Zabriskie arraignment

Public defender Anna Ambrose shows court documents to Jerad Zabriskie during Zabriskie's felony arraignment hearing on Wednesday May 29, 2019. Zabriskie is charged with murder and murder solicitation in the May 12 killing of Trisha Pearson. Sam Friedman/News-Miner

The tenant of a 69-year-old homicide victim has been charged with stealing tools from the woman’s property two weeks after her death.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Fairbanks court Sunday, Shae-Lyn Probert and her husband, Jerad Zabriskie, rented an apartment and part of a garage from Trisha Pearson at her Yankovich Road property. Pearson was found dead inside the couple’s apartment May 12 and Patrick Marsh, who had been staying there temporarily in the couple’s absence, was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death.

Pearson’s family told Probert and Zabriskie to move out after Pearson’s death, but the couple was arrested on unrelated charges a short time later. 

Zabriskie, 27, was indicted May 23 and charged with first-degree murder and one count of solicitation of first-degree murder in relation to Pearson’s death.

Pearson’s son and other family members found drug paraphernalia at the apartment and removed and discarded many of the couple’s belongings, according to the criminal complaint. Probert complained to Pearson’s son about her missing items and said she’d pick up the rest of her things May 30. 

Pearson’s son returned to the apartment after Probert was gone and noticed about $1,000 in tools and a generator were missing from the garage, according to the complaint. He contacted Alaska State Troopers on June 1 to report the theft, and said he was frustrated by what he characterized as frequent drug traffic at the property since his mother’s death, according to the complaint.

Fairbanks police stopped two men driving Probert’s white Ford Fiesta on June 1 after getting a report that the driver was intoxicated and either he or his passenger had been seen urinating on a 20th Avenue church. The caller followed the Fiesta until police arrived and took both men into custody.  

Police contacted Probert, and she gave them permission to search the car. They found a ceiling fan, a small toolbox, a Dewalt radio, a mechanics creeper and other items belonging to Pearson’s son. They also found mail, a hypodermic needle and several checks that did not belong to Probert, according to the complaint.

Probert told police she didn’t know the items belonged to Pearson’s son, and she would return them. She denied any knowledge of the other stolen items but admitted her brother and one of his friends had helped her move things from the garage. 

Probert is charged with felony second-degree theft and violating conditions of release for a March 13 forgery conviction. Documents filed in Fairbanks court allege Probert violated her probation by twice testing positive for methamphetamine, for contacting her husband, who is a convicted felon, and for traveling to Tok with him shortly before Pearson’s death. 

Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.