Sitka jury convicts Klawock man of first-degree murder

SITKA, Alaska On May 3, 2019, a Sitka jury found Albert Peter Macasaet III (“Macasaet”) guilty of murder in the first degree. The two-week long trial was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Charles D. Agerter and Chief Assistant Attorney General Paul J. Miovas, Jr.

On July 31, 2016, Judylee Guthrie’s (“Guthrie”) body was found in a shallow puddle in thick brush off a logging trail near Klawock. Guthrie had been strangled to death with the cord from her hooded sweatshirt. The cord was wrapped around Guthrie’s neck three times and pulled taut. Guthrie had been stripped and left naked from the neck down in the puddle. Macasaet and Guthrie had been in a long-term relationship and lived together in Hydaburg. Macasaet and Guthrie have two young children.

The Troopers obtained an arrest warrant for Macasaet on August 9, 2016. Macasaet refused to immediately surrender and an eight-hour standoff ensued. Macasaet did not allow his and Guthrie’s two minor children to leave his mother’s home during the standoff. The Troopers ultimately entered the home and arrested Macasaet.

At trial, State medical examiner Dr. Christine Rolf testified that Guthrie died from asphyxia due to a ligature strangulation from the cord wrapped around her neck. Guthrie also suffered blunt force trauma to her face prior to her death. The State introduced evidence that Macasaet previously strangled Guthrie in 2009 and 2014.

Murder in the first degree is an unclassified felony. Macasaet will be subject to a sentence between 20 years and 99 years and a fine up to $500,000. The sentence is within the court’s discretion. The sentencing hearing will be held in Klawock on September 9, 2019. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for the entire day.