Grand jury indicts woman charged in 2014 homicide

A Juneau grand jury on Friday indicted a 28-year-old woman less than two weeks after her arrest in connection to an unsolved 2014 homicide.

Nora Edith Thomas, a former Juneau resident, was arrested Jan. 29 outside her home in Wasilla after further investigations and interviews by the Juneau Police Department, with assistance from Wasilla and Palmer departments, tied her to the death of 50-year-old Christopher K. Kenney.

Thomas was dating Kenney at the time of his death on Nov. 29, 2014. According to a police complaint, she told a JPD detective who traveled to Wasilla to interview her a year after the incident that she stabbed Kenney but that she didn’t “remember the moment when the knife went into Kenney’s chest,” adding that the incident followed an argument in which Kenney shoved her.

Thomas also told Garza that shortly after she moved in with Kenney a pattern of physical and mental abuse began, which included seclusion from her family and repeated rape.

She is charged with two counts of second-degree murder under two different theories: intent to cause serious physical injury to another person that can cause death, and knowingly engaging in conduct that resulted in death while showing indifference to human life. Second-degree murder is an unclassified felony that can carry up to 99 years in prison.

Judge Philip Pallenberg is scheduled to hear Thomas’ arraignment today in the Juneau Superior Court.

The Juneau grand jury also issued the following indictments on Friday, which were provided to the Empire on Saturday:

• Rosalinda M. Ainza, 33, was indicted for one count of first-degree theft and one count of second-degree forgery. In January 2015, Ainza allegedly failed to make required deposits of funds totaling $25,000 or more, which is a class B felony that can carry up to 10 years in prison. Ainza also allegedly forged instruments in January 2015, a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

• Cory Kirchner, 22, was indicted for one count of second-degree theft for allegedly taking property or services valued at $750 or more on Sept. 2. Second-degree theft is a class C felony.

• James M. Lewis, 27, was indicted for failure to appear on a felony charge after allegedly missing a court date on Jan. 6. Failure to appear is a class C felony.

• Demitri C. E. Merculief, 21, was indicted for two counts of allegedly failing to stop at the direction of an officer while driving in Sitka on Jan. 31. The failure to stop resulted in an accident or physical injury, according to court documents, and is a class C felony.

• Brandon R. Stephens, 31, was indicted for allegedly failing to appear before the court Dec. 28, after previously being released in connection to a felony charge. Failure to appear is a class C felony.

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