger shop. He says everything seemed fine on a walk-through the night before.

Prosecutors are trying to prove that Jim Wells, a fellow coworker, was the only one who could have committed the crime. They say he had a growing frustration with his co-workers and supervisor, and was labeled as a problem employee. There is no direct evidence to link him to the crime.

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