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Alaska serial killer who admitted killing five people died in Indiana prison

Alaska serial killer who admitted killing five people died in Indiana prison

Alaska serial killer who admitted killing five people died in Indiana prison

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A serial killer who admitted being responsible for the deaths of five Alaskans, including committing the first when he was just 14, has died in an Indiana prison, authorities said.

Joshua Wade, 44, was found unresponsive in his cell on June 14, Indiana Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brandi Pahl said in an email Friday.


“Although life-saving measures were taken, he was pronounced dead,” he said.

An autopsy was to be performed after Wade died at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Indiana, to determine the cause of death. An email sent to the La Porte County, Indiana, coroner was not immediately returned Friday.

Wade was convicted of state and federal crimes in 2010. He was serving his sentence at Spring Creek Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Seward, Alaska. Four years later, he reached a deal to be transferred to a federal prison in Indiana in exchange for admitting to more deaths.

In 2000, Wade was accused of killing Della Brown by hitting her in the head with a large rock. His body was later found in a shed. However, a jury convicted him solely of witness tampering and acquitted him of murder and sexual assault charges.

Shortly after serving time for tampering, Wade bound, gagged, kidnapped, tortured and then shot his neighbor, nurse practitioner Mindy Schloss, in a wooded area near Wasilla in 2007. He faced state and federal charges.

Wade reached a plea deal. He received a life sentence on state and federal charges for Schloss’ murder and admitted to killing Brown. The plea meant he would not face the death penalty if a federal jury found him guilty. The state of Alaska does not impose capital punishment.

Wade was sentenced in separate proceedings on February 17, 2010, in state and federal court. In both appearances he apologized for his crimes.

In state court, he said: “I deserve much worse. I’m sorry,” as she turns to look at the relatives of the two murdered women.

In federal court, he reiterated the apology but then got into an angry exchange with U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline.

“What a bad thing you’ve done,” Beistline said. “What kind of person could enjoy the random destruction of another life?”

Beistline later described Wade as heartless, selfish and cowardly.

At that point, Wade told the judge in an angry voice: “Don’t force it, man.”

The judge responded: “I’m going to press.”

Beistline called Wade’s angry outburst “very telling” and said that kind of anger might have been one of the last things Schloss experienced, and underscores how dangerous Wade would be if he were free.

After serving four years in an Alaska prison, he reached another deal with prosecutors to be transferred to a federal prison in Indiana. In exchange, he admitted to killing John Michael Martin in 1994, when Wade was 14, and Henry Ongtowasruk, 30, in 1999. Wade also told prosecutors that he killed an unidentified man the night he killed Wade. Brown.

Then-Alaska Deputy Attorney General John Novak told The Associated Press at the time that by allowing Wade to be transferred to federal prison, Wade would dismiss a post-conviction relief case, meaning he would never get out of prison. jail.

“In my assessment, ensuring that the conviction stays current is an important benefit to people,” he said. Novak noted that juries are unpredictable and highlighted Wade’s acquittal in the Brown murder case.

Novak said he didn’t care where Wade served his sentence as long as he served it.

It was not immediately known when and why Wade was transferred to the Indiana State Prison from the federal facility in Terre Haute.