Man pleads no contest in paintball hate crime

Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2001

n Wiseman admits to videotaping attack on Alaska Natives

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ANCHORAGE One of three young men charged in a paintball attack on Alaska Natives pleaded no contest Monday in District Court to three counts of misdemeanor assault.

Charles Deane Wiseman, 20, of Eagle River, admitted he videotaped the attacks on at least seven people Jan. 14 in Anchorage. Six of them were Natives.

Wiseman, who was 19 at the time of the attack, pleaded no contest as part of an agreement with prosecutors. He had pleaded not guilty in May to seven counts of misdemeanor assault. The change of plea agreement incorporated the complaints lodged in the other four counts.

Wiseman is expected to be sentenced Aug. 31.

District Court Judge Peter Ashman said he would like to get public input prior to Wiseman's sentencing given the effect the attacks had on the community.

John J. Novak, chief assistant district attorney for Alaska, also asked that people contact him with sentencing advice.

"This is a unique case," he said. "What I'm asking, and I think what the court is asking the community, is, OK, what should be done?'"

Wiseman faces a maximum of three consecutive years in jail and a $5,000 fine. A judge can also impose community work service.

Wiseman remains out on bail. His attorney asked the judge to lift a restriction that prevents his client from driving, imposed after his March arrest. But Ashman denied that request after outraged testimony by four victims.

"We're trying to make life easy on this young man," said Amy Keltner, the only non-Native victim in the January attacks. "I was minding my own business. I'm afraid to walk the city streets. I'm afraid of youths."

"I think he should just take the bus," said Sophie Miller, another victim.

Wiseman and two younger men, both 17, set out from Eagle River on the evening of Jan. 14 and drove to downtown Anchorage to, in their words, go "hunting" for what they called "drunk Eskimos," according to court documents.

The juvenile in the front passenger seat was the principal shooter, firing at all the victims except for one fired at by the driver, prosecutors said. The two other young men face proceedings in juvenile court.



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