Willow Murder Suspect awaiting Trial Arrested after Contacting Witnesses

On Thursday, Alaska State Troopers arrested a Willow man awaiting his murder trial on Violating his conditions of release, troopers revealed on the trooper dispatch.

Troopers arrested 37-year-old Justin Brunsvold after it was found that he was contacting witnesses in his murder trial that is scheduled for a trial status hearing on October 5th.

AST arrested Brunsvold two weeks after the body of the victim, 32-year-old Patrick McMullen, was discovered in a ditch near a pullout near mile 59 of the Parks Highway on Thursday, November 2nd. McMullen had been shot in the head with a shotgun and McMullen’s corpse also showed signs of a physical altercation prior to being shot. He had fresh wounds on his face and had also suffered a broken nose.

Witnesses led investigators to Brunsvold and investigators obtained a warrant and then searched Brunsvold’s home and vehicle. They found three shotguns and ammunition. In the vehicle, they found a single shotgun shell.

When approached with the evidence, troopers say that he confessed to shooting McMullen. He told officers that he and McMullen had gone to the location with the intent of buying meth from a dealer but the dealer didn’t show. 

While waiting at the homicide location, McMullen asked to see the shotgun in Brunsvold’s vehicle. When Brunvold handed it over, McMullen pointed it at him, the suspect told investigators. Brunsvold went on to tell AST that McMullen accused him of having an affair with his ex-wife.

Brunsvold told investigators that he responded by punching McMullen in the face and taking the shotgun away and shooting the victim.

At Brunsvold’s December 4th bail hearing, Assistant District Attorney Kerry Corliss disputed Brunsvold’s version of events and told the court that Brunsvold, a known marijuana grower/dealer, had shot McMullen for stealing marijuana from his operation and that the shooting was premeditated. Corliss said investigators “believe that the victim was shot in the back of the head, execution style, while on his knees on the side of the road.”


During the investigation into the slaying of McMullen, investigators would find a 165-plant marijuana grow operation belonging to Brunsvold on Government Hill. Brunvold had also been involved in a previous 2005 400-plant bust.

At the conclusion of Brunsvold’s bail hearing, his bail was set at $100,000, a court-approved third party with 24-hour sight and sound, a GPS ankle monitor and no contact with anyone but his immediate family.

Following his arrest on Thursday, Brunsvold was remanded to the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility and remains incarcerated as of Friday morning.