The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By LOG Staff 

Man slain in Cooper Landing


A rocky relationship between two Cooper Landing residents went wrong for the last time in the early morning hours of Dec. 5. Paul Andrew Vermillion, 30, is charged with the shooting death of Genghis Muskox, 27. Early this week AST positively identified the deceased as Muskox and reported that next of kin had been notified.

Vermillion had called the Alaska State Troopers from his parents’ Cooper Landing home after an altercation between the two at 1:57 a.m. last Thursday. During the scuffle Muskox ended up dead on the floor of the house on the shores of Kenai Lake with at least two bullets in the head.

Although AST identifies Muskox as a Californian, the victim had been in and out of Alaska since at least 2003, according to non-resident fishing license records for that year. A Cooper Landing resident told The LOG that Muskox was a familiar sight around Cooper Landing and had worked as a handyman for several area homeowners. Apparently Muskox and Vermillion were sometimes associates known to have been at odds in previous instances. The neighbor, who had also employed Muskox, said that he wasn’t a bad guy, but that he had some anger management issues.

Both were apprehended for driving under the influence on separate occasions this year. According to a May 20 AST dispatch, Genghis Iven Muskox was arrested in Cooper Landing on that day and sent to Seward City Jail. Paul Vermillion was arrested for driving under the influence on Sept. 6 and was sent to SCJ. Other than the DUI convictions, Alaska court records revealed only a minor traffic violation near Soldotna for Muskox in 2008.

Vermillion, a partially disabled veteran, is being held at the Wildwood Correctional Facility in Kenai. According to court records, he has been assigned a public defender, is claiming self-defense and is pleading not guilty. Court documents specify Murder 1, “Intent To Cause Death” as the sole criminal charge at this time. A bail hearing was set for Dec. 11.


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