Grand Jury Hands Down 3 Murder Charges in White Mountain New Year’s Day Killing

Gilbert Olanna, Jr. faces a total of three murder charges in the death of Esther Lincoln. (Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM)
Gilbert Olanna, Jr. faces a total of three murder charges in the death of Esther Lincoln. (Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM)

The man accused of killing his girlfriend on New Year’s Day in White Mountain now faces a total of three murder charges in her death.

A grand jury indictment handed down in the Nome court Tuesday charges 31-year-old Gilbert Olanna—who already faced one charge of first degree murder—with two additional charges of second degree murder in the death of his girlfriend, 40-year-old Esther Lincoln.

Esther Lincoln. (Photo: Luann Harrelson via KTUU)
Esther Lincoln. (Photo: Luann Harrelson via KTUU)

The additional murder charges all point to what prosecutors claim Olanna’s intent at the time of the alleged crimes. The new second-degree murder charges claims he both intended to cause serious injury and acted with “an extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

District Attorney John Earthman said the additional charges comes from the grand jury considering each charge independently.

“There are all sorts of different possibilities when you start looking at significant alleged criminal episodes and you start applying the different possibilities,” Earthman said. “What you see in an indictment are different legal theories to try to apply to the evidence down the road at trial.”

In addition to the three murder charges, the grand jury also handed down two felony counts of tampering with evidence.

Olanna’s public defender entered “not guilty” pleas for all charges. His bail remained at 100-thousand dollars in cash. As of Tuesday, Olanna remains in custody at Nome’s Anvil Mountain Correctional Center.

Ways to make donations to support the family of Esther Lincoln can be found on a Facebook page raising funds for the family.