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$1M bail set for suspect in Alaska police slayings

By RACHEL D'ORO

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 12:55 a.m. HST, Sep 01, 2010


 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Bail was set at $1 million Tuesday for the man charged in the fatal ambush of two police officers, one a former Hawaii man, in a small southeast Alaska village.

John Marvin Jr. faces two counts of first-degree murder in the weekend deaths of Hoonah police officers Tony Wallace and Matt Tokuoka. The officers were shot late Saturday.

Tokuoka, 39, grew up in Kalae, Molokai. His wife of seven years came from Hoonah, where Tokuoka joined the police force 18 months ago. They have a son and daughter. According to a Hoonah Police Department press release, Tokuoka was a Marine Corps veteran.

Marvin made his first court appearance Tuesday in Juneau, 40 miles east of Hoonah. He was arrested Monday after a standoff with authorities.

Marvin, 45, was assigned to the Alaska Public Defender Agency, but an attorney has not yet been appointed to the case, said Eric Hedland, a public defense attorney in Juneau. Under his bail conditions, Marvin would have to be released to a third-party custodian, Hedland said.

According to court records, Marvin attacked the same two officers while they were responding to a call about an intruder last year, but assault and other charges were later dropped.

Juneau District Attorney Doug Gardner said he explained the reasons for the dismissal at Tuesday's court hearing, but refused to disclose it to a reporter.

"What I say in court is one thing," he said. "I'm not going to talk to the media about it."

Meanwhile, Hoonah residents were dealing with their grief over losing the two officers, a number that amounted to half the police force in the community of 800. Chaplains and counselors have arrived to help people cope, said Bob Prunella, acting Hoonah administrator.

On Monday night, Hoonah residents held a candlelight ceremony to remember Wallace, 32, and Tokuoka, 39. The ceremony was held near Marvin's home, where the two were gunned down in front of family members, including Wallace's mother, who was visiting from Florida.

"I think a lot of people needed it," Prunella said of the ceremony. "I needed it."

Among those attending the ceremony was Wallace's mother, Debbie Greene of St. Petersburg, Fla. She was on a patrol ride-along with her son when the shootings occurred, said Jamie Brothers, an ex-girlfriend of Wallace who remained friends with him.

Tokuoka was off-duty, driving away from his father-in-law's home with his wife and two children, when the two officers stopped to chat.

Brothers said Greene texted her Tuesday, saying she could only stay at the ceremony for a few minutes.

"She said, 'I was standing in the spot where my son was killed. I just couldn't do it,'" Brothers said.

In Anchorage on Tuesday evening, a procession of law enforcement vehicles followed hearses carrying the officers' bodies from the state medical examiner's office to a downtown funeral home.

 






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