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Death penalty not sought in Alaska Coast Guard shooting

Aug. 6, 2013 - 09:23PM   |  
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ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — Federal prosecutors say they will not seek the death penalty against a Kodiak man charged in the fatal shootings of two men at a Coast Guard station on Kodiak Island.

James Wells is awaiting a February 2014 trial for the fatal shootings of Coast Guardsmen Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins and retired Chief Petty Officer Richard Belisle in April 2012.

KTUU says assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan informed the court in a Monday filing of the decision to not seek the death penalty.

The 62-year-old Wells faces six felony charges: two counts each of first-degree murder, murder of a U.S. officer and use of a firearm in a violent crime. He has pleaded innocent to all the charges.

In May, a federal judge denied bail for Wells.

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