2 face charges in death of Alaska man after online post
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Two southeast Alaska men face charges in the beating death of a man who was attacked because of a social media post, according to an investigator’s affidavit.
Moses S. Blanchard, 22, and Blaise A. Dilts, 21, of Klawock, face charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter and burglary in the death of 80-year-old Lincoln Peratrovich, according to the state’s online court records system. An attorney listed for Dilts did not return a message seeking comment. An attorney was not listed online for Blanchard.
The investigation was being conducted by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation, which falls under the Alaska State Troopers. The city of Klawock on Prince of Wales Island has a police department but its lone officer died in January, the Ketchikan Daily News reported.
An affidavit by Adam Hawkins, a bureau investigator, said troopers on Monday evening received a complaint that a man, later identified as Peratrovich, whistled and catcalled at a minor and followed her while carrying an ax. Troopers, as part of their investigation, spoke with Peratrovich, who said he was chopping wood when he saw a woman pass by and whistled. He said he then noticed she was “younger than he thought” but continued to talk to her and invite her inside for food, the affidavit states. She walked away and he said he did not follow but instead continued chopping wood, according to the affidavit.
Troopers determined that no crime had occurred.
Troopers then received a call early Tuesday morning reporting an assault at Peratrovich’s home. When they arrived they found Peratrovich, who was confirmed dead. Investigators found a camping-style chair, a crate-like plastic container and a log with blood on it, the document said.
Dilts, when asked under interrogation why Peratrovich was attacked said it was “because of what was on Facebook,” the affidavit states. “There was a Facebook post about Peratrovich approaching (a minor) girl and chasing her with an axe. Blaise was asked if he knew if anything in the Facebook post was true. Blaise stated no.”
Blanchard told investigators he knew about the post, the affidavit said.
Some comments on the original post “appeared to encourage violence” against Peratrovich, according to the affidavit.
Dilts and Blanchard said they were with a 17-year-old boy when the attack occurred, according to authorities. Austin McDaniel, a spokesperson for the troopers, said he is not allowed by the state law to confirm whether any juvenile criminal charges have been sent to the Division of Juvenile Justice.
“No adult criminal charges have been filed for the juvenile. No other adult criminal charges have been filed against anyone else in this incident,” he said in an email.