- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A planned robbery of two drug dealers turned into a gun battle that left two people dead, according to new charges filed by state prosecutors.

Anchorage police announced Thursday that they had arrested a third suspect in the case.

Solomon Brown Tavita, 23, who is on probation for felony theft and has four misdemeanor assault convictions, was charged Wednesday night with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of felony drug misconduct.

He is charged in the early Monday deaths of Jeramyha Talauega, 22, and Robin Porter, 33.

Linda Chattel, 26, and Porter’s wife, Meghan Pugh, 31, also are jailed on second-degree murder charges.

Police investigating reports of shots fired and a car chase early Monday found Talauega’s body along railroad tracks near the Spenard Builders Supply complex of buildings in west Anchorage.

Twenty minutes later, they learned a man with a gunshot wound, Porter, had been driven to Providence Medical Center by Pugh. Porter died at the hospital.

According to prosecutors, Talauega called Pugh seeking methamphetamine and was told he could buy one ounce for $100.

Porter and Pugh, driving a sport utility vehicle, met Talauega at a gas station. Talauega, carrying a handgun, was driven there in a car by Chattell. Tavita, armed with a shotgun, was a passenger in the car.

At the gas station, prosecutors said, Talauega got into the front seat of the SUV. Both vehicles left the gas station and turned off near the building supply company.

According to prosecutors, the car pulled up next to the SUV and Tavita fired the shotgun into the SUV. The car repositioned, went nose-to-nose with the SUV and Tavita fired several more rounds into the windshield.

Pugh told police the two men in the SUV fired at each other with handguns.

She said Talauega turned his gun toward her and she fired her pistol at him. Talauega, she said, jumped out of the SUV, ran several yards and fell down.

The SUV took off but struck a fence. Tavita got out, attempted to fire at the SUV’s driver’s side but ran out of ammunition, Chattell told police. He used the shotgun but to break a window of the SUV, prosecutors said.

Pugh was able to drive off for the hospital. Chattell fled in the car and Tavita fled on foot.

At arraignment, Tavita asked for representation by a public defender.


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