Experts debate mental state of man accused in Hoonah killings

2 OFFICERS KILLED: One doctor finds him delusional, another says it's anger.

The Associated PressSeptember 7, 2011 

JUNEAU -- A man accused in the ambush-style fatal shootings of two Hoonah police officers is angry but lucid enough for trial, one doctor said, while another expert found him to be delusional with possible brain trauma.

John Marvin Jr. has pleaded not guilty to two charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of officers Anthony Wallace and Matthew Tokuoka in August 2010. Three experts testified Tuesday in a hearing over whether he is competent to stand trial.

Wallace was standing outside his cruiser and visiting Tokuoka when he was shot in the leg and back. Tokuoka jumped from his car to aid Wallace when he, too, was struck.

Marvin was arrested after a prolonged standoff with authorities. According to court records, he previously attacked the same two officers as they responded to a call about an intruder. Assault and other charges were later dropped.

Dr. Lawrence Maile of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, who interviewed him four times, said he did not find that Marvin suffered from a delusional disorder. Maile described Marvin as antisocial, according to Wednesday's Juneau Empire. At that point, Marvin interrupted the hearing, saying: "I object. I am not antisocial. I am very social."

Marvin was angry at the Hoonah police department, as well as at his attorney, Maile said.

A second expert, Dr. Fred Wise, a University of Washington professor and a private practice clinical neuropsychologist, also called Marvin angry and said that he was combative.

Marvin believed he was "high ranking royalty and an ancient virgin," said Wise, who interviewed him at Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Marvin was delusional with possible organic brain trauma, he concluded.

A third expert also evaluated Marvin for culpability, not competency. Dr. David Sperbeck evaluated Marvin for his mental state at the time of the events.

He found Marvin wanted to be in charge of their interview and was evasive, not answering questions and keeping a smile on his face.

"He was trying to be clever," Sperbeck said. "Just telling me what he wanted me to know, not what I wanted to know."

Marvin's trial was set to begin next month. It could be held next year if the court decides Marvin is competent to stand trial.

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