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Juneau grand jury indicts 2 for assault, 6 in all

Posted: May 7, 2012 - 11:05pm

A grand jury handed up indictments for six Juneau residents on Friday, two of whom were charged with assault.

Brandon W.L. Johnson, 28, was indicted on three counts of felony assault for allegedly knocking a man unconscious outside of Pel’Meni restaurant at Merchant’s Wharf late last month.

According to an affidavit filed by prosecutors, a person called the Juneau Police Department at about 3:30 a.m. on April 28 to report two men were fighting on Egan Drive in front of the JPD substation. An officer responded and found two men yelling at each other from across the street. The officer advised Johnson walk away to avoid contact with the man. Johnson told the officer he “was probably right” and thanked him for his assistance, the affidavit states.

But about 20 minutes later, the same officer at the JPD substation heard yelling outside and went to investigate. He found a non-responsive man with a red mark on his face, lying on his back, motionless on the sidewalk with a crowd of people surrounding him. Johnson was walking away from the scene, the affidavit states.

When apprehended at the scene, Johnson told police in an interview he called the victim names, then the victim “came at him.”

“I went under with both arms like a bear hug, picked him up, slammed him down on the ground onto his head,” Johnson said, according to an affidavit filed by prosecutors. “When he was on the ground, I punched him once. Once he was knocked out, I stopped. I punched him once in the jaw when he was on the ground.”

Witnesses at the restaurant, however, said the incident was unprovoked and that they saw Johnson kick the victim multiple times while he down on the sidewalk, the affidavit charges. One witness, Daniel Moore, pulled Johnson off the victim to make him stop, the affidavit states.

The victim, who is named in court documents as Michael P. Guthrie, also 28, was taken to the hospital around 4 a.m. on April 28, and remained unconscious in the emergency room until 7 a.m., according to the affidavit.

A doctor at Bartlett Regional Hospital initially told police that there was a potential Guthrie may die from brain injury, and that he was suffering from a concussion.

Police said alcohol was involved, and the responding police officer who contacted Johnson on scene detected alcohol on his breath and noticed Johnson was slurring.

Court records show Johnson is being held in custody in lieu of $15,000 bond, and he is represented by the Public Defender Agency.

The grand jury also indicted Marcos y Galindo, 26, on three counts of felony assault for allegedly beating up an acquaintance of his inside Galindo’s Marine View apartment.

According to an affidavit, Christopher Davenport was found around 4 a.m. on April 27 in front of the Rendezvous bar, clothes drenched in blood, bleeding from the head and asking for an ambulance.

When he was taken to the hospital, doctors had to work to save his right ear, which was exhibiting “cauliflower” type swelling due to a 7-inch laceration behind it, according to the affidavit. It ultimately required 11 sutures to reattach.

Davenport also suffered cuts across the top of his head, on his scalp and over his left eyebrow, which all required stables to repair, the affidavit alleges.

When interviewed by police at the hospital, Davenport told police he was drinking Four Loko, a type of malt liquor, with Galindo and two of Galindo’s friends at Galindo’s apartment. The assault took place after the two friends had left and it was just Galindo and Davenport in the apartment, Davenport told police.

“The last thing I remember is Marcos hitting me in the head with two closed hammer fist strikes,” Davenport said, according to the affidavit.

Davenport passed out and woke up in the apartment about four hours later before staggering out of the apartment building to find help, police said.

Police executed a search warrant at Galindo’s residence, and discovered blood on the walls, carpets, ceiling and kitchen sink of the apartment. Galindo was naked and sleeping on the couch, the affidavit states. His blood-soaked clothing were found in a clothing hamper.

When interviewed, Galindo said he didn’t know if he assaulted Davenport, and that Davenport had called him a “wetback” during the evening, the affidavit states.

“I don’t know why Chris would say this happened,” Galindo is quoted as saying. “Maybe I did it. I don’t know. I don’t understand why I would do it.”

Galindo also admitted to police he was a member of the California-based gang MS-13, short for Mara Salvatrucha.

The grand jury indicted both Johnson and Galindo on two counts of first-degree assault, a class ‘A’ felony, and one count of second-degree assault, a class ‘B’ felony.

A class ‘A’ felony can carry up to 20 years in prison, and a ‘B’ felony can carry up to 10.

The grand jury also indicted Vicente Mendoza, 31, on one count of first-degree burglary for entering a residence on April 17 with intent to commit a crime. That’s a class ‘B’ felony.

Eddy D. Packham, 51, was indicted on one count of second-degree theft, a class ‘C’ felony that can carry up to five years in prison, for stealing property from Fred Meyer from Nov. 11-29. Packham was also charged with five counts of fraudulent use of an access device to obtain property from Fred Meyer. That’s a class ‘C’ felony.

Justin F. Thomerson, 25, was indicted on one count of promoting contraband in the first degree for possessing marijuana at Lemon Creek Correctional Center on Aug. 4. That’s a ‘C’ felony.

William V. Jim, 25, was indicted on one count of felony driving while under the influence in Juneau on April 28 and one count of felony refusal to submit to a chemical test. Those are both ‘C’ felonies.

Indictments are a formal accusation of illegal activity, not convictions.

The district attorney’s office presents cases to the grand jury each Friday. The above indictments were provided to the Empire on Monday.

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

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