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Alaska court upholds murder conviction of former Nome officer

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Posted: Saturday, March 6, 2010 9:20 pm | Updated: 1:07 pm, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of Matthew Owens, a former Nome police officer convicted in 2005 of killing a woman and sentenced to 101 years in prison.

A Kotzebue jury found Owens guilty of first-degree murder in the 2003 slaying of 19-year-old Sonya Ivanoff. He was accused of picking her up in his police cruiser, then killing her outside of Nome. His first trial in Nome ended in a hung jury.

The case led to Alaska's Sonya Ivanoff Act, mandating that a law enforcement officer convicted of murder be sentenced to life in prison. The Anchorage Daily News reports that the three appeals court judges upheld his conviction last week.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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