Terry Spencer

Terry Spencer was murdered earlier this month in the Wasilla area.

WASILLA — A Wasilla man is in custody with a bail set at $1 million as he faces multiple charges, including first-degree murder.

Cooper Gordon, 39, has been charged in death of Terry Spencer, 32, also of Wasilla. The body of a man, later identified as Spencer, was found Oct. 19 by a hunter off an all-terrain vehicle trail near Nightfall Drive in the Wasilla area. Spencer’s body was found covered in a blue blanket, according to court documents. According to an Alaska State Trooper investigation, the body “appeared to have been placed there recently.” Spencer’s body was found with a single gunshot wound to the head.

With help from someone close to Spencer, information obtained on Spencer’s Facebook messenger and Google accounts led investigators to Gordon. Troopers found a message regarding Spencer meeting with Gordon. The final message troopers found was received Oct. 17 at about 5:30 p.m. Based on information obtained during the investigation and Spencer’s phone records, troopers said it was likely that Spencer was killed at about that time.

Troopers did not find a weapon at the scene, but did find multiple firearms after searching an RV that Gordon had been staying in. Troopers were also not able to initially locate Spencer’s vehicle, a 2012 Jeep Compass. Based on the investigation and the tire marks left in the mud at the scene, troopers said they believe the Jeep was at the location where Spencer’s body was found.

Troopers located the Jeep on Oct. 21, and the person driving the vehicle said Gordon let them use it. Gordon was first seen driving the Jeep on Oct. 18. Investigators first made contact with Gordon at his place of employment. As Gordon was questioned, Gordon told troopers, “I can’t tell you nothing about him,” regarding Spencer, and “I met him, I believe.” Gordon then asked if he needed a lawyer.

Troopers also determined that Gordon had been staying in an RV sine Oct. 17. The owner of the property told troopers that Gordon was not seen with a vehicle until about 8 p.m. Oct. 17. That would be just more than two hours after troopers believe that Spencer was shot and killed.

The RV was impounded, and after a search warrant was granted investigators found a handful of items that included two weapons and holsters and a black bag with “Spencer” written in permanent ink. People close to Spencer said those items did belong to Spencer, troopers said. Those interviewed also said they believed those items were in Spencer’s Jeep.

Troopers also interviewed a person who spoke with Spencer on the afternoon of Oct. 17. The witness said Spencer asked them to return a pistol he had loaned them, and the person said they saw Spencer hand the pistol to Gordon. Spencer was in the driver’s seat of the Jeep and Gordon was the passenger. This was the late afternoon or early evening, the witness said.

Gordon has been charged with murder in the first degree and robbery in the first degree. He was arraigned on Oct 25. Bail was set at $500,000 cash and $500,000 cash performance. Gordon is scheduled to be back in court Nov. 4 at 1 p.m.

Contact the Frontiersman at news@frontiersman.com.

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