Sitka man changes plea in fatal 2017 shooting of girlfriend

SITKA, Alaska (AP) – A Sitka man who acknowledged fatally shooting his girlfriend after an argument has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

The Sitka Sentinel reports 40-year-old Reuben Yerkes changed his plea Thursday in the death of 28-year old Ali Clayton on May 6, 2017.

Under the agreement, which could be rejected by Superior Court Judge Trevor Stephens, Yerkes would be sentenced to 60 years in prison with 15 suspended.

Stephens said Yerkes would not qualify for administrative parole but could apply for discretionary parole after serving at least 15 years.

Yerkes and Clayton were city of Sitka employees. Clayton worked as a grant accountant in the finance department and Yerkes as a legal assistant in the city attorney’s office. Both were Sitka High graduates.

Yerkes after the shooting turned himself in.

Information from: Daily Sitka (Alaska) Sentinel, http://www.sitkasentinel.com/

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