Empty seats inside the Nome jury box

After months of waiting for jury trials in Alaska to resume, a Teller man charged with attempted murder was arraigned earlier today.

According to court documents, Bradley Gene Okpealuk of Teller was scheduled to be arraigned at the Nome Courthouse at 10am today.
He was originally arrested in October of last year and charged with assault following a domestic violence incident in Teller. But during his arraignment today he now has two charges against him, one for the alleged assault, and another for attempted murder in the first degree.

Okpealuk’s family says he didn’t murder anyone. In fact, they assert the alleged victim from the assault last fall is still alive. KNOM will provide more details in this case as they become available.

Nome courthouse staff confirm Okpealuk was arraigned this morning and his case now moves onto a trial. In-person jury trials resumed in Nome earlier this month.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Okpealuk was charged with murder in the first degree when he is actually charged with attempted murder. KNOM regrets the error and apologizes to the family for the confusion.

Image at top: Empty jury box in old Nome Courthouse on Front Street. Photo by Emily Hofstaedter, KNOM (2020).