Rabinowitz Courthouse

The Rabinowitz Courthouse in Fairbanks is seen in this 2011 file photo

Two North Pole men, a father and his son, were indicted this week on murder charges, prosecutors said Friday, in connection with a shooting death in January that started off as an argument.

On Thursday, Anthony Peterson, 43, was indicted on one count of murder in the first degree and his son, Aaron Peterson, 18, was indicted on one count of murder in the second degree, both in connection with the shooting death of Brett Allen.

Investigators say that on Jan. 14, 2021, the elder Peterson and his son shot 18-year-old Allen to death after a strange argument that started between the two Petersons at their home in North Pole.

When the fight in North Pole died down, a small group that was at the Peterson house left. Aaron left as well and headed to the Goldstream area.

Allen and three other males, one of them a minor, left the house out of fear and drove toward Goldstream, according to court papers. After leaving the Peterson house, the group found Aaron walking by himself in Goldstream, but when they tried to get his attention, he fled and hid in some trees.

The group of four followed Peterson by car, according to the criminal complaint, to talk to him about the argument in North Pole and a weapons discharge they said they heard in the house.

As the group was talking, the elder Peterson drove up. The minor in the group, now armed with a knife, told Aaron that if Aaron had tried to shoot him earlier, he would have stabbed him. Aaron’s father jumped into the argument and called the minor a punk, according to court documents. Allen then joined the argument as well.

Sometime during the now-second fight, threats and posturing were exchanged and handguns produced, documents stated. In the end, the Petersons fired multiple shots for as yet unknown reasons and Allen sustained several bullet hits, according to court papers. His friends took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

If convicted at trial, Anthony and Aaron Peterson each face a sentence of up to 99 years imprisonment.

Anthony Peterson is in the custody of the Department of Corrections on a $500,000 cash performance bond. Aaron Peterson is being held by the DOC on a $250,000 cash performance bond. Their arraignment is scheduled for March 3 in Superior Court in Fairbanks.

Contact staff writer Will Morris at 459-7582.