Kangas Arraignment

Arvin Kangas during his arraignment in Fairbanks Superior Court Tuesday afternoon, May 13, 2014 at the Rabinowitz Courthouse downtown. On May 8 a Fairbanks Grand Jury indicted Nathanial Kangas for the murder of Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Patrick "Scott" Johnson and Trooper Gabriel "Gabe" Rich. His father Arvin Kangas was indicted for Tampering with Physical Evidence. 

FAIRBANKS — A Tanana man pleaded guilty Monday to threatening a village public safety officer last April, taking responsibility for an incident that authorities say escalated into the shooting deaths of two Alaska State Troopers.

Arvin Morse Kangas, 59, pleaded guilty to a consolidated count of fourth-degree assault. He was charged with threatening VPSO Sgt. Mark Haglin and pointing to a firearm in a threatening manner while looking at him.

Kangas’ actions on April 30 resulted in a warrant for his arrest, leading to a response by trooper Sgt. Scott Johnson and trooper Gabe Rich the following day in Tanana. Arvin Kangas’ son, Nathanial Kangas, is charged with fatally shooting the two troopers while they were in the process of arresting his father.

Arvin Kangas was given a 30-day jail sentence following the guilty plea. He has been in custody since May 1, but remains in custody on charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution, crimes that are alleged to have occurred after Johnson and Rich were killed.

Kangas, who appeared in court wearing a gold-colored jail jumpsuit and pink socks, frequently offered rambling responses to District Court Judge Patrick Hammers during his hearing on Monday. He was asked several times whether he accepted the plea deal, and responded that he needed to get out of jail to care for his younger son.

Kangas is also prohibited from contacting Haglin or Haglin’s wife under terms of his sentence.

Contact staff writer Jeff Richardson at 459-7518. Staff writer Dorothy Chomicz contributed to this article.