Man given life sentence after killing officers

Man given life sentence after killing officers
April 5, 2013 Kurtis

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A Hoonah man has been sentenced to prison for life in the 2010 shooting deaths of two police officers, in a case that rocked the tiny community and galvanized the state’s law enforcement community.

State court Judge David George on Friday sentenced John Marvin Jr. to two consecutive sentences of 99 years in the deaths of Hoonah Police Sgt. Anthony Wallace and officer Matthew Tokuoka.

Jurors had found Wallace was on duty of the time of the killing, which the judge said necessitated the 99-year term. He said that also made Marvin ineligible for parole on that count. Jurors did not make the same finding for Tokuoka.

George called Marvin a “dangerous individual” and said he believed Marvin carried out the killings in revenge for a prior run-in with the officers.

Marvin maintained his innocence during the hearing and gave a rambling statement in which he referred to past cases against him, talked about insurance and due process and repeatedly referred to himself as a “high-ranking royal.” He flipped through a law book and at times interrupted his attorney Eric Hedland.

Marvin, 47, was convicted in November of first-degree murder in the deaths of Wallace and Tokuoka, who were gunned down in front of Marvin’s home in the village of Hoonah in August 2010. The case rocked the tiny community and galvanized the law enforcement community, with the officers’ memorial televised statewide. Several police officers were present for Friday’s sentencing.

During trial, District Attorney David Brower argued that Marvin held a grudge against the officers after a 2009 run-in. That incident, which left Marvin beaten up, stemmed from a trespassing call and led to charges against Marvin that eventually were dismissed. Brower argued Marvin killed Wallace and Tokuoka “in cold blood,” and said bullets used matched a rifle in Marvin’s home.

Hedland called the state’s case circumstantial. He said no one saw who fired the shots and investigators zeroed in on Marvin because he “fit the profile.” In his opening statements, Hedland said Marvin suffered from a “serious mental disability,” but he didn’t call any psychologists or doctors who might have treated or examined Marvin.

Marvin did not take the stand in his own defense.

On Friday, the judge heard statements from Wallace’s mother, Tokuoka’s widow, Haley, and Tokuoka’s father.

Marvin, wearing an orange jumpsuit and blue slip-on shoes, with chains around his wrists and ankles, did not look toward Haley Tokuoka or Dean Goodner as they read their statements, though they glanced at him occasionally.


AP writer, Becky Bohrer contributed to this story.


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