Egan Drive crash case headed to trial

Silver Maake

Silver Maake enters the courtroom on Friday for arraignment on assault charges in connection with the Jan. 16, 2013 car crash. Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO News

A jury trial has been set for mid-April for a Juneau man accused of seriously injuring a cousin during a motor vehicle accident nearly a year ago.

Silver Maake, 23, is charged with assault in the third degree and assault in the first degree in connection with the January 16th car crash on Egan Drive near the McNugget intersection.

The 2013 Chevrolet Camaro left the roadway and struck a light pole before rolling over and coming to a rest on pedestrian bridge next to Egan Drive.

Both Maake and his passenger, identified as Siaosi Maake, had to be extricated by firefighters before their transport to Bartlett Regional Hospital. Both prosecution and defense attorneys say Siaosi Maake is still undergoing physical therapy for neck fractures and other injuries suffered in the crash.

Silver Maake appeared in court for his arraignment on Friday accompanied by a supervisor from one of his jobs. His attorney asked that a ‘not guilty’ plea be entered on behalf of Maake. Maake did not speak during the hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp said Maake told investigators about traveling at about 90 miles per hour near Walmart before slowing to about 60 or 65 near McNugget.

Witnesses in the area described him…One sort of put it bluntly and said ‘He passed me when he changed lanes from the slow lane to the fast lane and he was moving like’ – excuse my language – ‘a raped ape. He was easily doing a hundred miles an hour. He started braking into the intersection and then sped up, then got into the lane, the slow lane. And that is it.’ Meaning that’s when he ultimately hit the bridge. Other witnesses described essentially the same thing (with) high rates of speeds.”

Defense attorney Kirsten Swanson was skeptical whether the police reports actually corresponded with the audio recordings of interviews of witnesses and Maake.

I have some question. I did read that the police had stated in there about the 90 mile an hour by Walmart. But until I actually hear those, I’m not agreeing that that’s what Mr. Maake said at the time. Obviously, these are serious charges. It goes beyond just having his license possibly revoked. And, so, he knows that.”

A two-week trial has been set to start on April 14th with the speedy trial rule temporarily waived. Defendants have a right to a trial within 120-days of charges being filed, but that period can be extended with the consent of defense attorneys.

Maake was released on his own recognizance, but he is no longer allowed to drive. Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg allowed him only a few hours on Friday to drive home and permanently park his vehicle.

Maake is not allowed to talk about the case with his supervisor or his cousin who may be potential witnesses during the trial. He is also not allowed to contact any of the other potential witnesses in the case who testified before the grand jury.

A grand jury returned with an indictment against Maake on December 6th.