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Wife: Alaska man innocent in Coast Guard deaths

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm •  Published: February 16, 2013

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The wife of an Alaska man arrested in last year's shooting deaths of two employees at a Coast Guard air station said Saturday that her husband is innocent.

Nancy Wells told The Associated Press she expects her husband "will be fully exonerated."

"I have full faith in my husband's innocence," she said. "I have no faith in the quality of the investigation."

James Michael Wells of Kodiak is accused in a federal murder complaint of killing Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins and retired Chief Boatswain's Mate Richard Belisle on Kodiak Island on April 12.

Another Coast Guard member found the victims shortly after the two would have arrived for work at the station, which monitors radio traffic from ships and planes. Their bodies were found in the rigger building, where antennas are repaired.

The 61-year-old Wells was arrested Friday. He's expected to appear in court next week in Anchorage. Jail records show he is in custody at the Anchorage Jail.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis said Friday from Kodiak that, at the time of the incident, Wells was working with the victims as a civilian Coast Guard employee at the communications station. Francis added that she didn't know his current employment status.

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