Kenai murder suspect has prior violent crime convictions

Kenai police car (Photo courtesy of City of Kenai)

The Kenai police have identified a suspect in an alleged double homicide that happened early Sunday morning.

Twenty-five-year-old Masonn Byrd of Kenai was arrested Tuesday night and charged with two counts of first degree murder.

The preliminary investigation alleges Byrd shot 60-year-old Rachelle Armstrong and her daughter, 39-year-old Lisa Rutzebeck, both of Kenai. 

Alaska court records indicate Byrd has had multiple run ins with the law, including a previous attempted murder charge in 2016 that was dismissed in a plea deal that saw Byrd plead guilty to a weapons charge and second and third degree assault causing injury. Byrd was arraigned in Kenai Wednesday morning.

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Shaylon Cochran is a host and reporter at KDLL in Kenai. He’s reported on fishing, energy, agriculture and local politics since coming to Alaska in 2011. He has worked at KDLL/KBBI on the Kenai Peninsula, where he picked up lots of new hobbies, like smoking salmon, raising chickens, skiing and counting RV’s. He holds a bachelors degree in Journalism from Iowa State University.

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