staff and Wire reports

Posted: Sunday, June 06, 2004

Police find 4 suspects in reported riflings

JUNEAU - Police apprehended and released four teens in connection with rifling incidents in two areas of Juneau early Thursday.

At 1:36 a.m., a witness reported seeing two boys going into cars in a parking lot of a local motel, which police would not identify. Officers reported they located two 16-year-old boys who admitted going through cars and taking items from them.

Both boys were turned over to their parents. Theft charges are pending, police reported.

In the other incident, at 4:08 a.m. in a residential neighborhood in the Lemon Creek area, a witness reported seeing three people going through vehicles and carrying a duffel bag.

Man gets 17 years for drunk driving fatality

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man has been sentenced to 17 years for a 2002 drunk-driving crash that killed one person and badly injured another.

Prosecutors say Garrett Bowley, 24, was driving a Ford Bronco at speeds of up to 70 mph when he ran a red light and crashed into a car with 18-year-old Aanoalii "Auno" Filoiali and Karen Saena inside.

Filoiali, a recent high school graduate, died in the crash and Saena suffered serious internal injuries.

At the time of the accident, Bowley was on probation on a felony drug charge. Prosecutors say he ran away from the accident and later told police he had been carjacked.

In February, a jury found Bowley guilty of manslaughter, felony assault, drunken driving, tampering with evidence and failure to render assistance.

Judge Mike Wolverton on Thursday said the "horrific results" of Bowley's decision to drive drunk, especially while on probation, called for a long prison sentence. He revoked Bowley's probation and found him guilty of the drug charge.

Wolverton gave Bowley 10 years in prison for manslaughter, three additional years for assault, four more for tampering with evidence and not helping his victims, and the standard three days for drunken driving, for a total of 17 years and three days.

Bowley also could receive 25 additional years if he violates probation after he is released.

Kenai dog dispute winds up in court

KENAI - A two-year-old dispute over a mixed breed dog has wound up before a magistrate in Kenai.

Kenai resident April Woodworth lost her puppy, a husky mix named Coco, in August 2002. Woodworth's young son, the dog's primary play pal, was away for the weekend. Woodworth told the Peninsula Clarion she chained the dog to a run in the back yard and went into her house. An hour later, the dog was gone.

While attending Industry Appreciation Day in Kenai a year later, the Woodworths saw a woman, Melissa Knight, sitting with a dog that looked like Coco.

According to Woodworth, Knight said she had gotten the dog as a puppy and raised it herself. According to Woodworth, Knight's daughter corrected her mother's statement. "She said, 'No, Mom. Remember, we found her and she was all dirty and smelly,' " Woodworth said.

Woodworth's husband offered Knight $1,000 for the dog, but Knight refused the offer.

Woodworth called state troopers in an attempt to get the dog back. In January the matter made its way into Kenai District Court.

In court, Knight testified that the dog was not the same one lost by Woodworth, but did state that her daughter had found the animal as a stray.

Magistrate George Peck ordered that a DNA test be performed. Hair from Coco on a blanket that Woodworth had kept in the hope the dog one day would return was to be taken to a veterinary hospital. Knight was ordered to bring the dog to the same veterinarian so that a hair sample could be collected for comparison.

After three months, several missed veterinary appointments and numerous "Request and Order" forms filed by Woodworth to enforce Knight's cooperation, the women found themselves in front of a judge again April 30.

Knight testified she no longer had the dog. She said it had run away in Anchorage while staying at a pet boarding facility.

Magistrate David Landry ordered that unless the dog was produced within two weeks for DNA testing, he would rule in favor of Woodworth, and Knight would be responsible for paying $4,000 - half the amount of a maximum loss allowably claimed in small claims court.

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