Jerzy Shedlock

After four months of unconventional court proceedings, Marvin Simpson says the more stringent but personal tone of an experimental federal court for former prisoners has kept him grounded and focused on what’s most important. “I work 10 hours a day. If I’m not at work, I’m around my family,” said Simpson, 44. “My circle of friends has shrunk to where I’m around positive people who have a lot to offer me; people with substance. My fiancee is supportive, and my three kids are happy their father is around. “The kinds of things I choose to do are more family-oriented.” Simpson is part of a small group involved in a pilot project that began in May. It’s called Hope Court, a re-entry court for federal offenders -- a first for federal court here. Similar courts have existed at the state level...Jerzy Shedlock
Eight attorneys have applied for the forthcoming Alaska Supreme Court vacancy, which will be created by Justice Dana Fabe’s expected retirement in June 2016. The hopefuls include private practice attorneys, a tribal court judge and several state Superior Court judges. The Alaska Judicial Council said in a prepared statement Friday it will vet the applicants. Those evaluations include background checks, a survey of Alaska Bar members and personal interviews. The lawyers who applied have practiced law from a low of 14 years to a high of 32 years, according to the council. Andrew Guidi is the most practiced applicant. Currently an Anchorage Superior Court judge, Guidi has lived in Alaska for 33 years and practiced law for nearly as long. This year, he narrowed the scope of a court order...Jerzy Shedlock
U.S. District Court Judge Russel Holland, who presided over the monumental Exxon Valdez oil spill court cases, removed his black robes to joke and offer personal thoughts on the stories surrounding his decades of legal work on the disaster Thursday in an Anchorage federal courtroom. Speaking to dozens of lawyers and judges in an informal gathering of the federal bar, Holland said the oil spill could have been avoided if Exxon had acknowledged the captain of the tanker fell off the wagon. Capt. Joseph Hazelwood’s handlers at Exxon knew he was drinking at ports up and down the West Coast, said Holland, who is 79 and semi-retired. “They should have removed him from command. The result was a huge mess in Prince William Sound,” he said. The Exxon Valdez saga reached an anticlimactic end last...Jerzy Shedlock
After five days at large, former Bethel police officer Aaron Fedolfi was arrested in Anchorage on Tuesday night on a warrant accusing him of trying to sexually assault a drunken woman while on the job. Fedolfi made his first appearance Wednesday at the Anchorage jail courtroom on third-degree attempted sexual assault and official misconduct charges, both misdemeanors. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Doherty rescheduled Fedolfi’s District Court arraignment for Thursday. She said the court did not have the Bethel-related charges needed to make decisions about his case. Fedolfi asked Doherty if he’d be able to bail out in Anchorage. The judge noted Fedolfi’s arrest warrant set his bail at $20,000 and required a third party to take responsibility for his oversight as custodian. The case stems from...Jerzy Shedlock
Charges filed Monday in federal court allege the man who robbed a Midtown Anchorage bank in early August has committed multiple, other bank robberies in the past. Wayne Michael Sexton, 44, has been charged with bank robbery, using a firearm to commit a violent crime and possession of a firearm, as he’s a convicted felon, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the state. Sexton is accused of armed robbery at the Credit Union 1 on Eureka Street on Aug. 7. He brandished what appeared to be a revolver and demanded money from bank employees, the FBI said at that time . An informant called the law enforcement agency nearly two months after the robbery, stating she believed Sexton robbed the bank and that she was in possession of the revolver, according to the...Jerzy Shedlock
A jury on Monday convicted a man with a history of assault for shooting a passerby who took notice of his idling vehicle in East Anchorage, according to prosecutors. Jesse Kern, 33, was found guilty of first-degree assault and tampering with evidence after a five-day trial, according to the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Laura Dulic, who prosecuted Kern, presented testimony showing Kern started an argument with a man walking by the vehicle on Jan. 21. The two men exchanged words before Kern declared, “I will just shoot you,” according to the charges. Kern was carrying a revolver during the argument; the passerby wasn’t armed, prosecutors said. When Kern brandished the gun, the shooting victim tried unsuccessfully to knock it out of Kern’s hand and was...Jerzy Shedlock
A 55-year-old Wasilla man stands accused of molesting a girl for 13 years, with the abuse occurring here and in Louisiana, according to Alaska State Troopers. David Kazarian has been arrested and charged with four counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree. Troopers got a report on Oct. 28 about Kazarian abusing the victim, now 20 years old, over the past 13 years. The majority of the abuse took place in Louisiana, they said. The next day, law enforcement with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation’s child abuse unit in the Mat-Su and other units met Kazarian at his Wasilla residence and took him into custody. The Office of Children’s Services also coordinated with the units, as Kazarian had other children living in his home, troopers said. Kazarian is currently jailed at the Mat-...Jerzy Shedlock
A plea agreement filed Friday says former XS Platinum Inc. mine operator James Slade plans to plead guilty to a felony violation of the federal Clean Water Act, avoiding a potential second trial. Slade signed the agreement, admitting he broke the law by discharging dirty water from his company's placer mine into the Salmon River in Southwest Alaska. He admitted he failed to report the pollution as his mining permit required, and to using fresh water instead of recycled water at the mine as outlined in a mining permit. Federal prosecutors alleged XS Platinum Inc. and its executives and on-site managers violated clean water regulations when they intensified efforts to recover platinum from an old mine on the edge of Kuskokwim Bay during its 2010 and 2011 mining seasons. The operation...Jerzy Shedlock
Anchorage police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who fled from a West Anchorage residence in handcuffs. Around 6 a.m. Friday, police found 26-year-old Armando “Tony” Walker at a home on the 2000 block of West 34th Avenue, Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Castro said in a news release. Walker has an arrest warrant for felony assault, Castro said. “While attempting to take Walker into custody, he fled from officers on foot,” she said. Walker was last seen running west on the avenue to Iowa Street, heading toward a bike path. Police say he’s 6-feet-4 inches-tall and weighs about 220 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. At the time he fled, he was wearing a black shirt and blue jeans. Walker’s hands are cuffed behind his back, police reported. On...Jerzy Shedlock
On Wednesday, a federal jury found an Anchorage plastic surgeon guilty of wire fraud and tax evasion after he hid assets worth millions of dollars during his divorce. The trial against Michael Brandner, 67, lasted eight days and resulted in convictions on four counts of wire fraud and three counts of tax evasion. The government called around 30 witnesses and presented more than 300 exhibits. Brandner was acquitted of two additional counts of wire fraud and prosecutors dropped another before the trial began. Prosecutors said at the time charges were handed up that Brandner devised a four-year scheme to defraud his wife after she filed for divorce in 2007. He created sham investments overseas, filed false tax returns and misled Internal Revenue Service special agents. Shortly after the...Jerzy Shedlock