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Man charged with murder arraigned in Juneau

Posted: Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The alleged killer of two Hoonah police officers was arraigned Tuesday in Juneau Superior Court.

Klas Stolpe /  Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

Bail was set at $1 million, and Judge John Sivertsen Jr. ordered a third-party custodian for John Marvin Jr., should he make bail.

"Five hundred thousand for each officer," District Attorney Doug Gardner said in asking for the high bail amount. His request came after reading a lengthy prior arrest record for Marvin to the court.

Marvin surrendered to law enforcement agencies Monday morning after barricading himself inside his home for nearly 36 hours, after allegedly ambushing and fatally shooting Hoonah police officers Matthew Tokuoka, 39, and Anthony Wallace, 32, late Saturday evening.

One of Marvin's previous charges involved an incident where Marvin was jailed for assaulting officers Tokuoka and Wallace, but the two officers later asked the charges to be dismissed because "they wanted to move on," Gardner said.

Marvin is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Alaska law mandates a sentence of 99 years in prison for any person convicted of first-degree murder when "the defendant is convicted of the murder of a uniformed or otherwise clearly identified peace officer."

During his arraignment Marvin looked at the charging documents. When Sivertsen asked him if he understood them, Marvin repeatedly inquired as to who had attended to one of the slain officers.

"Who's treating officer Wallace?" Marvin said when read his charges.

"Who's treating him sir?" replied Sivertsen. "I don't know, I think he is dead. Do you understand these charges?"

Public defender Eric Hedland represented Marvin during the arraignment.

Marvin is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing at 3 p.m. on Sept. 10. However, that could change if a grand jury indicts him.

As Marvin's legal process began, Hoonah continued to struggle with what has happened. Bob Prunella, Hoonah's acting city administrator, said the town is coming together and comforting one another as best they can.

The village of 800 held two de-stress briefings Tuesday afternoon.

"The investigation is ongoing and the family is being surrounded with love," said Rory Schneeberger. Schneeberger is a friend of Tokuoka's family and a former psychologist assisting with some of the counseling sessions. "They took us under their wings when we moved here 10 years ago; they are just so special, so very special."

Her husband Pete Schneeberger said many of the Hoonah youth Tony Wallace coached in wrestling are angry and venting.

"I tell them to do 20 pushups when you think of Tony, and when you think of Matt know that he did a heroic thing, raise your head, get your chin off your chest and honor him... he was a hero, he laid down his life for a friend.

"Everything is different now, we have lost friends, we have lost family, we have lost neighbors... we are all in this together and now we are trying to figure out how to continue on."

Hoonah resident Louie White said she would remember Wallace for his laugh.

"He told me I wasn't his best friend but I was right up there, that I was about No. 3, he would say, and laugh," Hoonah resident Louie White said. "That is what I remember so much about Tony, his laugh."

Memorial funds have been set up at Alaska Pacific Bank in the names of Deborah Greene, Wallace's mother, and Haley Tokuoka, wife of Matt Tokuoka.

Several branches, including those in Juneau, have already received inquiries. Bank operations officer Kim Gibb said. Those wanting to donate can stop by, send in checks or transfer funds from other Alaska Pacific accounts, Gibb said. Checks should be made out to Deborah Greene, Haley Tokuoka or to Alaska Pacific Bank with a notation in the memo as to either officers' name, or both names. For more information, call 789-4844.

"We will be glad to help donators in any way we can," Gibb said.

Gov. Sean Parnell ordered state flags lowered to half-staff on Monday in honor and memory of Tokuoka and Wallace. Flags will be raised to full-staff today.

"This is a tragic loss for Alaska and the community of Hoonah," Parnell said in a press release. "Officers Tokuoka and Wallace represent the sacrifice our law enforcement officers make every day as they work diligently to keep our communities safe. These men had a passion for serving and protecting Alaskans and our state is better because of their commitment to excellence. Sandy and I will keep their families, friends and fellow officers in our thoughts and prayers."

• Contact Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.



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