Prosecutors to open Coast Guard shooting trial

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

An attorney for the man charged with killing two co-workers at a Kodiak Island Coast Guard facility says his client was elsewhere when the fatal gunshots were fired - a Kodiak airport bathroom.

Federal defender Rich Curtner says James Wells suffered from intestinal issues after gallbladder surgery.

Curtner says Wells on April 12, 2012, detected a problem with his truck tire but spent 20 minutes in the restroom of a Kodiak air service with chronic diarrhea before going home to change the tire.

The timing is crucial.

Federal prosecutors say Wells had a 34-minute time period to commit the murders between times when security cameras recorded him driving toward and away from the facility.

Wells is charged with killing Richard Belisle and Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins.