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Prosecutors lay out case in Coast Guard homicides

By Associated Press 10:35 AM March 30, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

A 63-year-old Coast Guard civilian technician is scheduled to go on trial Monday in the shooting deaths of two co-workers nearly two years ago at a communications station on Kodiak Island.

James Michael Wells is charged with murder counts in the deaths of 51-year-old Richard Belisle and 41-year-old Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins of Vergennes, Vt.

Prosecutors say Wells claimed to have been delayed by a flat tire but that he used his wife’s sport utility vehicle to drive to the communications station and gun down his co-workers, with whom he had feuded.

Defense attorneys say the government case relies on surveillance video that is inconclusive. They say in a trial brief that prosecutors have no physical evidence linking Wells to the homicides.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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