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Press Release

Woman pleads guilty to murder of Michael Gonzales

April 23, 2019

(Anchorage, Alaska) – Today, Gina Virgilio plead guilty to Murder in the First Degree as trial was set to begin for the 2012 death of Michael Gonzales.

At 2:26 a.m. on Friday, June 8, 2012, emergency responders were dispatched to a building fire at 201 McCarrey Street apartment B-7. Records show the apartment was leased to Michael Gonzales and Gina Virgilio. Anchorage Fire Department reported they found a deceased male inside the residence that was identified as Michael Gonzales. Anchorage police officers contacted the emergency contact listed in the lease, Michelle Virgilio. Michelle confirmed that Gina was with her and they returned to the scene. Gina initially told officers that Mr. Gonzales had started the fire. But later, investigators learned that Michelle and Gina were at Providence Hospital’s emergency room where Gina made admissions to staff about the fire. Michelle reached out asking to speak to the investigators. Michelle told investigators that when Gina had returned home, she had confronted her. Michelle reported that Gina confessed that she had gone to the station and obtained gas. Gina walked back to the apartment where Mr. Gonzales was asleep on the couch. Gina then poured gas on and around the couch where Mr. Gonzales was sleeping. Gina was at the front door when she lit some paper on fire and tossed it into the apartment. Gina described the gas as igniting. Gina told her mother that Mr. Gonzales woke up saying “hot hot.” Gina closed the door to the apartment with Mr. Gonzales still inside and ran from the location.

Virgilio was charged with several offenses in this case. Trial was set to begin today. It was announced prior to jury selection that Virgilio would accept an agreement with the State where she would plead guilty to Murder in the First Degree with sentencing to be decided by the judge. The agreement included a range of active time to serve for the judge to consider between 30 and 70 years. All other terms will be left for the judge to decide. Sentencing is currently scheduled for October 4, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office of Special Prosecutions Statewide Drug Enforcement Prosecutor, Katholyn Runnels and Assistant District Attorney Patrick McKay.

CONTACT: Assistant Attorney General Katholyn Runnels at (907)269-6306 or by email to the Office of Special Prosecutions at LawOSP@alaska.gov.

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Department Media Contact: Senior Assistant Attorney General Cori Mills at (907) 465-2132 or cori.mills@alaska.gov.