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Juneau man arraigned in death of 4-month-old Rian Orr

Arrest comes nearly a year after child dies from possible abuse injuries

Posted: July 9, 2011 - 11:07pm

The Juneau man arrested on Friday for murder in connection with the August 2010 death of four-month-old Rian Orr was arraigned telephonically Saturday morning from Lemon Creek Correctional Center by Sitka Superior Court Judge David George.

David Paul, 22, was arraigned on a three-count grand jury indictment for which an arrest warrant was issued Friday by Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg; two counts of second-degree murder and one count of manslaughter.

Judge George said that if this were a first felony offense and since the class A felony count includes allegations of serious injury or death, the presumptive range of sentencing would be 7-11 years.

“This would be my first felony offense your honor,” Paul said, before Judge George warned him that the proceedings were being recorded and could be used against him later on. George said he also had the right to remain silent and to be appointed counsel.

“I just would caution you that you should be careful in speaking,” George said. “Because you do have that right and you wouldn’t want to inadvertently waive it.”

George appointed public defender David Seid as Paul’s attorney and set a hearing for further proceedings and entry of plea before assigned judge Pallenberg on Tuesday.

Bail of $100,000 had been set in the indictment warrant for Paul’s arrest early Friday morning after the Grand Jury returned on evidence and investigations gathered by the JPD and the District Attorney’s Office.

George asked Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp about bail conditions and cautioned Paul that the charges were serious and many defendants wait until they have spoken with their attorney who speaks for them in court, “so they don’t make a sideways or unintended statement which could come back later to their detriment.”

Kemp said the state was asking the $100,000 bail maintain and stated that Paul’s history includes eight prior convictions, all but one of which were for crimes of dishonesty. Kemp said the most recent was a theft in 2009 and a violating conditions of release in 2007, and two convictions for giving false information to a police officer.

Kemp said the facts in the Orr case were that Mr. Paul caused the death of Rian Orr, an infant, and was recently interviewed by the JPD in addition to what was presented to the Grand Jury.

Kemp said he gave a statement to officers and indicated that he dropped the baby, picked her up and squeezed her, shook her once and then she stopped crying.

“That is.. That is wrong,” Paul said before George once again warned him that he was being recorded and encouraged him to remain silent.

Paul said he understood that he would speak with counsel in two days but wanted to know if he had the option of third party release.

George again cautioned that Paul should be asking his attorney these questions and continued the $100,000 bail. George also ordered that if bail were posted, Paul could not be released until taken to court to set appropriate conditions before Judge Pallenberg.

“We did get a Grand Jury return,” Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp said Friday after Paul’s arrest. “He was charged with murder and manslaughter. With respect to the case we will take the normal course and proceed from there.”

Rian Orr died on Aug. 15, 2010 at Harbor View Medical Center in Seattle from injuries suffered on Aug. 9.

JPD originally received a report on Aug. 9 from the Office of Children’s Services (OCS) in reference to child abuse. OCS had been notified by medical staff that a four-month-old girl had been taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital with injuries.

JPD officers contacted medical staff at BRH and learned that Orr had both new and old injuries that required medical attention. Orr was medevaced to Harbor View for treatment.

JPD investigators Elias Joven and Kim Horn interviewed Orr’s 20-year-old mother, a Juneau resident, and her boyfriend, Paul, at BRH and then later flew to Seattle to interview them again.

Then-Juneau District Attorney Doug Gardner said, “No case is given a higher standard for professionalism over another. But, as human beings, we always pay special attention to these types of cases and I think they strike home for a lot of people.”

JPD sergeant Dave Campbell said at the time, “We are treating the case as a murder investigation.”

• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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