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Former Utah Resident Charged With Murder in Alaska

Former Utah Resident Charged With Murder in Alaska

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- Juneau police say they have not determined a motive in their investigation of a shooting death in August.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jason Coday of Vernal, Utah, is charged with first-degree murder and weapons misconduct in the death of 26-year-old Simone Yung Kim, a painting contractor from Anchorage.

His trial is scheduled to begin today in Juneau Superior Court.

Coday is accused of shooting the victim several times with a sawed-off shotgun August 4th behind Juneau's Fred Meyer store.

Investigators say Kim was discussing tree removal with landscapers when Coday shot him in the head and upper body.

Police say one of the landscapers wrestled the gun from Coday.

Officers found Coday hiding in dense brush near the store and arrested him. Police say Coday told them he had been living in the forest.

Their investigation did not turn up previous contact between Coday and the victim.

If convicted of the murder charge, Coday faces a sentence of 20 to 99 years in prison.

Police say Coday was originally from California but lived in Utah and Nevada before arriving in Juneau a few days before the shooting.

Prosecutors say Coday had failed to show up the month before for a court hearing on drug and weapons charges in Clark County, Nevada.

(Information from KINY)

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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