Man pleads not guilty to assaulting A&P employees

A Juneau man accused of threatening two Alaskan & Proud employees with a knife pleaded not guilty to assault charges this week.

Matthew Ray Gilchrest, 27, entered his pleas Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court through his attorney, assistant public defender Grace Lee.

Gilchrest is charged with two counts of third-degree assault, a class ‘C’ felony that can carry up to five years in prison. He was indicted by a grand jury last Friday.

According to an affidavit filed by District Attorney David Brower, an A&P employee called JPD on April 6 to report that two shoplifters, a man and a woman, had just left the grocery store.

When an employee approached the male shoplifter, who was later identified as Gilchrest, in the parking lot, Gilchrest allegedly told the employee to “Get the f--- away,” or he would stab him, according to charging documents.

The affidavit states that while Gilchrest said that, he was pulling a wood or antlered handled knife out of his pants. The employee threw his hands up and jumped back.

Gilchrest also allegedly threatened another store employee who was standing in the parking lot, the affidavit states.

One of the employees gave police a description of the man and followed him until JPD officers arrived on scene.

Police contacted Gilchrest and found the $50 worth of stolen items from A&P on his person and in his backpack, the affidavit states. Police also found an approximately seven-inch bladed hunting type knife sticking out of his pocket.

Gilchrest admitted to stealing from A&P, but denied threatening anyone with a knife, the affidavit states.

Gilchrest remains in custody on $5,000 bail and is scheduled to appear next in court on May 8 for a pretrial hearing. Judge Philip Pallenberg scheduled a three-day trial to begin June 25.

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

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