Frank Lee charged in Teller murder of William Johnson
A verbal set-to outside a residence in Teller turned fatal early morning July 14, resulting in the death of William Johnson, 31.
Alaska State Trooper Timothy Smith, based in Nome, responded to a call around 4:30 a.m. on a stabbing death in Teller, about 70 miles from Nome.
A witness in Teller told Smith that there had been an argument outside the home of Frank David “Punchy” Lee, 43, between Lee and Johnson. As the altercation progressed, Lee went into his house and returned with a knife in each hand, according to the AST report document filed by Smith.
Witnesses say Lee then stabbed Johnson in the chest, causing his death. Lee then stabbed himself in the abdomen. Law enforcement investigation showed that Johnson of Barrow and Unalakleet died at the scene as a result of Lee “plunging one knife into Johnson’s chest.”
Lee at the time of the homicide was out of prison on parole supervision of state Dept. of Corrections concerning a 2010 negligent homicide conviction in the death of his seven-month-old son Harley Dickson in 2008.
Smith escorted Lee to a medivac flight airplane that took Lee from Teller to Anchorage for treatment of his self- inflicted abdominal wound. Lee is expected to survive, according to the AST report, to face a charge on Murder in the First Degree with intent to cause the death of another person, an unclassified felony. Lee has been arrested on a warrant of $100,000. Lee has been arraigned in Anchorage Jail Courtroom on July 17 and his file sent to Nome. The Nome court calendar shows his next hearing in Nome on July 27 at 1:30 p.m.
Lee has been convicted in 2010 of Criminally Negligent Homicide in the death of his son, which medical professionals’ testimony said resulted from Lee violently shaking seven-month-old Harley Dickson. Lee pleaded guilty in July 2010 to a felony charge of criminally negligent homicide, reduced from two counts of murder in the death of the boy from child abuse —“Shaken Baby Syndrome” - in October 2008.
The guilty plea to the lesser felony cancelled Lee’s jury trial on the two counts of Murder Second Degree—Intend Serious Injury— that a grand jury handed up in July 2009. Shaken Baby Syndrome is a form of child abuse where the abuser violently shakes a baby or small child creating a whiplash motion causing acceleration-deceleration injuries that can lead to death or severe brain injuries
Lee was handed down a sentence of 10 years in the 2010 case that allowed for discretionary parole in 40 months and mandatory parole after 80 months served.