Brain aneurysm burst during fatal assault

Defendant arraigned on charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide

The victim in a downtown assault had a pre-existing aneurysm that burst due to trauma from the fight, according to preliminary autopsy results.


Aaron G. Monette, 56, died July 4 at a Seattle hospital, five days after he allegedly was attacked by David Valentine Evenson, 51.

Evenson turned himself in to Juneau Police Department officers Friday and was arraigned on charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. He appeared in District Court Monday afternoon and a preliminary hearing into the evidence against him was set for Thursday.

JPD received a report about the assault near the Downtown Transit Center at just before 1 p.m. June 30.

According to the criminal complaint filed by Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige, Monette was unconscious when Capital City Fire/Rescue arrived at the scene. He had to be intubated and his heart shocked due to an irregular heartbeat; he had no obvious visible injuries to his face.

Monette was transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital by ambulance; he was later medically evacuated to Harborview Medical Center.

Several surveillance videos reportedly showed Evenson and Monette exchanging words, and then walking outside, the complaint states. Evenson allegedly is seen in one video rushing Monette and punching him in the side of the head, and then kicking him in the face. One witness told officers she saw a punch, and another witness said he saw Evenson punch Monette and then kick him several times in the ribs.

Evenson reportedly told a friend afterward that “he didn’t even hit the guy hard,” and that after Monette fell to the ground “he went to kick him and then saw something happen in the guy’s eyes.”

A pathologist in Seattle conducted an autopsy on Monette and made a preliminary finding that the pre-existing aneurysm that ruptured in the assault was a contributing factor to his death, the complaint states.

Paige noted in the complaint that Evenson has 33 prior criminal convictions and is facing assault charges in a 2015 case.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 523-2246 or


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