The defendant in a fatal assault in downtown Juneau will not face a murder charge.
On Wednesday, a Juneau grand jury declined to indict David Valentine Evenson, 51, on a charged count of second-degree murder, indicting him instead on counts of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
Evenson allegedly punched and kicked Aaron G. Monette, 56, on June 30. Monette died July 4 at a Seattle hospital and preliminary results from his autopsy revealed he had a pre-existing aneurysm that burst due to trauma from the fight, according to the criminal complaint filed against Evenson.
Surveillance videos reportedly showed Evenson and Monette exchanging words in the downtown transit center, and then walking outside, the complaint states. Evenson allegedly is seen rushing Monette and punching him in the side of the head, and then kicking him in the face.
Evenson reportedly told a friend afterward that “he didn’t even hit the guy hard,” and that after Monette fell to the ground “he went to kick him and then saw something happen in the guy’s eyes.”
A pathologist in Seattle conducted an autopsy on Monette and made a preliminary finding that the pre-existing aneurysm that ruptured in the assault was a contributing factor to his death, the complaint states.
According to Alaska statute, murder in the second degree would mean that he knowingly engaged in conduct that resulted in the death of another, under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life.
Manslaughter is when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes the death of another person. Criminally negligent homicide is when, with criminal negligence, the person causes the death of another.
According to Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige, if Evenson goes to trial and is convicted of both counts, the criminally negligent homicide charge would merge with the manslaughter count.
The potential sentence for manslaughter is five to nine years for a first felony offender, Paige said. But, she noted, Evenson has a number of aggravating factors in his criminal history — including 33 prior criminal convictions and assault charges in a 2015 case — that could increase that potential sentence to 99 years, which is the maximum sentence for that offense.
Evenson is set for arraignment in Juneau Superior Court on Monday.
Glacier visitor center burglary suspect indicted
The man suspected of breaking into the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury on two counts of second-degree burglary, one count of second-degree theft and two counts of third-degree criminal mischief.
Mack Arthur Parker, 51, remains in custody on $10,000 bail; he is set for arraignment in Superior Court on Monday.
Security cameras caught a man breaking in to the visitor center and the Discovery Southeast bookstore at approximately 4:30 a.m. on July 2, prompting the closure of the popular center and neighboring trails until about noon that day.
According to the criminal complaint, Juneau Police Department officers responded and found only one vehicle in the parking lot, a black Chrysler they recognized as being associated with Parker.
Parker reportedly was seen nearby and the Chrysler, which is registered to his wife, appeared to be full of items from the visitor center. He had left his dentures behind in a backpack, the complaint alleged.
The suspect also broke into a gift shop just off the parking lot, and surveillance video footage showed the break-in and the man loading items into the Chrysler. The man seen in the footage reportedly matched photographs of Parker and officers familiar with Parker identified him from the footage.
• Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 523-2246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.