Judge sets status hearing for alleged Hoonah officers' killer

Posted: Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A status and trial hearing for the man alleged to have killed two Hoonah police officers was set for 2 p.m. Jan. 21 by Judge David George Tuesday in Juneau Superior Court.

George granted defense attorney Eric Hedland's request for a mental health evaluation for his client John Nick Marvin Jr., the Hoonah resident charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the fatal ambush of Hoonah policemen Anthony Wallace and Matthew Tokuoka.

District Attorney Doug Gardner had filed a motion to extend the speedy trial deadline, but that filing was not heard Tuesday. State law requires a defendant to receive a trial within 120 days of being charged, but a judge can order that period increased if cause is shown. Gardner's motion asks for a 60-day extension of that deadline.

Gardner was prepared to call Alaska State Trooper Capt. Randal Hahn and Alaska Crime Lab Director Orin Dym as witnesses in support of his motion to continue because of the unavailability of evidence material to the state's case.

George's order of a mental health evaluation for Marvin did move the speedy trial date past its deadline. Gardner responded to George's decision by asking for an examination of culpability for the time of the shooting, but George denied that request.

Hedland again expressed he has reason to doubt his client's fitness to proceed, while Gardner said he understood what the evaluation topics are and had been prepared to call witnesses and believes mental disease or defect will become an issue of the case, and was therefore pushing for culpability issues.

Hedland is expected to file a motion on Friday asking to reschedule the trial after the results of a mental health examination.

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

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