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Police Finish Investigation Into June Stabbing, Incident Awaits Nome D.A.’s Decision

Man standing behind podium in court house.

KNOM reported on June 19th that a 37-year-old man, Benjamin Milton, was found by Nome police with multiple stab wounds. It has been over three months since Milton’s death.  No arrests have been made, no charges have been filed, and the district attorney’s office states that they are still evaluating the case.

Nome Police Department’s (NPD) dispatch received a call described as an assault prior to 2am on Thursday, June 18th.  Officers arrived on scene at the 400 Block of East 3rd Avenue and found Milton with multiple wounds. He was then transported to the Norton Sound Regional Hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

In a follow up in this case on September 18th, NPD’s Deputy Police Chief Bob Pruckner stated, “we [NPD] have completed our investigation into Benjamin Milton and forwarded the case to the District Attorney’s office.”

John Earthman, District Attorney in Nome, told KNOM that no charges have been filed yet, and that his office is deliberating on whether or not to pursue charges.

“This is an investigation referred to my office to decide whether or not I can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, that’s what I’m evaluating, and that includes not just the offense; but any self-defense claim.”

At this point no information has been reported to KNOM about potential suspects, but it does seem like Earthman is considering an element of self-defense involved in this incident.

Earthman says he plans to communicate with Milton’s family members throughout this on-going process.

“I have been in contact with and have meetings planned with family members.  When I finally make a decision about what I can do, I’ll be discussing that with them.”

More than three months after the assault and death of Benjamin Milton, NPD and the DA’s office have been careful not to disclose case specifics.

Milton’s case remains open with Earthman, and there is no clear timeline of when a decision will be made.

Image at top: Nome’s District Attorney John Earthman at the Nome courthouse. Photo from Emily Hofstaedter, KNOM (2020).

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