Home Invasion Challenged With .22


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Keith
October 21, 2003, 04:55 PM
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,1413,113~7244~1713162,00.html

Suspect arrested in shooting deaths

By BETH IPSEN, Staff Writer

The suspect in the Saturday shooting death of two men in Aurora Subdivision was arrested early Monday morning.
Mike DeNeut, 52, met Fairbanks Police Department officers in The Home Depot parking lot to turn himself in at roughly 3 a.m., said Detective Aaron Ring.

DeNeut was charged early Monday afternoon with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting deaths of Ron Long, 67, and Mark Chambers, 42, at Long's log home on Willow Street at about 4 p.m. Saturday.

Long's wife, Elaine, said the shooting came after a four-year friendship between the Longs and DeNeut started to turn sour in September.

"He was eating at our house every day for the last four years," said Long, who was visiting her daughter in Denver at the time of the shooting. She has since returned to Fairbanks to deal with the grief of losing her husband of 38 years.

After the Longs took sides with a pair of hunters DeNeut was guiding rather than with their friend, DeNeut held the couple at gunpoint at their moose camp on the Teklanika River Sept. 20, Long said.

Then, DeNeut was arrested Friday on accusations he was stalking the Longs. He pleaded not guilty to the second-degree stalking charge and a friend posted his $2,000 bail Friday afternoon, Alaska State Troopers said.

Ring said evidence at the scene indicated that the next day, DeNeut backed his blue Chevrolet truck up to the door of the Willow Street log cabin, broke the lock and forced open the door to confront the two men inside at about 4 p.m.

According to a criminal complaint charging DeNeut with murder, DeNeut said he only wanted to scare the two men, but admitted to Ring later he killed both of them.

DeNeut told Ring he was actually looking for Chambers, whom he said he had a falling out with because of an affair DeNeut allegedly had with Elaine Long. Long denies DeNeut's story and Ring said there's nothing to substantiate DeNeut's claims of an affair.

Both Ring and Long said DeNeut has a history of mental problems. Ring said DeNeut admitted to running out of his prescription drugs in the last few days.

The Fairbanks man is being held without bail at Fairbanks Correctional Center. He is segregated from the rest of the inmates and is on a suicide watch, a trooper posted at the jail said during court proceedings Monday afternoon.

Attorney Jim Hackett represented DeNeut at what was to be his first court appearance on the murder charges. DeNeut chose not to be present for the proceedings, which are telecast between the courthouse and the jail.

Hackett refused to comment after the proceedings.

Ring said he was able to contact DeNeut on his cell phone at 2 a.m. Monday and talked to him for about 30 minutes.

"He was mildly hysterical when I was talking to him," Ring said.

Ring managed to calm him down and DeNeut chose to meet in the parking lot, Ring said. DeNeut was accompanied by two friends, including the friend who had bailed him out of jail Friday afternoon.

DeNeut was suffering from a gunshot wound that Ring believes he probably received when he entered the Longs' residence armed with a 9 mm handgun. He was taken by ambulance to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital after he turned himself in.

Ring said the wound was minor and the bullet, which Ring said hospital staff described as small caliber, was left in his leg.

A .22-caliber handgun was found underneath Chambers' body, Ring said.

"Whether Mark was armed beforehand or tried to arm himself when (DeNeut) broke in, I don't know," Ring said. "It looked to have happened quickly."

Both Chambers' and Long's bodies were found in the living room and kitchen area, Ring said. He said they had been shot numerous times. Police found seven 9 mm casings on the floor of the home, a complaint said.

The Longs' English bulldog, Nala, also was shot to death. Ring said a single 9 mm round was recovered from the dog's body during an autopsy at the medical examiner's office in Anchorage. Ring said he hadn't gotten the results of autopsies that were being performed on Long and Chambers' bodies beginning Monday afternoon.

Elaine Long said the breakdown of their friendship with DeNeut was over money. DeNeut, a hunting guide, would bring clients out to the hunting camp the Longs had built on land they have leased from the Mental Health Trust since the late 1960s.

Her husband came to Alaska in the 1950s and was one of the founding fathers of the Alaska Trappers Association in 1972. Chambers, who also had been a hunting guide, met the Longs through DeNeut, Long said. Chambers had built a storage shed for the couple. Ring said Chambers was going to help Long put a small furnace in at their house.

Long said DeNeut, who was having money troubles, kept buying lumber to put up buildings at the camp that the Longs told him repeatedly they couldn't afford to reimburse him for. Then, when he got into a argument with two of the hunters he had out at the camp Sept. 18, DeNeut took offense to the Longs siding with the hunters.

Two days later, when the Longs and DeNeut were alone at the camp, he then threatened the couple with a rifle, she said.

"He held us hostage for about an hour in the cabin," Long said.

Her husband managed to calm DeNeut down, then they drove roughly 35 miles out from the camp on all-terrain vehicles, she said.

The Longs reported the incident to Cantwell troopers, who then investigated before sending the case to the district attorney's office weeks later, requesting DeNeut be charged with third-degree assault, said trooper Capt. Greg Tanner. That request was mentioned in the criminal complaint charging DeNeut with stalking.

Tanner said the couple went to the troopers for advice and not to press charges, a claim Long has denied. Long said she wanted DeNeut to be arrested.

Long's attorney, Mike Stepovich, said if DeNeut was dealt with at that time, Long and Chambers would be alive today.

Stepovich said DeNeut should have been jailed after the September incident or released Friday with the requirement that a third-party custodian keep track of him around the clock. Stepovich said another option was to place him on a mental-health hold because of his mental instability.

"The problem is the system has failed the Longs in this case," Stepovich said. "This is something that has been going on since Sept. 20."

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BluesBear
October 21, 2003, 11:19 PM
:rolleyes:

Oh brother! I just don't know where to begin. So I won't

But I wonder if his name is pronounced DeNut?
... land they have leased from the Mental Health Trust ...
nawwww just too easy.

4v50 Gary
October 21, 2003, 11:23 PM
He who lives by the sword...

Standing Wolf
October 21, 2003, 11:42 PM
"He was eating at our house every day for the last four years," said Long...

That's one way to express gratitude, I guess.

7.62FullMetalJacket
October 22, 2003, 12:55 AM
Maybe she needed beter cooking skills!

Keith
October 22, 2003, 12:41 PM
I was just more interested in the fact that these people defended themselves with a .22. They'd had trouble with this guy, they knew he was unstable and was angry, yet all they had ready was a .22!

And as professional guides you know they had better firearms than that!

"Condition White"

Keith

BamBam
October 22, 2003, 03:08 PM
I was just more interested in the fact that these people defended themselves with a .22. They'd had trouble with this guy, they knew he was unstable and was angry, yet all they had ready was a .22!
Good point.
But even if they'd had a .45, it looks like they only got one shot off...and that was to the leg.

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