An Anchorage federal jury has convicted James Michael Wells for the April 2012 killings of one Coast Guard member and another who had retired from the service.

The jury of six women and six men deliberated for eight hours to find Wells guilty of murder for the deaths of Coast Guard Electrician’s Mate 1st Class James Hopkins and retired Chief Boatswain’s Mate Richard Belisle.

Wells, now 68, was arrested on Feb. 15, 2013, for the killings of the two men, who were Wells’ coworkers at the Coast Guard antenna maintenance facility on Kodiak Island.

This was Wells' second trial. He was initially convicted in 201, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the conviction in December 2017 and ordered a new trial.

The second trial resulted in convictions on all six counts of the indictment:  two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of murder of an officer or employee of the United States, and two counts of possession and use of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

Sentencing will be scheduled by the court. Wells faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

This story will be updated.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.