Local News

Indictments handed down in shooting

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SITKA, ALASKA 21-year-old Jeffrey Bettencourt, along with his father, 43-year-old Christopher Bettencourt and 23-year-old Lance Smith, face one count each of first-degree assault, second degree assault and first-degree burglary.

Smith faces an additional charge of third-degree misconduct involving a weapon for possessing a firearm illegally.

During the incident, Matthew Hornaman was shot in the bicep. Officers found him and 29-year-old James Barber-Bishop standing on the porch of Hornaman’s home on Wachusettes Street just before 9 p.m. Dec. 20. Barber-Bishop told officers he had been struck with a wooden baseball bat.

Hornaman told officers that three men broke into his home wearing ski-masks. Barber-Bishop told officers he was able to get ski-masks off two of the men. He identified them as the Bettencourts.

The three suspects fled the scene at high speed, running their vehicle over the curb in the 1100 block of Edgecumbe Drive.

Police say a search of Christopher Bettencourt’s residence that night uncovered several handguns, two ski masks, and bloody clothing. The two were arrested without incident. Smith was located and arrested the following day.

One of the alleged victims is also facing charges in the case. James Barber-Bishop was indicted for misconduct involving weapons in the second and third degrees for firing off a gun near other homes, and for having a gun. A prior felony conviction prohibits him from having a weapon in his home.

He’s also charged with tampering with a witness and with evidence, though prosecutors did not offer additional detail on those charges.
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