Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

By CVN Staff 

Court Report

 

May 13, 2010



Judson Morgan, 24, of Haines was convicted March 3 of second-degree vehicle theft for allegedly stealing a snowmachine Jan. 26 from outside a Skyline residence.

The snowmachine’s owner pursued Morgan and another man, following the machine’s track through fresh snow, and caught both with police help.

Morgan was sentenced to 90 days in jail and ordered to pay $100 in police and jail charges, plus $217 in restitution to the owner for damage to the machine.

Morgan pled guilty. During discussions about sentencing, the district attorney pointed to Morgan’s lengthy record, calling it "a pretty serious criminal history for someone so young."

The court also convicted Harley G. Whittington, 20, of Haines of second-degree vehicle theft in the incident. He pled guilty.

Whittington was sentenced to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay $200 in police and jail charges, $100 suspended. He was placed on one year’s probation on the condition he violate no laws.

During the court proceedings, magistrate John Hutchins gave Whittington a suspended imposition of sentence based on his youth and lack of criminal history.

Paul L. Swearingen, 24, of Haines was convicted April 22 of fourth-degree misconduct involving a weapon.

He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, ordered to surrender the weapon, and to pay $200 in police and jail charges, $100 suspended.

The charges stem from an incident April 18. Swearingen called police to say a stray bullet had hit him in the stomach the previous night, and said he needed medical help.

Shortly afterward, a doctor asked police to come to the clinic for safety reasons. Police and troopers interviewed Swearingen when they arrived.

According to police, Swearingen told state trooper Ricky Merritt he and a friend had driven to the rifle range at 7 Mile Haines Highway. He said drunken youths had been shooting an automatic weapon, and a stray bullet had passed through the door of his friend’s vehicle, striking him in the stomach.

Merritt asked to see the wound, and observed a pistol in Swearingen’s waistband. Merritt secured the weapon, a fully loaded 9 mm pistol, and found a loaded magazine in his rear pocket.

During a second interview with police, Swearingen reported he made up the story to get a prescription for painkillers, and said he was addicted to the drug.

Stephen J. Gailliot, 39, of Haines was convicted Feb. 24 of misdemeanor assault. By committing the crime, Gailliot also violated terms of probation for a prior offense.

Gailliot was sentenced to 300 days in jail and ordered to pay $100 in police and jail charges.

The charges stem from an incident at a bar Nov. 11, during which Gailliot reportedly pulled out a knife during an argument with another man. Two witnesses told police they had been afraid for their safety, and said Gailliot had yelled he was not afraid to use the knife to harm others.

During court proceedings, another witness said a man with whom Gailliot had been arguing had egged him on.

Gailliot told the court a man had jumped him at the bar, and said he had pulled a knife to ward him off. He admitted he should not have pulled the knife, and also admitted his mistake entering the bar to begin with, as it violated terms of his probation on a prior conviction.

During sentencing discussions, the district attorney said the offence was serious, and said Gailliot had a lengthy record of assaults dating from 1990 that seemed to have escalated in recent years.

Magistrate John Hutchins said Gailliot had never been given the opportunity for in-patient treatment for alcohol abuse, and thus was lenient on the probation violation even while sentencing him to considerable time for the assault.

David Landry, 43, of Haines was convicted Jan. 29 of second-degree harassment for an incident Dec. 23 during which he reportedly flicked a cigarette at a relative and pushed a teenager.

Landry was sentenced to 90 days in jail, suspended. He was ordered to pay $200 in police and jail fees, $100 suspended, and to complete counseling for alcohol abuse and anger management. Landry was sentenced to three years’ probation.

Police on Dec. 23 responded to a 911 call from a person who said Landry was threatening a woman and a child. Witnesses said Landry was arguing with a woman, and said Landry had pushed the teenager who attempted to intervene.

Witnesses said Landry had flicked a lit cigarette in the woman’s face as she called police.

Tim Banks, 49, of Haines was convicted May 6 of driving without a valid driver’s license.

Banks was fined $125, suspended, on the condition he show a valid driver’s license within 30 days, and was ordered to pay a $50 police charge.

Police stopped Banks April 6 after noticing his vehicle’s registration was out-of-date and a headlight was out. He admitted he did not have a valid driver’s license in any state.

Lisa Marie Flory, 44, of Haines was convicted March 26 of failing to yield at an intersection and for leaving the scene of a vehicle accident.

Flory was fined $125 and ordered to pay a $50 police charge.

According to police, Flory failed to yield at the intersection of Third Avenue and Mud Bay Road on March 13, and pulled out in front of an oncoming vehicle, damaging it.

Flory did not give contact or insurance information to the other driver, and left before police came to make a report.

Coy Taylor, 49, of Haines was convicted Feb. 18 of misconduct involving a controlled substance.

The charges result from a traffic stop during which police found a small container of marijuana in Taylor’s car.

Taylor was fined $500 and ordered to pay a $50 police charge.

Police stopped Taylor Feb. 10 after he failed twice to use turn signals. As Taylor was producing his license and registration, an officer asked to see a small prescription bottle in the console, which contained marijuana.

During court proceedings, Taylor pled no contest. He said he hadn’t been the last person to drive the truck and didn’t know where the marijuana came from, but didn’t want to go through the hassle or financial burden of fighting the charge.