Eielson airman on trial for attempted murder of wife

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A 32-year-old Eielson Air Force Base airman is on trial for attempted murder, but the first state trooper to investigate testified he saw no indication that the victim had been choked.

Airman Joseph Basom is charged with trying to kill his wife in August at their North Pole home. According to investigators, the incident followed a night of drinking.

Troopers arrested Basom a few hours after the incident in Delta Junction. His breath-alcohol was almost twice the legal limit.

Basom’s public defenders contend Basom and his wife were having marital troubles and got into an argument, but that Kelsi Basom attacked her husband first and that her story is largely fabricated.

Both were stationed at Eielson Air Force Base.

Alaska State Trooper Gary Tellep testified Friday that he contacted Kelsi Basom at a neighbor’s house. She had jumped out of a bedroom window and fled barefoot.

“She was upset,” Tellep said. “She had been crying. She appeared frightened and scared.”

She claimed her husband choked her from behind and she had to fight for her life to get away. She testified earlier in the week that she locked herself in a bathroom while her husband taunted her with a knife from the other side of the door.

Tellep said there were marks on the bathroom door that indicated someone had carved a knife across its surface. However, when he met Kelsi Basom, there were none of the usual indicators of choking: broken blood vessels in the eyes, redness around the neck or a raspy voice.

“I saw no evidence of any choking,” he said.

Tellep, who has been a trooper for nearly two decades, also said that he had been trained in how to perform a choke hold and that in training exercises, he had not sustained broken blood vessels or marks on his neck.

Basom’s public defenders contend Kelsi Basom told inconsistent versions of how she was choked, either standing or on a bed. A status hearing in the case is scheduled for Monday.

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Information from: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

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