When witnesses told a Juneau 911 dispatcher Friday that a man was holding a knife to a woman's throat, there was little chance they knew Randall Clevenger had threatened similar action before.
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Clevenger vowed to cut his wife's throat with a sword if she ever left him, according to court documents. The threat came in 1995, shortly after the couple was married and their second child was born. Years later, he threatened to "take on all of (the) Juneau Police Department" while arguing with his wife about their divorce.
The Clevengers' 12-year marriage dissolved last November, and Clevenger's victim Friday was not his ex-wife.
Friday evening, a lone Juneau Police officer found the sword-wielding 40-year-old father of two along a wooded path near Thunder Mountain Mobile Park and shot him three times in the chest with a .40-caliber pistol, killing him. The officer tried to back away before the shooting, police said.
Clevenger, who was 5 feet 8 inches tall and 180 pounds, had a Samurai sword in his hands and screamed for the officer to kill him as he advanced on the officer with the sword raised, police said.
Clevenger died on the path.
"We don't shoot to kill," Juneau Police Lt. Ed Mercer said. "We shoot to stop."
The officer chasing Clevenger had little chance of knowing that Clevenger had threatened officers before while arguing with his wife about their divorce. Clevenger made many threats to and at his wife, according to court records.
Clevenger's threats are laid out in court protection orders requested by his ex-wife. The Juneau Empire is withholding her name because of the allegations of domestic violence.
Mercer said the officers dispatched to Thunder Mountain Road on Friday did not know about Clevenger's past threats, his background or the growing domestic situation with Clevenger's ex-wife.
"We had no idea of the threats on file," Mercer said. "They didn't know who they were confronting."
Police have not yet released the name of the officer who shot and killed Clevenger. Mercer said two additional officers were on scene but not nearby when Clevenger was shot.
The officer who shot Clevenger had not been identified by police as of Monday evening. He was placed on administrative leave.
Juneau courts can share threat information, "but it's not standard procedure," Mercer said.
Available court records show Clevenger was convicted for only one serious crime in Juneau. He served six days of a 40-day sentence on a drunken driving and reckless endangerment conviction in July.
Records also show that police paid visits to Clevenger's ex-wife more than once for domestic violence calls, including January of this year.
Clevenger's wife asked for legal protection twice after ending their marriage eight months ago. Before the divorce, she accused Clevenger of smoking marijuana with his 12- and 14-year-old sons. She even claimed he hit one son with a rifle stock.
Records detail that Clevenger threatened his wife three times in 2006 before the divorce.
"He said if I went through with this he would make my life a living hell," she said. "He has nothing to lose, so he is going to take everybody he can." His ex-wife escaped him a few times by staying at the AWARE women and children's shelter and in hotels.
Police say they treat every domestic violence call as a threat. That's regardless of whether Clevenger's name carried any warning, Mercer said. Juneau Police send two officers to domestic violence calls as standard procedure.
"There is no reason we can't send more," Mercer said.
Clevenger's ex-wife told a Juneau court that he was taunting her and "stalking" near her trailer. Clevenger called her 32 times in one four-hour stretch.
"He threatened to take away my kids," she said.
During a January 2007 court appearance, Clevenger told a judge that he loved his wife and children. He told the judge that the allegations of threats and abuse made by his wife were false. "There is not a single bit of truth in those allegations," he said.
"I would never hurt them," Clevenger said. "I even love her."
Before his ex-wife asked a judge for a protective order against Clevenger, she said he threatened to hurt her five times.
The judge asked why she took so long reporting him. His ex-wife said, "I was in fear of what would happen to me."
According to court records, Clevenger had been threatening his ex-wife for more than a decade.
"If I left with the boys, he would take us both out," she said.
Contact Greg Skinner at 523-2258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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