A judge has ruled the man accused of fatally shooting two Hoonah police officers in August 2010 is competent to stand trial.
Sitka Superior Court Judge David George made that ruling Monday in Juneau Superior Court after hearing differing testimony from two psychologists, both of whom examined John N. Marvin Jr. during his court-ordered stay at Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage from Jan. 31 to April 2.
“I’m not finding on review that Mr. Marvin is incompetent to stand trial,” George said.
The ruling cleared the way for a jury trial to proceed, and a two-week long trial was scheduled to begin Oct. 22.
The ruling was a victory for prosecutors, who hailed the judge for making “the correct decision with the evidence,” District Attorney David Brower told the Empire after the hearing.
It was also a victory for the family of Officer Matthew Tokuoka, 39, one of the slain policemen. Tokuoka’s widow, Haley Tokuoka, 32, attended Monday’s hearing with her niece, and was smiling after the ruling was handed down.
“My reaction is that it’s about time,” Haley said outside the courtroom. “I’m glad they made sure that he was competent to stand trial, and they’ve gone through all the processes. But I’m just ready to be done with it, and put it behind us, and not have to deal with all the court hearings and everything else, and that our family can start to move on now.”
Marvin was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of weapons misconduct after Sgt. Anthony Wallace, 32, and Officer Matthew Tokuoka, 39, of the Hoonah Police Department were gunned down in front of Marvin’s residence on Aug. 28, 2010.
Prosecutors say the two officers were ambushed as they were talking on the street. 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 for about 36 hours before surrendering on Aug. 30.
This is a developing story. Check back soon for updates.