AD Main Menu

Trial of man accused of killing Hoonah officers goes to jurors

Becky Bohrer
Becky Bohrer

JUNEAU -- A Hoonah man "harbored a resentment" against two police officers for a run-in that left him battered and bloodied, and he killed them "in cold blood," a prosecutor said Thursday.

District Attorney David Brower said jurors should find John Marvin Jr. guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of Sgt. Anthony Wallace, 32, and Officer Matthew Tokuoka, 39. The two were gunned down in front of Marvin's home in the village of Hoonah on Aug. 28, 2010.

Jurors got the case late Thursday with instructions that if they find reasonable doubt as to guilt on the first-degree murder charges, they can consider second-degree murder or manslaughter. Deliberations are scheduled to being Friday morning.

Relatives of the officers and Marvin were among those in the crowded courtroom for the at times emotional closing arguments, during which Brower held up remnants of the officers' clothing, pointing out the holes.

He began his arguments by replaying fragments of radio traffic from Aug. 28, 2010, including the hysterical shrieks of Wallace's mother, Debbie Greene, who had been on a ride-along with him that night. Greene, who sat next to Tokuoka's widow, Haley, in the courtroom, sobbed as the tape played. The women held hands and consoled each other.

Brower said testimony had shown that Marvin wasn't the same person after a 2009 run-in with the officers. He said the precision of the shots leaves no doubt that Marvin, a skilled hunter, intended to kill them. Bullets used or found matched a rifle that was in Marvin's home, he said.

"The type of gun that people use to hunt large game, Mr. Marvin used to kill people," he said, showing jurors the rifle allegedly used in the crime.

Defense attorney Eric Hedland said prosecutors didn't prove their case. He said what they have is circumstantial and that it's possible someone else killed the officers.

He said Marvin was singled out as a suspect because he "fit the profile" -- he was involved in the 2009 incident, lived near the crime scene and was reclusive and acted aloof. No witnesses saw Marvin shoot, he said.

Earlier in the day, jurors had been shown pictures of injuries that Marvin suffered to his face and arms in the 2009 incident, which stemmed from a trespassing call. Charges against Marvin in that case, including assault on the officers, were eventually dismissed. The photos included one showing his face puffy and bloody.

Marvin, 47, did not testify at the trial. Superior Court Judge David George had asked him if he would like to testify on his own behalf or remain silent, as is his right. Marvin replied, "I will remain silent," and said it was his decision.

Hedland, in his opening arguments, said Marvin "suffers from a serious mental disability." He did not call any psychologists or doctors who may have treated or examined Marvin and didn't really elaborate on that point in his closings.


By BECKY BOHRER
Associated Press