3 face charges in death of Alaska man after Facebook post
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Two men and a teenager have been indicted on murder, manslaughter and burglary charges in the death of a southeast Alaska man who one of them said was attacked because of a social media post, according to court documents.
Moses Blanchard, 22; Blaise Dilts, 21; and Gonzalo Sanchez, 17, were indicted by a grand jury in Ketchikan on Thursday, the Alaska Department of Law announced Friday. They face charges in the death last week of 80-year-old Lincoln Peratrovich, of Klawock.
Sanchez is being charged as an adult, department spokesperson Patty Sullivan said.
An attorney for Blanchard and Dilts did not return a message seeking comment Friday. The state’s online court records system did not show an attorney for Sanchez.
The Department of Law, citing the investigation, said comments on a Facebook post about Peratrovich appeared to encourage violence against him.
According to an affidavit from Adam Hawkins, an investigator with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation, Alaska State Troopers received a complaint March 20 that a man, later identified as Peratrovich, whistled and catcalled at a minor and followed her while carrying an ax. Peratrovich told troopers he was chopping wood when he saw a woman pass, and he 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 refused and left, and he said he did not follow and continued chopping wood, according to the affidavit.
Troopers determined no crime had occurred.
Troopers received a call early March 21 reporting an assault at Peratrovich’s home. When they arrived, they found Peratrovich without a pulse and he was later confirmed dead. Investigators found a camping-style chair, a crate-like plastic container and a log with blood on it, the affidavit said.
Dilts, when asked under interrogation why Peratrovich was attacked, said it was “because of what was on Facebook,” according to the affidavit. “There was a Facebook post about Peratrovich approaching a thirteen-year-old 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.