A judge Friday agreed to the scheduling of a competency evaluation for the man accused of shooting two Hoonah police officers to death last August.
Judge David George appeared by telephone in Juneau Superior Court and agreed to set a date for a mental health evaluation for John N. Marvin Jr. at the request of his counsel, Eric Hedland, and with no opposition by State Assistant District Attorney Amy Williams.
The date, however, will not be set until Hedland’s expert witness finishes an evaluation report and sends it to Hedland, who in turn then allows District Attorney Dave Brower to examine it.
According to Hedland that report was not to have been in his possession until Aug. 31. George requested that it be finished before Aug. 29 and will set a scheduling hearing for Marvin’s competency to stand trial after he hears back from Hedland by Aug. 17.
George would like a competency hearing before Sept. 6.
George also ruled against Hedland’s opposition to the introduction of certain evidence from the State and an assertion by Hedland that the defense was properly silent in the face of the state’s motion.
“You know I really disagree with that Mr. Hedland,” George said. “For a number of reasons.”
Among George’s reasons was that although it is true the State has to give advanced warning of evidence admitted, under case law the court, after giving opportunity for response, is simply to consider it properly out of presence of the jury to determine relevance and then to balance the effect of that. There is no requirement that it be done at a hearing; it could be done in a written document.
“But in any event if the defense felt as though hearing was necessary in response to the motion filed it could request an oral argument or an evidentiary hearing,” George said.
A notice of affirmative defense by insanity has been listed on court dockets.
George asked if Hedland had anything else to discuss.
“There are things I could say but I won’t,” Hedland said.
Replied George, “Probably a good idea.”
A tentative 21-day trial date has been set to begin Oct. 13, before Judge George in Juneau.
Marvin is accused of an ambush-style fatal shooting of Sgt. Anthony Wallace, 32, and Officer Matthew Tokuoka, 39, of the Hoonah Police Department as the two officers spoke together on the street in front of Marvin’s Hoonah residence. Family members of the two were present at the time of the shooting.
Marvin barricaded himself inside his residence in a standoff with law enforcement officials before surrendering on Aug. 30, roughly 36 hours after the shooting.
Marvin has pleaded not guilty and faces two charges of first-degree murder and two charges of weapons misconduct.
If convicted, Marvin faces a sentence of 99 years on each murder count if it is determined Wallace and Tokuoka were “uniformed or otherwise clearly identified peace officer(s),” according to Alaska law. He could face five years in prison for each of the weapons misconduct charges.
During National Police Week in May, retired HPD chief John Milan accompanied two memorial photos of Wallace and Tokuoka to the national memorial ceremony in Washington, D.C. The names of Wallace and Tokuoka were then engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall.
The village of Hoonah has declared Aug. 28 as Matt And Tony Day.
• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.