A Juneau man charged with assault, robbery and weapons misconduct was sentenced to 17 years in prison after taking a plea agreement in June.
Joshua V. Lehauli, 30, nearly went to trial facing 18 counts in connection with an assault in February 2016 but instead opted to take a plea deal. On Oct. 20, his sentence of 17 years came down, according to court documents. The final judgment was filed on Nov. 29.
Lehauli pleaded guilty to first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and third-degree misconduct involving weapons. Had he been found guilty of all 18 counts he was facing, Lehauli could have spent the rest of his life in prison.
According to the State of Alaska’s complaint against Lehauli dated Feb. 17, 2016, Lehauli beat another man, James Newman, with a metal baseball bat after breaking into Newman’s residence on Feb. 14, 2016. According to the complaint, Newman was at Bartlett Regional Hospital on Feb. 15 when he asked to talk with police.
Newman told Juneau Police Department Officer Alex Smith that Lehauli came into his residence the previous night and told Newman to open his safe. When Newman refused, Lehauli hit him with a metal baseball bat in the legs and head and then held him at gunpoint. At Newman’s residence, police found blood on the floor and walls and a metal baseball bat with blood on it. They also found stereo equipment to be missing.
The following day, police located Lehauli’s vehicle and found stereo equipment that Newman had identified as stolen and found a pistol that was consistent with Newman’s description. The next day, Feb. 17, police interviewed Lehauli.
A written report from Detective Matthew Dubois states that Lehauli “said in essence that he was at Newman’s apartment, struck Newman with a bat in the head and legs, possessed a firearm but didn’t point it at anyone.” The report also states that Lehauli said he wasn’t alone and that others also stole property from Newman.
At Lehauli’s sentencing in October, court records show that his defense attorney Gregory Parvin spoke about Lehauli’s promising upbringing. Lehauli spent a great deal of time with his family, Parvin detailed, and was a standout football player in high school. Then drug and alcohol use started to have an influence on Lehauli, Parvin said.
Parvin mentioned that Lehauli will eventually be eligible for parole and that he will have time to see his daughters grow up. In a brief statement, Lehauli expressed his regret and apologized to the community.
Man sentenced after threatening two with a knife
On Tuesday, Andrew Steven Harper, 44, was sentenced to two years in prison after he allegedly threatened multiple people with a foot-long knife in the parking lot of the Airport Apartments on April 3.
According to charging court documents at the time, Harper was reported to be intoxicated and began challenging a woman to a fight in the parking lot of the Airport Apartments. As a male resident came to the woman’s aid, Harper pulled out a foot-long knife.
The male victim had a Taser, according to the documents, and was eventually able to get Harper to back down. The male victim, identified in court Tuesday as Mr. Hall, said that he doesn’t like courtrooms and felt uncomfortable being there but that he felt that he had to share his thoughts on Harper.
“He started coming after me and screaming, ‘I want to slit your throat and watch you bleed from the inside out,’ and charging after me and going after me,” Hall said. “He wanted to kill me. I didn’t think I would make it through that day.”
Harper made a brief comment, expressing his regret for the incident and that he’s going to try and focus on becoming a better person.
Driver in high-speed chase to plead guilty
A man who led police on a high-speed chase in April 2016 indicated Tuesday that he will plead guilty.
William Eugene Fleming, 24, was arrested on April 30, 2016 when he was found driving a stolen Ford F-150 erratically through Juneau.
According to a press release from JPD at the time, the F-150 was spotted driving on the wrong side of Egan Drive near the Empire. Officers tracked the vehicle down and turned on their lights to indicate that they wanted the driver to stop. The car kept going, leading police on a chase over the Douglas Bridge and out to North Douglas.
The vehicle continually swerved and almost hit other vehicles head-on, according to the press release. Just past False Outer Point, the F-150 drove off the road and crashed in a ditch. The driver, Fleming, had sustained minor injuries and was arrested for vehicle theft, failure to stop at the direction of an officer and driving under the influence.
Fleming’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Friday, March 30.
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.