Family seeks answers in Alaska inmate’s death

  • By Rachel D'oro
  • Monday, April 14, 2014 11:37pm
  • News

ANCHORAGE — A California parolee who recently was found dead in his Alaska jail cell continued to be held in custody even though his case had been dismissed more than a week earlier.

The Alaska fugitive case against Davon Mosley of Bakersfield, Calif., was dropped March 27 after California authorities declined extradition even though a regional parole administrator said his office there recommended his return to that state.

Mosley, 20, died April 4. He was arrested in Anchorage March 16 on a fugitive warrant from California.

Alaska Department of Corrections spokeswoman Kaci Schroeder declined to comment, saying the death and custody issue are under investigation.

“We understand the desire for answers, however, until all of the investigations are complete we can’t say much,” Schroeder said in an email Monday.

Alaska State Troopers said public safety officials were notified in writing by the California Department of Corrections that the state did not want to seek extradition. Alaska officials in turn notified prosecutors, who sent copies of the case dismissal to state authorities, including corrections officials.

Mosley’s fiancee, Vernesia Gordon, said officials kept her from visiting Mosley after March 23, telling her he could not have visitors when she showed up at the correctional facility. Mosley, who was schizophrenic and bipolar, told her during earlier visits that he wasn’t allowed to take his medications for those conditions, according to Gordon, who is pregnant with her third child with Mosley. The couple had planned to marry in May.

Gordon and other family members have hired a lawyer to investigate.

“I really can’t just let this go without knowing what happened, without getting justice,” Gordon said. “I have to answer to my kids in the long run.”

Mosley previously served 14 months in California after attacking two of Gordon’s brothers with a machete when he quit taking his medications, she said.

Other than his mental illnesses, he was healthy, and the family can’t understand how he could die in the jail, Gordon said.

Schroeder said an official autopsy report by the medical examiner’s office is likely a few weeks from completion, so the Alaska Department of Corrections cannot comment on the cause of death. According to Gordon, the medical examiner’s office said preliminary findings show the death was due to natural causes involving some type of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Mosley’s family ordered a second, independent autopsy, which was performed last week, according to Gordon.

Mosley’s arrest was prompted by his father in Bakersfield who called Alaska authorities to make a welfare check on Mosley’s young children in Anchorage after getting into a heated argument over the phone with his son. Mosley, Gordon and their two young sons were staying on an extended visit in Anchorage, where Gordon’s mother lives.

Mosley also had encountered authorities in February, Gordon said. He had been off his medication for months and cycled into a rage that prompted Gordon’s mother to call police, Gordon said.

That time, even though Mosley told police about the California warrant, he was taken to the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, where he resumed his medications, Gordon said.

He was held on a temporary basis and released. He was then arrested on the fugitive warrant weeks later.

Gordon learned about the case dismissal April 1 and was told by a court official that the paperwork could take a while, but that Mosley’s release should come no later than April 3. Instead, he remained in custody and died the following day.

More in News

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President LaDawn Druce, left, and committee Chair Jason Tauriainen participate in the first meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Four Day School Week Ad Hoc Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
4-day school week committee adjourns

The committee will deliver recommendations to school board in July

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out corroded insulation outside of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 in Soldotna . (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna Elementary awaits action on approved bond

Almost two years after public OKs bond, borough asking for more time

Soldotna Police Chief Dale “Gene” Meek stands in his office on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna police chief resigns

The resignation was effective immediately on Friday, City Manager Janette Bower confirmed Monday

A sign along a trail to Exit Glacier marks the spot to where the toe of the glacier reached in 2010, photographed on June 22, 2018. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Exit Glacier reopened for summer, snow and bears reported

Visitors should check the park website for updated conditions and ensure they are prepared before visiting the area

Dale Chorman stands with his wife, Dianne. (Photo provided by Tom Kizzia)
Long-time Homer resident, photographer dead after Sunday moose encounter

Troopers on Monday identified the victim as 70-year-old Dale Chorman

A sign warning of a June 28, 2021, bear attack is placed at the head of the Kenai River Trail on Skilak Loop Road in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Federal wildlife officers seek information about early-May black bear poaching

Officials think the poaching happened near the east entrance of Skilak Loop roughly 2 miles from Jims’ Landing

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Ninilchik woman dead after Tuesday collision

The woman was attempting to cross the Sterling Highway from Oil Well Road when she was struck by a pickup truck

Graduates listen to Connections Homeschool Principal Doug Hayman speak during the school’s commencement ceremony on Thursday in Soldotna. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Graduates listen to Connections Homeschool Principal Doug Hayman speak during the school’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Expect a lot from yourself and from others’

Connections Homeschool students accept diplomas at commencement ceremony

Most Read