Courtwatch – No Contest
Warren and Roger Register were indicted in 1996 for first degree assault for stabbing a man. After consulting with their attornies, both of the brothers agreed to a plea bargain with state prosecutors and ended up pleading no contest to a lesser charge of second degree assault. The Registers received a lesser sentence of up to 3 years in prison with as much as a year and a half suspended. But then the stabbing victim filed a civil suit against the brothers seeking damages.
Because of their plea inthe criminal case, the brothers were prevented from denying that they had stabbed the man. They attempted to withdraw their plea – which was denied – despite uncertain testimony from the Register brother’s attornies and a videotape that led them to believe that a no contest plea could not be used against a defendant in potential civil litigation.
Local attorney Julie Willoughby explains that all this happened at the same time the Alaska Supreme Court had issued a decision on a similar case.