Court records reveal relationship between child homicide victim and suspect
Divorce and civil court files reveal the identity of a boy who died in Anchorage last year, and his connection to the man charged in his death.
A grand jury indicted Richard Aaron Vickery, 32, on charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and second-degree murder Friday. Vickery appeared in court Tuesday for an arraignment, after police say he turned himself in.
In a Nixle alert, the Anchorage Police Department wrote officers responded to the 5200 block of Taku Drive around 7 p.m. on June 12, 2018 for a report of a child choking. The 6-year-old boy died in the hospital two days later.
Prosecutors identified the child by the initials W.N., and police referred to Vickery as the child's caretaker.
Wednesday, an APD spokesperson declined to identify the boy citing an ongoing investigation, though the department has identified other child homicide victims in the past.
Records from a 2016 divorce case identify Vickery as the father of two children, ages 9 and 11.
Shortly after the death, Vickery's ex-wife filed a petition for both short-term and long-term domestic violence protective orders against Vickery on behalf of her children. She wrote that she was doing so at the direction of the Office of Children's Services:
"There was an incident involving Richard A. Vickery's step son on June 12, 2018. The outcome of this incident is fatal. I am unaware of the complete involvement on Richard A. Vickery's behalf, but have been advised by OCS to obtain a restraining order to protect our children during APD's investigation."
On the next page, the woman identified the deceased child by name:
"Weston Noe, the 5 year old son of [woman's name], has been declared brain dead after the incident in question under Richard A. Vickery's care on June 12, 2018."
A transcript from an August hearing shows the ex-wife changed her mind about the protective order. She testified that there was an open investigation, but that it did not concern her children. The kids missed their dad, she told the judge, and "the death of Weston is hard."
"This tragedy should be taken very seriously, but he choked on his dinner," the woman said, according to the document. "The kids have never told me anything concerning."
According to the hearing transcript, Vickery told the judge he was living alone, a temporary situation until he could get a place with the boy's mother again. He testified that the two were engaged.
The judge accepted the withdrawal of the motion, telling Vickery, "I sense you have a lot going on in your life."
Transcripts show the judge later added, "I just want to make sure the kids are safe and okay."
Vickery was permitted to keep equal custody of his two biological children.
Documents from the former couple's divorce detail accusations of violence from both parents, against each other.
During a hearing in February 2016, the woman accused Vickery of threatening to kill her and others, sexual violence, sending her to work with bruises "all over [her] face" and leaving the children unattended while he was drinking and participating in adult activities.
Vickery countered that the woman applied for protective orders out of spite, threatened to falsify claims of rape and attempted murder against him, had attempted to run him off the road while the two were driving in separate cars and had slapped one of the children.
The situation appears to have eventually been resolved with an agreement to share custody, meeting at APD to transfer the children back and forth.
Under his current bail conditions, Vickery will have to pay $27,500 in cash in order to be released before trial. That amount could change, however, as he has a bail hearing scheduled for Friday.
Noe's death increases Anchorage's official 2018 homicide count from 28 to 29.
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