Troopers arrest man accused of killing woman in Southeast Alaska following standoff
Alaska State Troopers say a Hydaburg man is facing a murder charge after he allegedly strangled his girlfriend, 27-year-old Judylee Guthrie. Ketchikan District Attorney Stephen West says the man lied to authorities, saying the woman went missing and he later found her body in the woods.
According to an affidavit signed by West, 27-year-old Albert Macasaet first told troopers his girlfriend was missing on July 31 when they found him and his mother on the side of the Craig-Klawock Highway on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. Their vehicle, a green Mazda, was parked next to a truck that was in a ditch near the Sunnyhaye trailhead. Macasaet told troopers Guthrie had been in the vehicle when it crashed and was missing.
Macasaet had already called the Craig Police Department (CPD) an hour earlier to tell them she was missing, and later that day at around 5:30 p.m., he called again to report he was looking for her at the trailhead, according to West’s statement. Less than half an hour later, he called again, saying he’d found Guthrie’s body.
Search teams were not able to find her body easily, a point West made in charging documents. Troopers noted she had the string of a hooded sweatshirt wrapped tightly around her neck, the affidavit shows. An autopsy later confirmed the cause of her death was strangulation.
Macasaet told investigators that he, Guthrie and two other couples were at a bar the night before her body was found. He at first said that she left with one couple, then later said woman left with a different couple. The first couple told troopers they left the bar in the truck, which they said they crashed into the ditch very early in the morning on July 31. CPD had investigated that crash and stated Guthrie was not there when they were on the scene. The couple confirmed that fact, West explained.
The second couple said they left the bar with Guthrie and Macasaet, but parted ways with them earlier in the night, leaving Guthrie and Macasaet alone at his mother’s home in Klawock. West noted that that home was less than a mile away from where Guthrie’s body was found.
Macasaet has a history of arrests and convictions related to domestic violence against Guthrie, including two separate incidents where he strangled her, West wrote in the charging documents. Macasaet was also arrested for first-degree sexual assault, but was later acquitted of the charge.
After speaking with the Ketchikan District Attorney’s office, troopers planned to arrest Macasaet without a warrant, according to an online trooper dispatch. When they confronted him on Tuesday around 1:30 p.m., Macasaet resisted arrest with the help of a family member and brandished a gun at troopers. This led to an hours-long standoff, during which other adults and three children between the ages of three and 13 were in the house.
The other adults and the 13-year-old were able to leave the home around 6:30 p.m., but Macasaet and the two younger children stayed inside. Around 11:30 p.m., authorities entered the home and arrested him with anyone being injured. Macasaet appeared to be suffering from a drug overdose that occurred during the standoff, troopers said in the dispatch. He was taken to Ketchikan for medical treatment.
A Prince of Wales court clerk told KTVA Macasaet would be arraigned in Ketchikan once he is able to appear in court, and then will be brought back to Craig. He faces a single charge of first-degree murder, and troopers stated additional charges of resisting arrest and third-degree assault were also being considered.
He is scheduled to appear before a grand jury on Aug. 18 in Ketchikan, the dispatch said.
Anyone who knows or is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault can call the AWAIC crisis line for help at 907-272-0100.
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