A man convicted of arson eight years ago for burning down a historic Juneau church is facing parole violations for committing a new crime, prosecutors say.
Robert “Bob” Huber, 32, pleaded guilty to the new offense, misdemeanor fourth-degree assault, during a change of plea hearing Tuesday in Juneau Superior Court.
Huber was originally charged with felony third-degree assault for physically harming his girlfriend on Nov. 5, but prosecutors reduced the charge to a misdemeanor as a part of a plea deal. Huber will be sentenced Thursday.
Huber is still on probation for burning down the 110-year-old Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Gold Street in March 2006. The loss of Juneau’s second-oldest church was significant for the community, especially since the fire also destroyed the adjoining church hall, a neighboring house and a boat. The church’s congregation raised $1 million and rebuilt it in late 2009 at the same location. Huber was sentenced in January 2007 to 15 years in prison with seven years suspended (eight years to serve).
Assistant District Attorney Amy Williams said she does not expect Huber will be charged with violating probation, but he may have violated his parole, a subject to be determined by the Alaska Department of Corrections. The matter likely will be addressed further during Thursday’s sentencing hearing.
In a related case, a woman who was housing Huber and his girlfriend at the time of the assault has been charged with a felony for possessing 25 or more pot plants. Police said previously that Huber tipped police off to the marijuana grow as he was being arrested.
Police followed up on the tip and later seized 55 pot plants, grow equipment and 10 guns from the woman’s residence on Windfall Avenue. Prosecutors charged the woman, identified in court documents as Bonnie Odom, on Friday. She is scheduled to be arraigned in Juneau Superior Court later this month.
• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.