Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, June 22, 2007

Police charge teens in store assault

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ANCHORAGE - Four teenagers suspected of beating a man wearing red - a rival gang color - at a gas station convenience store have been arrested.

Anchorage police are seeking a fifth person.

The five are suspected of links to a Crip gang, police spokesman Paul Honeman said. Red is associated with a rival Blood gang.

Tuesday night police arrested Shane Uele, 18, Patrick Tauanuu, 18, Misitini Asi, 19, and a 16-year-old juvenile they did not name.

Prosecutors have charged the men under a rarely used 11-year-old law that allows authorities to elevate a misdemeanor crime to felony status if gangs are involved. The defendants could face five years in jail and a $50,000 fine if convicted.

The three adults made a court appearance at the Anchorage jail on Wednesday with family members and friends looking on. Uele and Tauanuu looked to their mothers when the judge asked if they had enough money to hire defense attorneys. They said they did not.

Police believe a fifth suspect, Tauanuu Muai, 20, left for a funeral in Texas before the arrest warrants were issued.

The June 4 attack was captured on the gas station's surveillance camera and police asked local media to air it. The series of fast-moving still shots shows more than a dozen young people, mostly Polynesian youths in blue, storming the gas station and convenience store and taking down James Day, 23, who wore a red shirt and red baseball cap.

Police arrest witness in '95 homicide case

FAIRBANKS - A key witness in a 1995 murder case has been taken into custody on a material witness warrant, Fairbanks police said.

Police on Wednesday arrested Shannon Boyle, 33, at a 25th Avenue home.

Prosecutors want Boyle to testify in the murder trial of Marvin Wright, 38, who is accused of killing Tricia Warren, 19, a cashier working at a south Fairbanks gas station and convenience store.

Wright, a federal prisoner with a drug history, was indicted in December in the Warren case on charges of first- and second-degree murder, robbery and tampering with evidence.

Wright's trial was scheduled to begin last week but prosecutors asked for delays as police looked for Boyle.

A new trial date was set for Aug. 6, prosecutor Corinne Vorenkamp said.

Boyle was arrested on a material witness warrant plus a warrant charging her with violating parole.

Warren was married to a soldier. According to her family, the mother of two took the job 10 days before her death at the Tesoro 7-Eleven Discount Truck Stop to help pay bills. She took the overnight shift because it paid an extra 50 cents per hour.

Warren was on the telephone with a friend at about 4 a.m. on Sept. 5, 1995. She abruptly ended the conversation and the friend told police she thought a customer had come in.

An Alaska State Trooper stopped at the store to buy a newspaper at 4:09 a.m. and found Warren's body. She has been shot in the head.

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