Arbitrator sides with guard in Keyes' suicide case

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

An arbitrator finds a corrections officer on duty the night Alaska serial killer Israel Keyes committed suicide should not have been fired by the state.

Loren Jacobsen was fired weeks after Keyes was found dead in his Anchorage cell in December 2012. Keyes had slit his wrist with a razor that another guard mistakenly gave him and also strangled himself with a makeshift noose.

Reports say from documents obtained that Jacobsen was fired, even though he had turned over his duties to another officer and was on a sanctioned meal break when Keyes committed suicide. Jacobsen's union, the Alaska Correctional Officers Association, appealed.

An arbitrator said the firing wasn't justified. The union says the state made Jacobsen a scapegoat for its lax practices.