Local News

Man charged Saturday for Metlakatla murder

A 29-year-old Metlakatla man was arrested Saturday and charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing 67-year-old Leona Meely at their shared home in Metlakatla.

As of Sunday, William Buxton remains incarcerated on $100,000 bail at Ketchikan Correctional Center.

Alaska State Troopers Spokeswoman Megan Peters said troopers continue to investigate the alleged homicide, so the information she can release is limited. She gave some details Sunday about how Troopers got involved.

“Yesterday morning at approximately 7:30, troopers were notified of a suspicious death in Metlakatla,” she said. “Troopers responded from Ketchikan and Klawock posts and assumed case responsibility at the request of the local police department. After search warrants were obtained and served, investigation revealed that a physical altercation had taken place inside the residence on 8th Street.”

Meely allegedly died during that fight. Peters said Buxton quickly was identified as the likely suspect and eventually was charged. Peters said Meely’s body will be transported to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Peters said she’s doesn’t know what the approximate time of death was. She also could not confirm whether Meely and Buxton are related, and wouldn’t provide details about the nature of Meely’s injuries.

“We really don’t put out a lot of information regarding homicide updates, because we really, truly have to maintain the integrity of our investigations, and when somebody is charged and they’re going to be going through the court system, we really can’t put anything out that could jeopardize their chance for a fair trial,” she said.

The Tsimshian community of Metlakatla is on Annette Island, the only federal Indian reserve in Alaska. The community of about 1,400 people is approximately 15 air miles south of Ketchikan.

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