Leroy Blair Dick, Jr., now 44, is expected to be tried on a first degree murder charge before a jury of peers at the Dillingham courthouse next week. Pending further delay, jury selection will begin Monday, November 3.
Dick is accused of killing of Village Public Safety Officer Thomas Madole in Manokotak in March 2013.
“To be honest, I could say I’m guilty of the crime,” Dick told Magistrate Judge Monte Brice at his arraignment the day after the murder.
Officer Madole, a retired minister, was described as a “friend” and “role model” to the Manokotak community, and was highly respected in the VPSO community. Madole had spent six years pastoring a church in Bethel in the early 2000s, and moved to Manokotak in 2011 as a VPSO. Governor Sean Parnell called the murder a “senseless and cruel act” and ordered all state flags lowered two days later in honor of Madole, who was the first VPSO killed in the line of duty since Ronald Zimin was shot in South Naknek in 1986. Tom Madole is survived by his wife Luan and two adult children.
Madole’s death led to the passing of a bill in Alaska to allow VPSO’s to carry firearms. House Bill 199, sponsored by Rep. Bryce Edgmon of Dillingham, passed the Alaska House and Senate unanimously. Governor Sean Parnell signed the bill into law last July in Naknek.
Madole, unarmed, was killed on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 in Manokotak, after being shot several times with an assault rifle. Madole had gone to Leroy Dick’s house at about 4 p.m. after taking a report of a “possible suicidal person,” according to the trooper affidavit. Troopers said Madole realized he was in danger, and had tried to flee the scene after he heard Dick making threatening remarks and chambering a round into a rifle. When the investigating state troopers arrived from Dillingham shortly after the report of gunfire, they found Madole’s body about 20 paces from Dick’s doorstep.
Dick was arrested that day and transported to the Dillingham jail. He was arraigned the following morning at the Dillingham courthouse, and initially refused legal counsel. A grand jury indicted Dick on the charge a week later.
Attorney Jonathon Torres of the Public Defenders Agency is representing Dick. Judge Gregory Miller denied Torres’ December 2013 motion to change the venue out of the Dillingham court. A psychiatric report was filed in this past September.
Gregg Olson of the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals is prosecuting the case. The state filed its intent to seek a mandatory sentence of 99 years in prison if Dick is convicted.
Judge Miller will preside over the trial in Dillingham, which is scheduled to get underway Monday November 3. Two weeks have been calendared for the trial.