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Troopers: Teen sought “justice” in Palmer shooting

By KTVA CBS 11 News 11:42 AM March 14, 2014

The body of Frank Pushruk, 45, was found Thursday and 17-year-old Jacob Dvorak later admitted to the shooting.

ANCHORAGE – Jacob Dvorak, 17, said he wanted “justice” when he fatally shot a Palmer man Wednesday evening, Alaska State Troopers said.

According to an affidavit by AST investigator James Streicher, Dvorak admitted to shooting 45-year-old Frank Pushruk once in the face and twice in the back of the head after learning he allegedly sexually assaulted a friend several nights prior. After killing Pushruk, the affidavit states, Dvorak told investigators he dumped his body off a cliff at a popular Matanuska River overlook.

When troopers responded to reports of the homicide just before 12 a.m. Thursday, Palmer police were already on scene along with two teenage girls and a 14-year-old boy. One of the girls, 17, was “almost hysterical” when she told troopers Pushruk had raped her a few nights ago, the affidavit stated.

She said she had been partying at Pushruk’s home when she passed out and awoke, naked, to find Pushruk standing near the foot of the bed holding her underwear.

“I’m sorry,” he allegedly told her.

In a later interview with investigators, troopers reported the girl said she was uninjured and unsure if she had actually been sexually assaulted.

But the teen said she told a 16-year-old friend who had been at the party – identified in court documents as EA — about the alleged assault, and later they also told Dvorak. According to the trooper’s affidavit, the three teenagers made plans to beat up Pushruk in retribution for the alleged rape.

Later, though, EA said Dvorak suggested they shoot Pushruk with a stolen gun he had in his possession. Court documents state EA and the teenage girl traveled to Wasilla Wednesday night to pick up Dvorak when his shift at Dairy Queen ended around 10 p.m. Dvorak and EA planned to tell Pushruk they were going to get “shrooms,” invite him along then beat him up.

After picking up Pushruk at his Palmer home, court documents state, the two teenagers took him to the overlook near mile 52 of the Glenn Highway and confronted him about the alleged assault.

Dvorak pointed a .45 handgun at Pushruk’s face, EA told troopers.

“Just shoot me,” Pushruk allegedly responded.

Court documents state Dvorak then shot Pushruk in the face, following it up with two more shots to the head after he fell to the ground. While EA froze in place, court documents stated, Dvorak told him to remove a prescription bottle of Valium from Pushruk’s pocket.

“Help me, help me, this could be you!” Dvorak allegedly said to EA. “You need to help me.”

Together, court documents state, the two teenagers lifted Pushruk’s body over the fence around the overlook and dropped it off the side of the cliff. The two boys then drove to Scott Road, where EA said Dvorak took the stolen gun and ran into the woods. Next, court records state, they went to Dvorak’s North Eves Drive home, where he attempted to clean blood off his clothes and shoes and contact several people via phone and Facebook.

Dvorak allegedly dropped EA at the Palmer Fred Meyer, telling him the two girls originally found by officers at the scene might have seen or heard the shooting. The girls – one of whom had called the police – later told law enforcement officers they heard three gunshots. Court records state EA walked to the Palmer Carr’s and then caught a ride back to the crime scene from other juveniles, who had already heard about the shooting.

The teenager told police at the scene exactly what happened, court documents state.

Thursday, after Pushruk’s body was recovered from the cliff, troopers said they contacted Dvorak, who admitted to the shooting.

“His friends, they like to drink and smoke and I tried to get him away from that many times,” said his sister Jackie Dvorak. “He was really wanting to change his life around. It’s really shocking to know my little brother did something like that.”

Charged with first-degree murder, he’s currently held without bail at Mat-Su PreTrial.

“We’ve all been praying and hoping that it works out,” Jackie Dvorak said. “We know he’s going to have to spend some time in jail, but I hope he’s starting to regret what he did.”

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