Already serving 199 years, inmate gets 19 more for assault on guard

Casey Grove
Fran Durner

An Anchorage inmate serving what is essentially life in prison for killing two men in 2009 had more time tacked on Wednesday for severely beating a corrections officer in 2012.

A jury convicted James Coven, 27, on two counts of murder for the deaths of Christon Lee and Matthew Peterson, both 19, in a drug deal gone wrong, and a judge later sentenced Coven to 199 years in prison.

While he was held at Anchorage Correctional Complex, Coven attacked a corrections officer who would not allow him to use a phone and had ordered Coven back to his jail cell, Deputy District Attorney Clint Campion wrote in a statement.

"Coven's assault caused multiple fractures to the officer's jaw, a fractured nose, multiple broken teeth, and a concussion," Campion wrote.

A jury convicted Coven of assault in January, and a judge sentenced him Wednesday to 19 more years in prison, according to Campion.

"Coven told the court that he was already being punished for his assault on the officer because he was serving his sentence in segregation," Campion wrote.

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