A 29-year-old Anchorage man pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder Thursday in Superior Court. Andre Clinton, a young man who police pulled over for drunk driving twice in the past three years prior to a fatal wreck, faces the murder charge after rolling his Chevrolet Avalanche earlier this year. A female passenger who was ejected from the vehicle died as a result.
Clinton faces three felony charges, including second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault.
A judicial officer pulled Clinton, who was in a wheelchair, into the arraignment. Clinton slumped over in the chair and did not address the judge, letting a public defender enter his plea. He briefly raised his head to observe the back of the room.
Clinton's bail is $100,000.
On July 12, Clinton was reportedly driving eastbound on Commercial Drive when he lost control of his truck around a curve. The vehicle rolled multiple times, and both Marcia Mausali and Clinton were ejected.
Those two plus another passenger were taken to Alaska Regional Hospital, where Mausali was pronounced dead. The woman's death was one of four DUI-related fatalities in two months, prompting the Anchorage Police Department to ramp up drunken-driving enforcement with the help of citizen volunteers.
The night after the department's announcement, another DUI death added to the year's rising toll.
According to court documents, no charges for the fatal wreck were filed prior to a grand jury indictment on Nov. 6. Police issued an arrest warrant for Clinton when the charges were handed down, but they were unable to locate him for a week. Anchorage police arrested Clinton on Wednesday morning, after tipsters pointed to the alleged drunk driver's location.