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West trial set to begin Dec. 5

Posted: November 18, 2011 - 1:06am

A Juneau man facing second-degree murder charges after a fatal car crash this summer appeared in Juneau Superior Court for further proceedings Thursday.

The trial for Ryan W. West, 25, who pleaded not guilty in September, is still slated to begin Dec. 5, Judge Louis Menendez said in court.

West’s lawyer David Seid asked for an extension of the motion filing deadline, which was Thursday, since one of the tape recordings he requested was not a complete recording.

It’s likely that questions about whether alcohol was involved in the single-vehicle crash that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Gabriel Carte will arise during the trial.

“Ryan says he wasn’t (drunken driving), but under the state’s theory, they’re charging a guy who had no alcohol or no drugs in his system for second-degree murder,” Seid said outside the courtroom. “That doesn’t make sense.”

Juneau Police Department officers who responded to the scene determined speed and alcohol to be factors in the crash, which occurred near Mile 35 of Glacier Highway on June 6.

West was indicted by a grand jury in August on one count of second-degree murder, an unclassified felony punished by a fine of up to $500,000 and a maximum of 99 years in jail. West remains in custody at Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

The next status hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 28.

Note: this article was modified to reflect corrections made after press time.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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