Perryville man accused of murdering his grandfather
A Perryville man has been held on murder charges in the death of his grandfather last weekend in the Alaska Peninsula village, according to Alaska State Troopers.
Court records showed Brandon Yagie, 21, arraigned Tuesday afternoon on charges of first-degree and second-degree murder, evidence tampering and two counts of fourth-degree assault.
Troopers were informed at about 7 a.m. Sunday that 70-year-old Marvin Yagie was “deceased after being threatened by his grandson.” Investigators weren’t able to reach the village of about 100 people, roughly 500 miles southwest of Anchorage, until Monday due to poor weather.
“Witnesses reported to [troopers] that they saw Brandon physically attack Marvin twice in the early morning hours of [Sunday] and they attempted to intervene but were threatened by Brandon and fled for their own safety,” troopers wrote. “Witnesses contacted AST after finding Marvin deceased in the morning.”
Troopers arrested Brandon Yagie and took him to the jail in King Salmon, while Marvin Yagie’s body was sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Anchorage for an autopsy.
A relative of the victim said Tuesday that Marvin Yagie was a well-known commercial fishing captain who fished the Chignik area and had extensive family in the region. He had just returned to his Perryville home from Anchorage on St. Patrick's Day.
According to a complaint against the defendant, written by Trooper Sgt. Jesse Lopez, people at a party overnight Saturday initially told troopers that Brandon Yagie had said he was going to kill his grandfather “while they were drinking.” Soon afterward, local health aides called troopers to report that the elder Yagie was dead.
When Lopez arrived at Marvin Yagie’s home Monday, he found blood on the outside door and the arctic entry, as well as the kitchen. The kitchen door was “off its hinges,” Lopez wrote, with a damaged frying pan and pair of glasses in the room.
Marvin Yagie was lying in the main bedroom, face-down and dead, with extensive head injuries.
One of the witnesses said she had shown up to the party and was “verbally abused” by Brandon Yagie, asking why she was there. She stayed, however, and the party eventually moved from the kitchen to a bedroom, where the group was “drinking and telling stories.”
“[The witness] said Marvin told a story and Brandon took it the wrong way and ‘went off,’” Lopez wrote. “[She] said the next thing she knew Brandon had Marvin on the floor and was straddling him. [She] demonstrated Brandon punching Marvin with both her hands.”
Soon after that, she said, Brandon began using his left forearm against Marvin’s throat to choke him while punching Marvin in the head with his right hand.
The witness tried to get between the two men, Lopez wrote, which took her about a minute – during which Marvin was asking his grandson why he was doing this. Brandon allegedly backhanded the witness away until she intervened again; at that point he said, “I’m going to kill you all” and then left, striking another woman who had left the party.
In an interview with troopers, Lopez wrote, Brandon Yagie said people have told him he became violent if he’s had “one too many,” despite attempts to cut down on drinking over the past few months. He said he had consumed about a six-pack of beer Saturday, when he came over to work on his grandfather’s ATV, then some R&R whiskey later in the evening.
“Brandon said the next thing he could remember was holding his grandpa Marvin’s head in his hands and looking at him,” Lopez wrote. “Brandon said he didn’t know what happened and started to cry.”
Asked about his shirt, Brandon said “there would have been blood on it,” but that he had changed shirts overnight.
Editor's note: An initial version of this story misstated the date of the assault as Saturday, not Sunday.
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