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Suspected shooter pleads not guilty

Posted: January 4, 2012 - 1:02am

Editor’s Note: This story has been changed to reflect  the proper bail amounts. The cash performance bond was lowered, not raised as previously reported.

The Juneau man accused of shooting a person in the face pleaded not guilty to felony assault in Juneau Superior Court, Tuesday.

Kenneth E. Nalan, 35, entered his plea and requested a jury trial through public defender David Seid before Judge Louis Menendez.

Menendez scheduled a five-day trial to begin March 27, a pretrial hearing for March 20, and an omnibus hearing before that on Feb. 8.

Nalan faces one count of first-degree assault, a class ‘A’ felony that can carry up to 20 years in prison, for allegedly shooting the victim in the face.

Prosecutors charge Nalan shot John Nicholas Duran, 33, with a .357-caliber gun during a small get-together at Nalan’s house in the Mendenhall Valley the night of Dec. 20.

Nalan was arrested the following day, and indicted Friday.

Duran was originally listed in critical condition and spent a week in a Seattle hospital, but he successfully underwent facial reconstruction surgery, and was released as a patient on Friday, according to hospital spokespeople.

Nalan was originally held at Lemon Creek Correctional Center on $20,000, $5,000 as an unsecured appearance bond, and 15,000 as cash performance.

Menendez reduced bail to $15,000, keeping the appearance bond the same but lowering the performance bond to $10,000.

“We have a very serious crime with very serious allegations and very serious injuries,” Menendez said. “ ... Mr. Nalan is a threat to the community. ... Bail should apply.”

Menendez found that Nalan did not constitute a flight risk and did allow Nalan to be released to a third party custodian, his wife Angela Day-Nalan. Some of the conditions of that agreement are that he may not have access to alcohol or weapons, have any contact with the victim or witnesses, and that he remain in his wife’s sight at all times.

“I want to know where he is 24/7,” the judge told his wife.

Seid noted in court that there is a possibility the defense could argue the shooting incident was in self-defense. Seid also noted that Nalan’s criminal history is minimal, and that he was never been charged with a violent crime before.

“He really hasn’t been in any trouble,” Seid said, noting Nalan got a DUI in 1998.

Brower noted that the victim, Duran, was informed about Tuesday’s hearing, and had told prosecutors that he did not have any concerns regarding Nalan’s bail. Brower said Duran was still in Seattle, though hospital spokespeople said last week that he was no longer a patient at Harborview Medical Center.

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

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