A Kenai grand jury last Friday indicted Ilya Gherman, 53, on two counts each of kidnapping and third-degree assault and one count of second-degree misconduct involving weapons. The grand jury charged that in a Feb. 12 incident, Gherman restrained by threatening with a firearm his wife and daughter at their Old Sterling Highway cabin. He also is charged with shooting up his cabin with a 9mm handgun and an AK-47 semiautomatic rifle. Alaska State Troopers arrested Gherman after the incident and he is at Wildwood Pretrial Facility.
Appearing in Kenai Superior Court on Tuesday for his arraignment, Gherman, a balding man with a long gray beard, pleaded not guilty on all charges. Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman set bail at a $100,000 cash performance bond with a third-party custodian. As of Wednesday morning, Gherman had not made bail. Bauman set a new condition allowing Gherman to visit with his wife at Wildwood, but because she is an alleged victim, told him he could not discuss the case with her. He cannot contact his daughter, Bauman said. The wife attended the hearing telephonically.
According to a criminal complaint by Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Jeremy Stone, troopers went to a call about 11:30 p.m. Feb. 12 that a woman and her teenage daughter had escaped in their stocking feet from their cabin. Troopers rescued the two on the highway. Stone said the woman told him that Gherman had shot up their cabin with a handgun and threatened to kill her and her daughter if they tried to leave. They escaped after Gherman passed out after drinking a bottle of alcohol, Stone said the woman told him.
The woman said Gherman has recently been released from Alaska Psychiatric Institute, is a heavy drinker and has used methamphetamines, Stone wrote in his complaint. Troopers arrested Gherman on Feb. 13 after Stone asked him to come to the Anchor Point trooper post and Gherman voluntarily complied.
Gherman's next court appearance is on April 22 with Judge Charles Huguelet at the Kenai Courthouse.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at email@example.com.