Minto man charged with criminally negligent homicide in death of elderly man

(AST)(Alaska State Troopers)
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 4:09 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A Minto man was charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide in the death of Knowland Silas, 73, in Minto.

According to charging documents, on Sept. 1, Zachary Charlie, 27, was found asleep on a couch next to Silas who was laying in a pool of blood. Silas had possible injuries to his face. Charlie was said to have blood on his hands and clothing.

Troopers responded to the village approximately 50 miles northwest of of Fairbanks. They found blood in Silas' bedroom and a bloody sweatshirt in the laundry room.

Charlie was interviewed, said he was very intoxicated the night before, and did not know what happened. He said he was drinking at a house next to Silas' and came to Silas' house around 3 a.m. He said that Silas was also very intoxicated and they talked about hunting and fishing. Charlie said he doesn’t remember anything else until he was woken up on the couch. Charlie claimed that he did not remember any arguments or trouble with Silas. Charlie told troopers he is diagnosed as a schizophrenic.

The State medical examiners office determined that two fatal injuries on Silas were likely the result of an assault. The report said Silas had a brain bleed, and a crushed rib and lung. The doctor said she was unable to locate any pattern wounds to suggest a weapon was used. She said the chest wound could have been the result of a kick or stomp, and the brain bleed could be the result of being punched or hit with an open hand.

Troopers returned on Sept. 10 and again interviewed Charlie, who told them again he did not remember anything from the night in question.

Silas was found by Nathan Charlie who said he went to check on Silas, as he frequently did because of Silas' age and condition. When he went into the house, Nathan found Silas unresponsive and cold to the touch.

Zachary Charlie was arrested and charged with one count of criminally negligent homicide and taken to the Fairbanks Correctional Center.

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