A man charged with murder in the October shooting death of another man in downtown Anchorage made his first court appearance in the case Saturday.
A grand jury indicted Korakanh Phornsavanh, 26, on Thursday for allegedly killing Said Beshirov, 27, outside Platinum Jaxx on Oct. 28.
According to Anchorage police, a fight broke out that night among people partying for Halloween. Beshirov, a kick boxer, apparently stepped in when a woman was knocked to the ground, police said. In a written statement Friday, police said video from surveillance cameras and cellphone cameras led them to Phornsavanh.
Because Phornsavanh was indicted in a closed grand jury hearing rather than with information detectives filed in court, many details of the investigation have not been made public.
Phornsavanh was in the jail's courtroom Saturday for his initial hearing.
At first, Phornsavanh told a magistrate he wanted to hire a private attorney. But he changed his mind after a short discussion with the magistrate, Danica Swanson, who appointed a public defender.
"Can I speak with him right now?" Phornsavanh said.
No, not until Monday, Swanson said.
"I need to find out now who my attorney is so I can tell him someone to look for," Phornsavanh said.
Swanson said Monday would be the earliest Phornsavanh could speak to the public defender. She kept Phornsavanh's bail set at $1 million.
Beshirov's friend, Jeff Landfield, said outside the courtroom that he'd been waiting for eight months to see the man caught for killing his friend. Landfield was with Beshirov the night of the shooting, he said, but did not recognize Phornsavanh in court. Many of those outside the club wore Halloween costumes, Landfield said.
"It's reassuring, it's a relief, that this guy's been caught," Landfield said.
Reach Casey Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4589.
By CASEY GROVE