Bail hearing set for Soldotna murder suspect

Soldotna resident Nathan Penrod is charged with first-degree murder and third-degree assault

Alaska State Troopers logo.

Alaska State Troopers logo.

A bail hearing for a 28-year-old Soldotna man accused of shooting and killing his roommate is scheduled at the Kenai Courthouse for Wednesday morning.

Soldotna resident Nathan Penrod is charged with first-degree murder and third-degree assault related to the killing of 29-year-old Zechariah Bowman, also of Soldotna.

Bowman was found dead at a Soldotna home on March 29, according to a dispatch report from the Alaska State Troopers.

According to court documents, Penrod and Bowman were living together at the time of the killing: Penrod had been subletting a room from Bowman.

Soldotna public safety dispatchers received a call from a 27-year-old woman on the morning of March 29, according to court documents. She reported her ex-fiance, Penrod, had shot her boyfriend, Bowman. The documents reported that the woman had been in a relationship with Penrod for about 10 years, but ended their relationship about a month prior to the killing.

In a March 29 interview with state troopers, according to court documents, the woman said she had spent the evening and night of March 28 with Bowman. On the morning of March 29, Bowman left the room, and soon after the woman heard three gunshots and Penrod’s voice, she told troopers.

She told troopers when she came out of the room she “saw (Bowman) writhing on his left side holding his left neck and shoulder” on the floor. Penrod then threatened the woman with a black handgun and threw her phone into the bedroom. The woman said she went into the room and dialed 911 on her phone and threw it across the bedroom when Penrod tried to take it from her. She ran out of the room and “held the door shut with (Penrod) inside,” and began “screaming in the hope that her phone had connected with 911 and someone on the phone line would hear her,” according to court documents.

The woman was able to escape to a neighbor’s house, documents said.

Soldotna officers responded to Penrod’s father’s residence to interview him, but he declined to make any statements without an attorney present. Penrod’s vehicle was impounded and towed from his father’s house and an investigator noted a “black handgun case in plain view on the front right passenger seat,” court documents stated.

The victim’s remains were transported to the State Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy, and his next of kin have been notified.

Penrod’s bail hearing begins at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Kenai Courthouse.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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