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Tanana man indicted for murders of state troopers

By Hope Miller 4:55 PM May 8, 2014

A grand jury in Fairbanks indicted 20-year-old Nathanial Kangas on six felony counts Thursday for the murders of two Alaska State Troopers killed in the line of duty in Tanana on May 1.

Nathanial Kangas is charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree murder, one count of third-degree assault and one count of tampering with evidence, according to a statement from the state Department of Law.

Sgt. Scott Johnson and trooper Gabriel Rich were called into the Interior village to arrest Nathanial Kangas’ father, 58-year-old Arvin Kangas, when they were fatally shot. Nathanial Kangas shot both troopers in the back at close range, firing a total of seven rounds, according to court documents.

If convicted, Nathanial Kangas faces a 198- to 208-year sentence.

A conviction for first-degree murder of a uniformed police officer in the line of duty carries a mandatory sentence of 99 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000. A conviction for second-degree murder carries the same penalties.

Third-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence carry a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of $50,000, the Department of Law said.

The grand jury also indicted Arvin Kangas on one count of tampering with physical evidence and one count of first-degree hindering prosecution.

Arvin Kangas faces a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of $50,000 if convicted of tampering with evidence or hindering prosecution.

Nathanial and Arvin Kangas are slated to be arraigned in Fairbanks Superior Court on May 13.

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