Vanbuskirk claims ‘not guilty’ in robbery

 The Anchor Point man accused of robbing the Short Stop Gas Station on Jan. 6 claimed innocence in a court hearing on Monday.

“I’m not guilty,” Dellan Vanbuskirk, 28, said at a preliminary hearing held at the Homer Courthouse.

Vanbuskirk did not make a formal plea. The remark came up in discussions about a possible pre-indictment offer by Vanbuskirk’s lawyer, Bill Taylor. Taylor said assistant District Attorney Kelly Lawson had sent him an email about a possible offer to be made before Vanbuskirk’s case goes to the Kenai Grand Jury. Vanbuskirk also said he was not going to take an offer because he was not guilty.

Homer Police last month charged Vanbuskirk with two counts of first-degree armed robbery. Police said Vanbuskirk was the masked man who held up the Short Stop Tesoro Gas Station on Baycrest Hill, taking cash and cigarettes. Police said Vanbuskirk also robbed a friend on Jan. 16 in Anchor Point. Police named Vanbuskirk as the suspect in a Dec. 28 armed robbery of the Fat Olives Espresso. He is being held without bail at Wildwood Pretrial Facility in Kenai. Homer District Court Judge Margaret Murphy continued the hearing to 3:30 pm. Feb. 22 at the Homer Courthouse.