After a lengthy four days to select a jury, opening statements were made Friday morning in the murder trial of Leroy Dick Jr. at the courthouse in Dillingham.
Dick is charged with first degree murder for the killing of unarmed Village Public Safety Officer Thomas Madole in Manokotak in 2013.
In his opening statement, state prosecutor Gregg Olson described the scene after the murder as investigators collected evidence, including the spent .223 shell casings outside of Dick’s home in the village.
“They recovered shell casings in various locations,” Olson said. “There were, I believe, six shell casings closer to the front door of the house, and then one final shell case next to VPSO Madole’s body.”
Olson said an autopsy showed Madole had several gunshot wounds to the lower portion of his body, and one gunshot wound to the head.
In his opening statement, defense attorney Lars Johnson told the jurors the state would not be able to prove that Leroy Dick had intended to kill Officer Madole, which is the substance of a first degree murder charge.
“Leroy killed Officer Madole. We’re not going to argue otherwise, that’s the reality of the situation. But it takes more than that for the state to ask you to convict him of first degree murder,” Johnson said. “It takes that intent to cause the death.”
Jurors heard testimony Friday morning from the Manokotak health aide who had called officer Madole to respond to the scene, then warned him about going there alone. Also called to testify was state trooper Victor Aye, a VPSO support trooper who spent that morning with Tom Madole in Manokotak and had flown back to Dillingham only moments before Madole was shot and killed.
The state presented evidence until 3 p.m. Friday. The trial is expected to resume Monday morning.