Olanna pleads guilty to murder in second degree
A White Mountain man accused of killing his girlfriend Esther Lincoln on New Year’s Day 2015, last Friday changed his plea and pleaded guilty to one count of murder in the second degree.
On January 3, 2015 Gilbert J. Olanna Jr. was charged with murder in the first degree, two counts of tampering with evidence and assault in the fourth degree. According to court documents, Olanna, now 33 years old, strangled Lincoln at their home in White Mountain after a night out drinking. When Alaska State Troopers arrived, he described the circumstances of her death and that during an argument with Lincoln, “his arm slipped below Lincoln’s chin and around her neck,” court papers say. “Olanna stated that he had held Lincoln around the neck for several minutes until she went limp.”
He also admitted having struck her in the face. After her death, Olanna admitted to cleaning her, putting clothes on her and deleting photos and videos of her from his cell phone.
On Friday, Superior Court Judge Paul Roetman, substituting for absent Judge Tim Dooley, heard the case and took Olanna’s guilty plea.
Roetman, present via telephone from Kotzebue, advised Olanna and that there won’t be a trial and that the range of penalty for murder in the second degree is 10 to 99 years in jail. With pleading guilty to one count of murder in the second degree, the other charges including tampering with evidence and assault were dismissed.
Judge Roetman ordered a presentence report to be done by October 3.
The sentencing hearing is set for November 8 at the Nome courthouse.