Thursday, December 17, 2009

Anchorage man sentenced to 48 years after slashing man to death after sex

A 29 year old man who slashed a man to death during a sexual encounter in Anchorage, AK was sentenced to 48 years in prison Thursday, December 10 by State Superior Court Judge Philip Volland.

Hunter killed Randall Roe, 47, after Roe picked him up on Fourth Avenue early one morning in November 2006. Roe, who had brain damage from a bicycle accident, was high on cocaine and had his own history of trouble. Something went wrong during the encounter, the men struggled, and Hunter pulled out a knife and killed Roe in the cab of Roe's pickup, according to trial testimony.

Hunter testified at both his trials that he acted in self-defense and that he was not himself because he was so intoxicated on malt beer and vodka the morning of the murder. The first jury couldn't reach a verdict. The second jury acquitted him of first-degree murder but convicted him of the lesser second-degree murder charge.

At the sentencing, the defense and prosecution argued over whether Hunter was just intoxicated that night and acting out or if he is a dangerous man with mental health problems who cannot be controlled. Prosecutor John Skidmore asked Volland to send Hunter away for 60 years, saying he was a danger to the community. Defense attorney Paul Maslakowski asked for the minimum 10 years.

One aspect of the trial which helped Judge Volland determine the character and mental state of Hunter was his two hour long statement, read to the courtroom after his conviction. Volland said that the statement told him more about the defendant than the evidence and statements from officials.
That allocution was telling me more about Mr. Hunter than anything else in this case...[It was] a rambling, disjointed discourse largely irrelevant to sentencing in which Mr. Hunter both simultaneously admitted to his various mental health and addiction problems and denied them...This is a man in denial of his problems. This is a man who has some significant cognitive problems. This is a man not completely in touch with his surroundings and the world.

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