Yukon man Alfred Chief Jr. has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2016 killing of 87-year-old Olson Wolftail in Watson Lake. His sentencing is scheduled for June 28. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Man pleads guilty to manslaughter in 2016 Watson Lake killing

Alfred Chief Jr. pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing Olson Wolftail, 87, in 2016

NOTE TO READERS: This story contains details some readers may find disturbing.

Yukon man Alfred Chief Jr. has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2016 killing of 87-year-old Olson Wolftail in Watson Lake, admitting that he beat Wolftail to death but claiming he has no memory of doing so.

Chief was initially charged with first-degree murder in Wolftail’s death but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on Feb. 9 during his preliminary hearing. His sentencing date was recently scheduled for June 28.

An agreed statement of facts filed to the Yukon Territorial Court paints a grisly picture of what happened to Wolftail.

According to the statement, Chief, who was under a bail condition to follow a curfew in Whitehorse, spent the evening of Dec. 22, 2016, at Wolftail’s home in Watson Lake. Wolftail shared the home with his son and his son’s partner, Minnie Charlie, who is Chief’s mother.

Chief viewed Wolftail as his grandfather, the statement says, and that night, Chief, his mother and Wolftail were drinking together and “all were highly intoxicated.”

Shortly before 12:20 a.m. on Dec. 23, 2016, Charlie went to her brother’s house across the street and told her nephew, who answered the door, that Chief was “beating on” Wolftail.

Charlie then called 911 and requested an ambulance, telling the dispatcher that Chief “took (Wolftail) and hurt him all over the place” and that Chief was “hurting (Wolftail) in the head.”

A police officer arrived at the house about 10 minutes later and found Wolftail “lying on his back, dead, in the storage room” and Chief “lying on a pull-out couch in the living room, either asleep or unconscious” covered in blood. Some bottles, including a blood-and-tissue-spattered 40-ounce bottle of Canadian Club whisky, were laying on the living room floor.

According to the statement, Chief had a “strong smell of liquor on his breath,” “bloodshot and glassy eyes” and was “combative” when police placed him under arrest. He “didn’t seem to understand why he was being arrested,” the statement says, and “intermittently laughed, cried and growled during his interactions with police.”

After being taken to the detachment, Chief was “put in a restraint chair because he was punching walls and banging his head on the floor.”

Blood and tissue spatter pattern analysis later established that Wolftail had been struck multiple times as he was on his back in the storage room, the statement says. A pathologist who examined Wolftail’s body found an extensive list of broken bones and severe cuts and bruises.

“(Wolftail) had lost a significant volume of blood to internal and external bleeding.… He died from blunt force trauma, with no contributing natural cases,” the statement says.

DNA analysis conducted on the blood on Chief’s clothes and the whisky bottle “contained DNA consistent with Wolftail’s.”

Chief “has no memory of the facts outlined,” the statement says, but “does not contest that he unlawfully caused the injuries that resulted in Wolftail’s death.”

A manslaughter conviction carries a maximum sentence of life in jail.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

This story has been corrected to better reflect how Wolftail was killed.

murderWatson LakeYukon courts

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Artist’s rendering of a Dairy Queen drive-thru. At its April 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved a zoning change to allow a drive-thru at 107 Range Road. Developers sought the change to build a Dairy Queen there. (Submitted)
Drive-thru approved by Whitehorse city council at 107 Range Road

Rezoning could pave the way for a Dairy Queen

xx
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

Most Read