Local News

Not guilty plea for fall diving death

A fisherman pleaded not guilty Monday in Ketchikan Superior Court to manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. The two charges against 32-year-old Joshua Wodyga stem from a crew member’s death last fall while diving for sea cucumbers near Ketchikan.

Levi Adams of Kansas was declared dead at Ketchikan Medical Center on Oct. 8 after he was transported there from the F/V Ostrich.

In court on Monday, District Attorney Steve West said that Adams died from carbon monoxide poisoning, and West blamed the air compressor.

“The air compressor he used has a plate permanently attached to it that says not for human use,” he said. “The instructions specifically say don’t use this for breathing – that’s what he was using it for. And the mechanic went over it and said the defendant did a terrible job maintaining it.”

Superior Court Judge Trevor Stephens set a trial date for June 3, and asked the attorneys for bail suggestions. Diane Tobin, representing Wodyga for Monday’s arraignment, asked for a low bail of $500. She said that while the charges are serious, Adams’ death was accidental. Tobin noted that Wodyga has close ties to the community and is not a flight risk.

“This is a responsible young man,” she said. “He is in a relationship, tantamount to a marriage. He has a 2-year-old daughter, he also has a 10-year-old daughter from a past relationship. They are very important people in his life.”

Judge Stephens set bail at $1,000 cash, and appointed the state Public Defender Agency to represent Wodyga.  The next scheduled hearing in the case is April 2at 1 p.m.

Recent News

Ketchikan borough to consider mine resolution

Muddy water from the breached Mount Polley Mine tailings pond dam floods a downstream creek and road Monday. (Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre photo)
A resolution urging the International Joint Commission to get involved in the issue of transboundary mines will be in front of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on Monday. more

State identifies body from Blackberry Lane fire

The state Medical Examiner’s Office has positively identified a body from last week’s house fire as that of the resident, 49-year-old Ralph Smith of Ketchikan. more