Press Release

Sitka Man Sentenced in Murders of Four Relatives

February 12, 2010

Sitka, Alaska Jason Abbott recently was sentenced to 140 years in prison for the murders of his grandparents, an aunt and an uncle, and the attempted murder of another aunt, in March 2008.

Prosecutors and Abbott reached a plea agreement in which he was found guilty but mentally ill in two consolidated counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree assault. Judge David George said the defendant's mental health history was taken into consideration in fashioning the sentence.

Abbott committed his crimes with a hunting knife at his relatives' residence in Sitka. The first four victims were attacked inside, three of them dying at the scene. Abbott's grandmother died at the hospital. The only survivor, the aunt who responded to the screams of her mother, was chased outside and stabbed repeatedly in the driveway in front of witnesses. Arriving police officers disarmed Abbott.

More than a dozen relatives attended the sentencing hearing in the court in Sitka, and others called in from other states, all giving passionate testimony about their shared losses. Abbott told the court he had suffered from delusions, which he said compelled him to commit the crimes.

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