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Man suspected of killing Alaska troopers indicted by grand jury

Alaska State Troopers Sergeant Patrick "Scott" Johnson (R) and Gabriel "Gabe" Rich are seen in this combination picture made of undated hand
Alaska State Troopers Sergeant Patrick "Scott" Johnson (R) and Gabriel "Gabe" Rich are seen in this combination picture made of undated hand

By Steve Quinn

JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) - A man accused of killing two Alaska State Troopers who were featured in a reality TV series has been indicted by a grand jury while two other men face banishment from their town by a tribal government over the incident, authorities said on Friday.

The two slain troopers, who appeared on the National Geographic Channel series "Alaska State Troopers," were killed earlier this month while they tried to arrest a man on outstanding warrants in the remote village of Tanana.

Nathanial Kangas was indicted on Thursday on charges including first-degree murder linked to the killing of Sergeant Scott Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich while the two tried to arrest his father, Arvin, according to court records. He faces arraignment on Tuesday, a court clerk said.

As prosecutors presented their findings to the grand jury, the Tanana Tribal Council also initiated a process to banish Arvin Kangas and another man, William Walsh, who the council says poses a threat to the community for a volatile rejection of state government.

Banishing the men from the predominantly Alaska Native village, which can be done under tribal law, would involve a vote from the council. Such an action hasn't been taken in at least 20 years, said the tribal council's chairman Curtis Sommer.

He said the two men pose a threat to their community of 250 people on the Tanana River 130 miles west of Fairbanks, which is accessible only by flight or boat.

The two slain officers were known to television viewers after being featured on the series that documents the work of Alaska state troopers in far flung regions, often in unforgiving weather, sometimes with back-up at least a day or hundreds of miles away.

The two troopers were based in Fairbanks and assigned to a rural unit which covered more than 20 villages in areas surrounding the state's second largest city.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Andrew Hay)

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