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Two arson suspects indicted for June fire at Adair-Kennedy park

Posted: August 7, 2012 - 11:06pm
Ryan M. Martin leaves his arraignment in front of Judge Thomas Nave in Juneau District Court last month. He is one of two people who were indicted  by a grand jury on arson charges in connection to a fire at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park in June.  Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Ryan M. Martin leaves his arraignment in front of Judge Thomas Nave in Juneau District Court last month. He is one of two people who were indicted by a grand jury on arson charges in connection to a fire at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park in June.

A Juneau grand jury indicted two people for arson in connection to a fire at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park in mid-June.

The grand jury, which convened Friday, failed to return a true bill of indictment for a third person implicated in the crime, according to the indictments.

Ryan M. Martin, 23, and Ashley R. Johnston, 18, are now facing third-degree arson charges for intentionally damaging a motor vehicle by starting a fire or causing an explosion while that vehicle was located on state or municipal land.

That’s a class ‘C’ felony that can carry up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

The District Attorney’s Office had originally charged Martin and Johnston with one felony, third-degree criminal mischief, for damaging the property of Shaw Sportexe and the City and Borough of Juneau. They were both indicted on that class ‘C’ felony charge as well, according to the indictments.

If convicted of both felonies, Martin and Johnston could each be facing a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors said earlier Martin, Johnston, and Dillon P. West, 24, were all caught on video surveillance footage just before CCFR responded to the fire at the park around 4 a.m. on June 19.

Fire investigators said the arson caused about $20,000 in damages as it scorched materials being used to replace the tarp football field, including a John Deere tractor, a spreader trailer and special adhesive glue.

The indictment shows the grand jury did not return a true bill for West. The District Attorney’s Office presented the case to the jurors that he should be charged with third-degree arson, according to the document.

Assistant District Attorney Amy Williams said the misdemeanor charges against West will still go forward. He was previously charged with three class ‘A’ misdemeanors that are punishable by up to one year in prison each: criminal trespass, criminal mischief and furnishing alcohol to persons under 21.

Online court records show Martin and Johnson are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court before Judge Louis Menendez.

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

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