Trial underway in Yakutat homicide case

Jury selection kicked off on Monday in the case of a seventeen year old homicide in Yakutat.

Robert Dean Kowalski, 52, is charged with first- and second-degree murder for the death of 39-year old Sandra Perry at the Glacier Bear Lodge in July 1996.

Kowalski was never charged then for Perry’s death. The prosecutor assigned to the case at the time determined that there was not enough evidence to disprove Kowalski’s claim of an accident.

Alaska investigators reviewed the Yakutat incident after Kowalski was convicted in Montana of killing another girlfriend there, 45-year-old Lorraine Kay Morin in March 2008. Kowalski was charged in connection with Perry’s death in September 2011 and a potential trial in the case has been delayed several times.

As part of the jury selection process in Juneau Superior Court on Monday, prosecutor James Fayette asked prospective jurors about their experiences with domestic violence, big game hunting, how well they know some of the principals in the case, and how much time they have spent in Yakutat.

Opening arguments are expected to start as soon as Wednesday.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Recent headlines