Live Blog: Hoonah homicide trial day 4
Posted on October 25, 2012 at 7:07 am
Category: Crime & courts, Syndicated
Estimated reading time: 0 minutes, 59 seconds
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Opening arguments are now planned for Thursday morning in the trial of a Hoonah man accused of killing two police officers. After three days of interviews with prospective jurors, a jury was seated Wednesday afternoon in the case of State of Alaska vs. John N. Marvin, Jr.
Fourteen men and women will hear the case. As per usual routine in Juneau Superior Court, two of the jurors will be randomly selected as alternates and dismissed before deliberations get underway.
Marvin was arrested in late August 2010 after he allegedly shot Matt Tokuoka and Tony Wallace and then held other officers in a stand-off for about a day.
After three previous hearings to determine whether Marvin was mentally capable to assist his attorney with his defense at trial, jury selection officially started on Monday with 255 Juneau residents initially asked to report for jury duty. Of that, ninety potential jurors survived two long days of individual interviews about pre-trial media coverage and potential bias.
Based on comments made by prospective jurors, public defender Eric Hedland made a motion on Wednesday to change the venue or move the trial out of Juneau. But Superior Court Judge David George denied the motion.
Matt said he couldn’t feel his legs. Tony moved Millan’s hand-with-pistol toward where the shots originated. “John”
Millan did say that Marvin was irate and profane when he and Wallace made that earlier visit at his home.
Cross examination by Hedland: Millan says he just had leave the job and leave Hoonah. The emotional toll of driving by the scene everyday, two of his officer’s killed, survivor’s guilt, and re-injured back all combined to force him to leave the town and leave law enforcement.
Defendant John Marvin (left) and public defender Eric Hedland (right) during a brief break during Thursday’s trial proceedings.
Hoonah resident William Wells points to his location as he observed the shootings of Tokuoka and Wallace and the resulting chaos. The two vehicles are the small rectangles above his finger, then the semi-trailer further up, and then the liquor store adjacent to the trash dumpster. The line that curved down to the right is the observed escape route of the Tokuoka vehicle.
Former Hoonah Police Chief John Millan glances at the jury during his testimony. He’s expected to return to the stand momentarily.
Millan now describing events of August 28th. Dispatch call about head injured Wallace dispatched to at ANB hall… 22:00…get out of shower, he heard unfamiliar voice on the radio: “Officer down. Officer down.”
John Millan, chief of police at the time, has taken the stand. He predominately did day shift and other officers did evenings. He’s describing how he spaced out shifts and coverage. He gave notice to Marvin not to be on Hoonah City School property… Judge called brief bench conference… Brower back on same line of questioning. Millan says Marvin apparently became profane and irate. Wallace was with Millan during the visit to Marvin’s home in March or April of 2010.
Blown up photo of officers Matt Tokuoka and Tony Wallace.
Under cross by Hedland, Wells clarifies that the red-pickup standard cab had at lesst two people in it, maybe three. It was the truck parked between the semi-trailer and Wallace’s patrol vehicle at the scene.
Hoonah resident William J. Wells just took the stand. He has drawn a diagram of the scene which Brower has blown up and put on an eisle stand.
Green says she can not say for sure that the defendant is the same person that she saw in the house across the street that day.
Deborah Green gets on the radio. Matt goes to respond to his colleague. She watches Matt get two shots in the chest. Back on police radio. Officer down.
Back from lunch. Deborah Green has just taken the stand and she’s describing a ride-along with her son Tony Wallace.
Using pictures introduced as evidence, Haley Tokuoka describes the scene where her husband Matt and fellow Hoonah officer Tony Wallace were shot on August 28, 2010.
Hedland was going to ask Tokuoka about a drawing or diagram when she asked for a short break.
Hedland is asking questions that Tokuoka can’t answer or can’t recall such as a previous appearance before a grand jury. Tokuoka is now recounting her earlier meetings with the defendant in Hoonah and another encounter when her husband was injured.
Public defender Eric Hedland now immediately cross-examining Haley Tokuoka over the pictures previously introduced. Some of the depictions of the scene such as those of the vehicles were later recreated, at the direction of Haley, after the incident. The windows at Marvin’s house appear to be shot out.
“He passed. He wasn’t hurting anymore.”
“Matthew! It looks like John Marvin is going crazy.” Haley Tokuoka says her husband then said don’t do anything to attract Marvin’s attention across the street.
Military ammo box or something similar being slammed down repeatedly in Marvin’s house before the shooting.
She’s done describing pictures and back to how they parked to dump garbage at a dumpster in town.
Haley Tokuoka is describing pictures taken at the scene and how both police vehicles were parked.
August 28, 2010: “Probably the best day of our life as a family.” Haley Tokuoka describes a nice day in Hoonah going fishing and crabbing, and eating dinner.
Haley Tokuoka, widow of officer Matt Tokuoka, taking the stand.
Back on record. Jury still out. In-court clerk jiggled an audio connection in the back. We’re A-OK. Thank you!
Some of the witnesses beginning to gather in the lobby area outside of the courtroom. With the exception of the investigation supervisors and family of the deceased officers, all of the potential witnesses will remain outside the courtroom until they called to the stand. That’s so the testimony of a witness is not colored by the previous testimony of another.
More instructions on the prosecution’s burden of proof and reasonable doubt threshold…
Jurors getting a primer on credibility of witnesses, circumstantial evidence versus direct physical evidence. Snowfall example again.
Twenty-minute break coming up.
Hedland wraps up his opening arguments after a little over thirty minutes.
Hedland says don’t expect to see or hear evidence about a lot of alcohol or drugs, manifesto or threatening letters.
“..robot that occurred…” – meaning robot sent into Marvin’s house by responding officers afterward.
Brief description of negotiations and robot that occurred after the shooting.
“John Marvin identified as a shooter either inferentially or verbally.”
Hedland is going back over some of the events. Matt Tokuoka, not in uniform, was apparently disposing of garbage after a family outing or dinner. Tony Wallace arrived in a patrol vehicle with mom Debbie Green during a ride-along.
Hedland is describing Marvin’s apparent mental deterioration over the years and previous confrontations with Hoonah officers. He also suggests that the radio traffic presented by Brower may have been compressed or edited to remove the non-voice portions.
Hedland is recounting a 2009 trespass call that allegedly involved Marvin, tasing incident.
Brower talks softly while finishing with the closing argument. Essentially, he previewed some of the witnesses and evidence that jurors will see.
Brower is describing officer injuries.
Radio call playback has ended. Brower is continuing to describe events after the officers were shot.
Opening arguments by DA Dave Brower include Hoonah Police dDpartment radio traffic of incident. Officer family members, other officers in courtroom gallery are upset.
Eleven men and three women file in at 9:20. Some comments and instructions from the judge.
Opening arguments are scheduled to start at or about 9 a.m. But events in court rarely go exactly as planned or adhere to a strict schedule.
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