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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Anchorage Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Federal Kidnapping, Carjacking, and Firearms Offenses

Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that an Anchorage man has been sentenced in federal court after being convicted of multiple charges related to the October 2016 kidnapping, carjacking, and shooting of two individuals.

Matthew James Scharber, 36, of Anchorage, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess, to serve a term of life in prison, plus an additional 10 years on the firearms offense.  In December 2017, Scharber pleaded guilty on all five counts of the indictment, which included conspiracy to commit kidnapping, kidnapping, carjacking, and possessing, brandishing, and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

According to court documents, on Oct. 27, 2016, Scharber lured brothers K.A.K. and K.T.K. to his Anchorage apartment. Once the brothers were inside the apartment, co-defendants Corey Sylva and Michael Elder came out from a back room of the apartment and held them at gunpoint.  The brothers were then bound with speaker wire and handcuffs before being assaulted by the three men with fists, feet, and a large wooden pole.  

In addition, the brothers were robbed of personal property off their person and from their vehicle, a 2005 Subaru Legacy.  The rear cargo windows of the victim’s vehicle were spray painted black by Scharber.  K.T.K. was unconscious from the assault, and K.A.K. was feigning unconsciousness as they were loaded into their own vehicle, blindfolded, by Sylva and Elder.  Scharber then drove the brothers to Hatcher’s Pass where he made them exit the vehicle, before shooting them multiple times while they had their hands bound.  

The brothers were left for several hours before a passerby located them.  They were transported by a LifeMed helicopter to the hospital and treated for multiple gunshot wounds.  K.T.K. had been shot in the upper arm, thigh, and stomach, while K.A.K. had been shot in the chest and elbow.  They both had injuries from the beating as well as suffering from the exposure to the cold weather.

The investigation revealed that the beating was in retaliation for K.A.K. and K.T.K. stealing Sylva’s wallet approximately one week earlier.  During a search of Scharber’s apartment, law enforcement officers found the two firearms and the wooden rod that were used during the assault and kidnapping.

Sylva was sentenced in May 2018 to serve 121 months in prison, after previously pleading guilty to the carjacking offense.  Elder also pleaded guilty to the carjacking offense, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 12, 2018.

Scharber has also been indicted in a separate federal case where he faces additional charges for alleged drug trafficking crimes dating back to August 2016, the months leading up to the kidnapping, carjacking, and shooting of the two individuals.  Trial in this case has been set for Oct. 22, 2018.

The Alaska State Troopers (AST), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Anchorage Police Department (APD) conducted the investigation, with assistance from the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office, leading to the successful prosecution of this case.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William A. Taylor.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated July 17, 2018