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Press Release

Cold Case Prosecutors Charge Anchorage Man in 1999 Slaying

SOA v. Esau Fualema Jr., 3AN-S06-7319 CR

July 17, 2006

(Anchorage) - The Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals, Cold Case Unit, announced charges of second degree murder against Esau Fualema Jr.** in connection with the June 13, 1999 homicide of Marc Hopfenspirger.

Fualema was alleged to have been involved in an altercation with Hopfenspirger at the Carrs store at the Sears Mall at approximately 2:00 a.m. on June 13, 1999. An autopsy conducted the next day by Dr. Franc Fallico determined that the cause of death was a sharp-force injury to Hopfenspirger's neck.

"We investigated this matter at the request of the Anchorage Police Department," said Svobodny. "Upon further review of the autopsy report and based on statements from witnesses to this crime I believe the evidence in this case would convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Fualema should be convicted of second degree murder."

Fualema was indicted on Tuesday, July 11, 2006. He was taken into custody late in the evening on Friday, July 14. He will be arraigned in Superior Court today in Courtroom 503.

The cold case attorney position was created in 2005. Recently Senior Assistant Attorney General Pat Gullufsen joined the unit to assist Chief Assistant Attorney General Richard Svobodny. The Alaska State Troopers Cold Case Homicide Unit was created in 2004.

Any citizen with information about a cold case or tips regarding unsolved cases are urged to call the Alaska State Troopers at (907) 269-5611.

** The charges in this case are merely an accusation. Defendant Esau Fualema Jr. is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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