Long time state prosecutor Patrick Gullufsen has been suspended from practicing law after he withheld DNA evidence in the "cold case" murder trial of a former Fairbanks resident.
That's according to documents acquired by the News Center's Anchorage "Sister Station" KTUU.
The controversy lies in Gullufsen's prosecution of Jimmy Eacker for the death of Toni Lister, who was killed in Seward in 1982.
Lister's death was unsolved until 2006, when the Seward Police Department revisited its sole unsolved homicide.
Because of then-discovered DNA evidence, there was a break, and given how long the case was "cold," that evidence, said to be withheld by Gullufsen, was considered vital to the case.
Gullufsen claimed he should have provided the evidence to the defense and only failed to do so out of confusion.
He retired as a prosecutor in 2010.
Police had long considered Eacker the prime suspect in the case.
Lister, a mother of four, was found lying in a snow dump in Seward on April 17, 1982.
Authorities say she had been stabbed repeatedly in the head, neck and chest with a Phillips screwdriver, and had been sexually assaulted.
Eacker was renting an apartment on the Steese Highway in Fairbanks when he was indicted on a First Degree Murder charge, and arrested in 2007.
After a jury trial, he was found guilty of First and Second Degree Murder in 2010.
Eacker was given a 99 year prison term, but the aforementioned issues with DNA prompted the sentence to be thrown out and he received a new trial.
In February of 2011, Eacker pleaded guilty to the lesser crime of Manslaughter in the First Degree, and is currently serving a 20 year sentence.