Court Round-up

Trials in Adair-Kennedy park fire delayed


The jury trials for two defendants accused of starting or playing a role in the Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park fire last summer have been postponed until July.

Court records show Ryan M. Martin, 24, and Dillon P. West, 25, are now slated to stand trial on July 15 instead of April 1.

Martin’s new defense attorney, Jim Corrigan of the Office of Public Advocacy, requested a continuance in order to have more time to consult with their own experts about the investigative reports issued by law enforcement and fire officials, according to court records. Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg granted the continuance Tuesday without opposition from the state.

Their cases are following that of Ashley Rae Johnston, 19, the first of the three to stand trial. A jury last month acquitted her of arson but found her guilty of felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor criminal trespass. She could be facing up to six years in jail and is scheduled to be sentenced before Pallenberg on April 8.

Johnston testified during the trial that she had no recollection of starting a fire since she had been drinking and took an unidentified pill. Video surveillance cameras captured her and her codefendants at the scene, but did not capture anyone setting a fire.

Prosecutors say the June 19 fire caused between $20,000 and $30,000 worth of damage to materials and equipment being used to replace the turf football field.

Like Johnston, Martin was accused of starting the fire and is charged with felony arson and felony criminal mischief as well as two misdemeanors. His case will be heard in Juneau Superior Court, which handles felony cases.

West, on the other hand, is only facing misdemeanor charges (criminal trespass, criminal mischief and furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 years old) since the grand jury chose not to indict him for arson. His case will be heard in Juneau District Court.


Inmate sentenced for role in jailhouse assault last summer

A convicted murderer being held at the Juneau jail pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to serve an additional year in jail for his role in a jailhouse assault last summer.

Dirkston A. Gonzales, 22, changed his plea and was sentenced Tuesday in Juneau Superior Court before Judge Philip Pallenberg.

Gonzales and his codefendant Christopher W. Davison, 29, were accused of jumping inmates Devin Moorhouse and Aaron Rose on the basketball court at Lemon Creek Correctional Center’s gymnasium on June 7. Alaska State Troopers said the attack was unprovoked and no motive was provided.

Both Gonzales and Davison were both indicted by a Juneau grand jury in August for felony assault and felony aiding and abetting assault.

Davison pleaded guilty to the same reduced misdemeanor assault charge and received the same 12-month sentence in late January.

Troopers said Gonzales was transferred to LCCC from Anchorage to serve his 111-year sentence for murder and attempted murder in connection to a 2007 shooting at a house party in Anchorage. Troopers said Davison was in jail in connection to a vehicle theft.


Man pleads not guilty to dealing methamphetamine

A Juneau resident is slated to stand trial in June for allegedly selling methamphetamine.

Anthony W. Papa, 29, pleaded not guilty earlier this week to two counts of felony drug misconduct for allegedly delivering an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine to a confidential Juneau Police Department informant on Jan. 10 and Jan. 11 of this year.

On Friday, Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg scheduled a three-day trial to begin on June 24. Papa is next scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on April 15.

A grand jury indicted Papa on the two charges, which can carry up to 10 years in prison each, last week. He is being held at Lemon Creek Correctional Center in lieu of $10,000 performance bond and $10,000 appearance bond. The Office of Public Advocacy was appointed to represent him.

Electronic court records indicate Papa has several prior convictions, including misdemeanor larceny of money or property in Juneau in 2013 and 2011; misdemeanor drug misconduct in Juneau in 2006; misdemeanor theft in Sitka in 2004; and felony theft in Sitka in 2004.


Judge denies bail for man accused of selling meth

A Juneau Superior Court judge Friday denied a request to reduce bail for a 23-year-old man accused of selling methamphetamine.

Christopher R. Netling is still being held at Lemon Creek Correction Center in lieu of $10,000 cash performance bond after Judge Philip Pallenberg declined to reduce bond to $2,000 cash.

Netling was indicted last week on two counts of third-degree drug misconduct for allegedly dealing methamphetamine to a confidential police informant on Jan. 16 and 23 of this year. Those are class ‘B’ felonies that can carry up to 10 years in prison.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this week, and he is slated to stand trial on June 17. A status hearing is scheduled to take place next week.

He will be represented by the Office of Public Advocacy, but has not been assigned an attorney yet, the judge said.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at


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