JUNEAU — The man convicted of killing two police officers in the southeast Alaska community of Hoonah has been sued by the city.
John Marvin Jr. was sued by the city of Hoonah earlier this year as part of a wrongful death case brought by the widow of one of the officers.
Marvin was sentenced earlier this month to two consecutive 99-year prison terms in the August 2010 deaths of Hoonah Police Sgt. Anthony Wallace and Officer Matthew Tokuoka. Tokuoka’s widow, Haley Tokuoka, last year sued the city, claiming among other things that it had breached its duty in training and supervising Wallace and others on the police force in their dealing with “violent and mentally unstable individuals like John Marvin Jr.” The lawsuit also claimed that as a result of Wallace’s “negligence,” Haley Tokuoka and her children have suffered.
According to testimony at Marvin’s trial, the Tokuokas stopped at a trash bin near Marvin’s home on the night of the shooting to get rid of dinner scraps. Haley Tokuoka said she saw Marvin through a window in his home slamming a dark object that she said looked like a military ammunition container. She said she told her husband, “It looks like John Marvin is going crazy.”
Wallace, who was on duty, pulled behind the couple’s vehicle, jokingly flashing his lights and sounding his police siren. His mother, visiting from out of town, was on a ride-along.
Haley Tokuoka said she told Wallace what she saw and he shone a flashlight toward Marvin’s house, drawing a rebuke from her husband. Wallace then went to the couple’s vehicle to talk to their kids while the Tokuokas spoke with Wallace’s mother. Shots rang out soon thereafter.
In her lawsuit, Haley Tokuoka describes Wallace’s action as a “traffic stop,” for which she said there was no basis. The lawsuit puts damages at more than $100,000. She has requested a jury trial.
The city, in its response filed in February, said Wallace was not negligent and did not cause the damage claimed by Haley Tokuoka. It filed what is known as a third-party complaint — essentially bringing Marvin into the matter — and asked that Haley Tokuoka’s lawsuit against the city be dismissed and that any fault or award of damages be allocated to Marvin.
No court dates have been set yet, though Frank Koziol, an attorney for the city, said he expects a trial will likely begin next year. He said the parties will be filing a planning report for the court soon.
Tokuoka’s father told the judge at Marvin’s sentencing that he believes Haley Tokuoka’s claim against the city should be dismissed, saying it was Marvin’s actions that resulted in his son’s death and that the people of Hoonah have supported her and her family.