- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

KENAI, Alaska (AP) - An Anchorage man charged with the fatal shooting of a California man in 2013 has reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

Paul Vermillion, 32, pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter in the death of Genghis Muskox. He had initially been charged with murder as well as manslaughter. He accepted the plea deal one day before he was scheduled to go to trial, The Peninsula Clarion reported (https://bit.ly/1qrhTJK).

Vermillion had said Muskox died during a fight at a Cooper Landing residence on Dec. 5, 2013. He admitted to killing the 27-year-old man in both the initial call to authorities and a subsequent interview.

Troopers said in an affidavit they found Vermillion unhurt but spattered with blood and Muskox with at least two gunshot wounds in his head.

Defense Attorney Andrew Lambert, who has argued that his client shot Muskox in self-defense, said evidence that provides different details than those heard during oral arguments last year was a factor in the change of plea.

During a January trial call, District Attorney Scot Leaders had requested more time before trial to look over a report from Lambert detailing an analysis of the Cooper Landing crime scene that supported Vermillion’s self-defense argument.

The defense is expected to present its evidence as well as some witnesses at Vermillion’s sentencing, which has been set for early August.

Leaders and Lambert said the plea agreement calls for a prison sentence of seven to 11 years. The nearly two and a half years Vermillion has served in jail and on probation since his arrest will count toward his sentence.

Lambert said he is still working out issues regarding his client’s medical health. Vermillion, an Iraq War veteran, told Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet in court Monday that he is taking prescription medication for seizures, anxiety and migraines.

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Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, https://www.peninsulaclarion.com


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