Day 11 – Testimony of Kevin Pease and Eugene Vent

KevinCourtTwo of the Fairbanks Four, Kevin Pease and Eugene Vent, took the stand during the 11th day of proceedings. The two men spoke to a packed courtroom and recounted the events of the night of October 10th, the early morning of October 11th, and the series of interrogations and events that lead to their wrongful arrest and conviction for the murder of John Hartman,.

Pease and Vent joined Marvin Roberts at the petitioners table, dressed in street clothes and flanked by attorneys. It was clear the three were happy to see each other, but the mood quickly turned somber. Pease and Vent were chained at the waist, and barely able to lift their hands high enough to be sworn in. They are aged. Both men look old enough now to be the fathers of the boys pictured in the photographs the last time they appeared in a Fairbanks Courtroom some eighteen years ago.

Pease took the stand first and described, as his alibi witnesses described in initial 1997 police contact, the original trials, and recently on the stand again, a night spent mostly at a party across town. Pease also described his background, life in 1997, and the police interrogation.

In initial questioning about family background Pease testified that he is an orphan. His father was murdered some six months before Kevin was sent to prison. His mother passed away while he was in custody. In 1997 he was living with his mother in downtown Fairbanks and both of them were grieving the sudden loss of his father. The mood in their house, he said, was tense. Different. Kevin was spending most of his free time with girlfriend Jessica Lundeen, who had to babysit the night of October 10th. So Kevin agreed to attend a party with friends, among them Eugene Vent, Kevin Bradley, Shara David, and Joey Shank. Kevin testified, as have many others, that they remained at a party in the Bradley residence until near 2:00am, then returned to downtown. Kevin was dropped off at home. When he went inside he woke up his mom, who was angry at him for making noise, and even angrier when she saw he was drunk. In his testimony, Pease described an argument that escalated into yelling, with Pease eventually punching the wall. He took off on his three-wheeler and his mother called the police on him. It was this call that led police to bring Pease into the investigation.

Pease described riding the three-wheeler to the home of friends Conan and Shawna Goebel, who both testified to the same series of events and the police behavior during their eventual questioning.

A large amount of testimony and cross-examination was spent on Kevin’s interrogation – specifically his initial choice to lie to detectives. By the time the police picked him up late on October 12, 1997, Pease had already heard rumors that Vent had been implicated in the a serious crime and that police wanted to speak to him about it as well.

“I was scared. I didn’t know what time I came back to town, I didn’t know what time this happened to that kid, I didn’t know what time it was when I walked home alone,” said Pease, his voice cracking into tears. “I was scared.”

It was fear, Pease testified, that motivated him to lie and deny having been out drinking or driving around that night. His girlfriend Jessica Lundeen had suggested he say he was with her all night, and he did. She testified to as much just days before Pease took the stand. Much of cross-examination focused on what State Special Prosecutor described as Pease’s “big whopping lie.” Pease remained adamant that he had lied to detectives out of fear, knew right away it was a mistake when he understood the seriousness of the charges, asked for an attorney, and corrected it.

As cross-examination continued, Pease was asked if he knew a James Wright. Pease testified that he did not, but that he saw that he was aware of his reputation as a snitch due in part to the words “James Wright is a snitch” being carved into the wall of Fairbanks Correctional Center.

Bachman used this line of questioning to accuse Pease of understating his understanding of prison politics.

Pease countered that he understood but preferred not to take part in prison politics, and that it was “common knowledge” that snitches are thought poorly of in prison culture. The line of questioning was interesting in that it likely points to an upcoming snitch witness for the Sate. Perhaps they found him after reading of his snitching abilities on the prison walls.

Kevin Pease was followed by Eugene Vent. Vent was seventeen and had a blood alcohol content of twice the legal limit when Officer Aaron Ring interrogated him for nearly 12 hours. Vent eventually agreed that he “probably” assaulted Hartman. Eugene Vent’s interrogation was the focus of cross-examination by Bachman.

EugeneVentCourtVent testified that a lack of confidence in his memory due to intoxication, police insistence that his “footprints were in the blood” and fingerprints at the scene, that witnesses placed him there, and other lies police used in interrogation eventually persuaded him he could have been there.

“I was listening to everything he told me. And eventually, I just believed him, Vent said. “I was feeling terrible, guilty.”

“Why?” Vent’s attorney, Whitney Glover, asked.

“Because I believed I had done something real bad,” Vent said, breaking into tears.

Vent went on to describe in greater detail how the Reid Method interrogation he endured led him to a state of such confusion he didn’t know what happened. Although he maintained innocence for many hours, he said, by the end of the process he was confused, felt obligated to help the officers any way he could, and ultimately followed their lead in agreeing he had “probably hit and kicked” a young John Hartman, and that he “guessed” he had been with George Frese, Kevin Pease, and Marvin Roberts.

“I’m responsible for dragging Marvin and Kevin and George into this and there’s not a day that goes by I don’t think about that,” Vent said, again becoming emotional.

Adrienne Bachman made it clear that she expects his cross-examination to be long and continue through the twelfth day of proceedings.

Although Vent’s eventual acquiescence to the police officers and subsequent implicating statements are often touted by the State of Alaska as the smoking gun in this case, experts in false confessions have called his statements a “textbook false confession.” Experts on the Reid Method, the method of interrogation used on Vent, caution that the method should not be used on minors, people who are intoxicated, or people who have any gaps in their memory. Under any of those circumstances, of which Vent had all three, the method is known to lead to false confession.

Vent’s attorney is expected to call a false confession expert to testify as to the psychology behind Vent’s statements. Continued cross-examination of Vent and the false confession expert testimony are likely to consume the twelfth day of proceedings.

Although revisiting imperfections and bad decisions is embarrassing – discussing a decision to lie to the police, a decision as a teenager to drink, and all the small sins that surface in this case – it is necessary. Because the whole truth is that no one is perfect. The whole truth is that being drunk, poor, Native, and in the wrong place at the wrong time made this possible. The whole truth is what needs to be told, even in moments that it makes the Fairbanks Four or their alibis look imperfect, because the whole truth is that no one is perfect. It is high time for the courts to recognize the truth, for the family of John Hartman to receive the truth, and these men to have opportunity to tell it. Nothing but good will come from that.

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Day 8 – These Are OUR Streets – Alibis Return

October 14, 2015

On the eighth day of proceedings in the Fairbanks Four case, alibis returned, or appeared in court for the first time.

bookertwashingtonConan Goebel came from his home in Washington to testify for the first time in this case. Despite having seen three of the four accused that night, and his very solid police interviews, Goebel was never called to a previous trial. Goebel reconfirmed the information in his police interviews – that Eugene and Kevin had been paging him from Kevin Bradley’s house party until they left Bradley’s near 1:30am. Goebel recounted having seen Frese, drunk but uninjured, late in the night, as well as Vent. Kevin Pease slept at Goebel’s house that night. Goebel discussed the police interviews at length, describing how he was threatened and bullied. “I realized that what I said really didn’t matter, that there was something he specifically wanted me to say, and if I didn’t I felt like he was threatening me,” Goebel said.

Goebel remains one of our favorite witnesses because he is a bit of an anomaly. The Reid Method of interrogation, by and large, works on almost everyone. Very occasionally it simply does not work, and creates this emperor’s new clothes situation. Conan Goebel’s police interviews demonstrate that the method is failing to work on him, and he remains very clear. His testimony was simple and clear as well – he knew that Eugene Vent and Kevin Pease were at the Bradley residence until between 1:30-2am. He saw George Frese after 3am and he was not injured. Kevin Pease slept at his house and likewise there was no indication he had been involved in a fight. When Detective Aaron Ring interviewed a teenage Goebel he threatened him, threatened his family, turned the tape recorder on and off, and said, “if you don’t tell me what I need to hear, I’ll see to it that you are arrested,” as well as insinuated that Goebel’s baby sister and mother could come to harm.

(Read portions of Goebel’s police interview HERE)

Kevin Bradley, now a civil engineer based in Montana, corroborated the other alibi testimony and confirmed that Pease and Vent had spent the critical hours of the night at his home. Bradley’s parent’s were away for the night, and the teen hosted a small party. He confirmed that Joey Shank, who testified the day before that he had driven Vent and Pease home from the party near 2:00am, was sober and driving Bradley’s mother’s vehicle. He also described being terrified at questioning and threatened by police officer Aaron Ring, and that the police were turning the recorder on and off.

Shawna Goebel, sister to Conan Goebel and attendee of the party, was fourteen in 1997 and testified to the details of the night as well and confirmed that Vent and Pease were at the Bradley party during the time the Hartman murder was committed. She described the threats and terror she encountered being questioned alone in her bedroom with no parent present.

Christy Moses testified to the same effect – the threats of investigators, the traumatic experience of being threatened and attacked by officers alone at the age of sixteen, without a parent, and confirmed the details of the night.

The witness testimony regarding police misconduct was corroborated by troopers McPherron and Gallen, who conducted the 2013-2015 investigation into the original case and convictions, who in earlier testimony confirmed that it appeared the confirmed that the officers turned tape recorders on and off, interrogated and threatened alibis instead of using standard questioning practices.

housepartyArlo Olson also testified in person at the state’s request, but maintained that his original testimony had been both entirely fabricated and the result of pressure and threats from Officers Aaron Ring, Jim Geier, and Prosecutor Jeff O’Bryant. Despite the prosecutor’s many attempts to get Olson to say he had been threatened by the Fairbanks Four or their supporters, he maintained that he had not.

Cross examination accomplished little except to reveal that the witnesses did not have precise times, but estimations – ie., “between 1:30 and 2:00 am” instead of “1:42am.” The witnesses maintained that their timeframes, given in 1997 and reiterated under oath in court, were honest and accurate.

All witnesses testified that they were with the men accused at the time of the murder and that the police threatened and bullied them when they came forward.

We hope that seeing these witnesses can underscore their humanity to the community of Fairbanks. These are not “Natives lying for other Natives” like Spartacus, as original prosecutor Jeff O’Bryant argued in the original trials. These are regular people – engineers, waitresses, counselors, homemakers, teachers. These are citizens of the United States of America who, as children in 1997, had their most basic rights denied and were threatened when they stood up against injustice by accident. Today they are adults who understand more about what this means, but they are no more believable. They should have been seen and heard in 1997, and they should have been protected from men who sought to use or harm them. Eighteen years of being dismissed, not seen individually but as a stereotype or group, and eighteen years of attack have left each of them somehow just as kind, calm, and willing to speak up as they were as children. Our community owes them an apology, and we owe the next generation of children better.

Day 8 News Coverage:

Testimony Focuses on Night of Killing

Listen to Testimony – NPR Coverage

I Am Spartacus – Prosecutor’s Hate Speech Backfires in Fairbanks Four Case

fairbanksfour4Prosecutor Jeff O’Bryant, in cooperation with lead detective Aaron Ring, was without question the driving force behind the conviction of the Fairbanks Four. They pursued the conviction with a strange zealotry that to this day remains hard to understand.

By the time the cases went to trial it is impossible to conceive that the two men driving the court action could have possibly believed that the Fairbanks Four were guilty. In fact, they fabricated court exhibits, coached testimony they knew to be false, and attempted to intimidate defense witnesses, threatening them with arrest if they testified. They do not appear in this story as men who believed incorrectly that the four young men were guilty. They do not come across as men making a mistake – in reality it is clear that their actions were deliberate and calculated. And someday, we hope they are imprisoned for the crimes they committed.

Jeff O’Bryant was the man who tried and convicted George Frese, Kevin Pease, Eugene Vent, and Marvin Roberts. He went to trial with very little evidence of any kind, a few jailhouse snitches in his pocket, one fabricated exhibit presented as scientific, and absolutely no physical evidence. In addition to the lack of evidence indicating the men were guilty, there was a tremendous amount of alibi testimony indicating that the men were innocent. To convict the Fairbanks Four, O’Bryant knew he would have to convict the alibis, the witnesses, and in reality, all Native people. He had the ideal stage. Overt, extreme racism against the Native people of Alaska is the norm in the northern state. Persuading an all-white jury that being guilty of being Native was guilty enough was not as difficult as we hope it will be someday. So, Jeff O’Bryant argued that the alibi witnesses in the Fairbanks Four case should be ignored because they were simply Indians sticking together the way Indians do, a la “Spartacus.”

Fortunately for ol’ Jeff, the jury must have met the demographic of people who have seen the movie Spartacus. In order to fully understand the reference we did some research into the Spartacus mythology, and the pop culture “I Am Spartacus” moment that Jeff O’Bryant compared Native people to. And, wow, Jeff. He got it all wrong. He really misunderstood Spartacus. And he really misunderstood Native people. He really misunderstood a lot of things, and the jury misunderstood with him. But at the end of the day, he may be right about the Spartacus-Fairbanks Four Supporter connection.

spartacusThe mythology of Spartacus has taken many forms, and made its way into American pop culture in the 1960 movie “Spartacus” starring Kirk Douglas. According to that account, Spartacus was born into a corrupt Roman empire, where the poor were regularly enslaved as soldier in a never-ending series of wars. Spartacus was born a soldier in that world, but eventually refused to fight and escaped. He was hunted down and arrested, then turned over as a slave in a labor camp. While enslaved there, Spartacus led a small band of other slaves to freedom with a brazen escape plan. Shortly after escaping, the enemy army located Spartacus and his fellow slaves in a camp. They fought off the soldiers sent to recapture them, and went on to free many more slaves and win many battles. At its height, his army born from a slave uprising is said to have reached over 100,000 men. As the leader of the most notable uprising of the lower class against the government in the history of the Roman empire, Spartacus was most-wanted man in the ancient world and there was a huge price on his head. When the Roman army eventually circled around and outnumbered the escaped slaves they made the recaptured soldiers a simple offer: all of the slaves would be pardoned. They would not be killed, but would remain slaves. All of their lives would be spared so long as they handed over Spartacus. If they failed to hand over Spartacus, they would all be crucified.

Spartacus heard the offer while they all sat surrounded and stood up. To spare the lives of his friends and fellow warriors, he said “I am Spartacus.” But one after another, more slaves stood up and proclaimed “I am Spartacus.”

i-am-spartacus-2The rebel army that stood behind Spartacus met a bloody fate. Most were killed that day in 73 BC and in the days that followed. 6,000 escaped followers of Spartacus were hunted down and crucified. The government lined the streets with their corpses as a warning to any other citizens considering rising up against the empire. Yet, the men died free, and the rebellion has inspired humanity ever since.

The story of Spartacus is told as a story of loyalty. Bravery. Of the perseverance of the human spirit and the ability to defeat enormous enemies in the face of oppression if not logistically, then spiritually.

With that in mind, it is a strange and poignant irony that Prosecutor Jeff O’Bryant chose this story as the metaphor for the Fairbanks Four alibis and witnesses. O’Bryant argued, apparently persuasively, that the witnesses were all somehow simultaneously fabricating their testimony in an effort to protect other Natives. Slaves. Unruly slaves were what came to mind when O’Bryant wanted to undermine an entire race of people.  According to the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer, O’Bryant told this version of the Spartacus story in closing arguments:

“It reminded me,” he told jurors, “of the movie where the Romans have a bunch of prisoners, slaves, and there’s an uprising amongst the slaves because of the conditions. And the leader of the uprising, apparently, was Spartacus.”

When the Romans came looking for Spartacus, O’Bryant observed, “much like the witnesses here” slaves stepped forward declaring “I am Spartacus,” one after another.

When the jury announced a guilty verdict, Kevin Pease turned to Jeff O’Bryant and said, “How does it feel to convict an innocent man, Jeff?”

How did it feel, Mr. O’Bryant?

fairbanksfour6In 1997 there was no army. There was no conspiracy, there was no massive decision by dozens upon dozens of Native people to lie for the benefit of other Native people. There were only people, telling the truth in a court of law, where they were dismissed at face value because of their ethnicity. Kids. Living out a role they were born into. They hadn’t had that moment yet. That moment when you realize some kinds of discrimination are bigger than the individual. Those kids walked into the courtroom believing justice was blind, and they walked out with their eyes wide open.

billfairbanksofurBut today, there is an army. There are thousands of people willing to stand behind these wrongfully convicted men and say, if you take one innocent person you take us all. To say no, we will not quietly allow you to take a few people in exchange for a life where we are complicit in our own continued enslavement. Thank you for pointing us to this inspiring bit of history. But remember, never take heavy words for granted. Never forget words have a power all their own, that once they leave your mouth there is always the risk that they will be truly heard. Cause guess what, Jeff? Can you hear them now? They’re saying, I am Spartacus. We are all Spartacus.

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Alibis and Witnesses II

Today we have words from two people who had two very different evenings the night the murder took place. Annette spent the night at a reception, having a good time, and her night ended in celebration. It was days before she realized that one of the guests at the reception had been arrested for murder. Like most people that evening, she was not watching a clock. Calvin was at the same reception, but when he left his night took a grave turn. While giving a few people a ride home he happened upon the nearly lifeless John Hartman. Below are the statements from both Annette and Calvin.

 

Calvin Moses is a respected member of his community. He works as a firefighter and IT specialist for BLM. Calvin is an alumni of Mt. Edgecumbe, a hunter, and dedicated father. He, along with his passengers, found a gravely injured John Hartman after leaving the wedding reception at the Eagle’s Hall and made the 911 call that brought the ambulance there. He testified at trial, and here is a letter below both about that experience and his belief that the Fairbanks Four were wrongfully convicted. Like many people, Calvin was initially persuaded by the early coverage of the case that the men were guilty, but after learning more about the case became convinced of their innocence.

      I just wanted to say that I was the person who found John, along with my my passengers Louise Joseph-Lambert and her late sister Christine. I was giving them a ride home from the Eagles and we drove to midtown to pick up their bags and then drove towards Townhouse motel where they had a room.
      I was driving along 9th when one of the women said what is that? As we got closer we saw a person lying on the street and I was going to get out and try to help, but one of the women said “what if who ever did this is still here?” so I didn’t get out, and we drove to their hotel room and called police. I had a hard time with that because I felt like I should have helped him if I could. I was called every day for a week from different investigators asking me questions about that night. I didn’t see anyone near John at the time we drove by. I think that these boys are innocent from reading the evidence posted by Brian and by all the witnesses on here.

     At the trials I attended I was really attacked by the defense attorneys because they tried to imply that I hit John with my car, and they tried to say “is it possible that I hit him, how much have I had to drink, etc.” I told them I quit drinking in Nov 15, 1991 and I don’t do drugs.

     I still think back and remember the look of despair on the young mens faces during the trials. That bothers me because at the time I remember thinking they were guilty because of all the press coverage I had seen about the admissions of some of them and how the press portrayed them as the murderers. I now know different, they were railroaded by the justice system that is suppose to be impartial and objective.

     How can we stand by and let these young men stay in jail any longer? I think that the supreme court should review this case. – Calvin Moses

 

 

Annette McCotter studied Human Services at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is a  full time mother to four children, a lifelong boater with a love of Alaska’s rivers, loves fishing and camping with family, sewing and beadwork, and was both in the wedding and at the reception at the Eagles’s Hall that night. Her statement about seeing Marvin throughout the night is below.

 

I was at the reception the night the murder took place. I saw Marvin Roberts off and on throughout the night at the Eagles Hall. I was at the reception beginning to end. I saw Marvin standing around chatting with people, dancing and sitting at a table. I don’t know the exact times I saw Marvin however at the time, time wasn’t of importance. That does not change the fact that Marvin was there and I did see him and say hello. The band was playing everyone was having a good time. Marvin was there having a good time like everyone else. To later find out he was being charged of this crime, I was in total disbelief. No way could Marvin have had something to do with this brutal act of hatred. He didn’t have it in him. Like Marvin said himself “I would have stopped it.” Marvin would have stopped it. – Annette McCotter

 

There is an abundance of alibis and witnesses to support the claims of innocence of these men. If you were with any of the four on this fateful night, interviewed by police, involved in the trials, please consider telling your story, whatever it is. For many people it is painful to return to memories of the police interviews, but please keep in mind that these four men have been imprisoned for 14 years, courageously standing on their innocence, and that your input could help them to achieve justice. Even more importantly, if you have information about alternative suspects, no matter how insignificant it may seem, please report them to the Alaska Innocence Project at 907-279-0454 or at info@alaskainnocence.org. You can give a tip completely anonymously if you want to. There is an ever-growing reward for information in this case.

And, supporters, spread the word. We need to reach people who have information that supports the evidence of these men, but we also need word to reach people who have evidence supporting the guilt of others.

 

Marvin’s Last Night – Timeline

Below is a detailed timeline of Marvin’s motions on the evening of October 10th and early morning hours of October 11th. John Hartman was murdered at 1:30am. You can read a timeline of John Hartman’s night HERE.

Marvin spent most of the night of October 10th and early morning hours of the 11th doing two things: dancing at a wedding reception and serving as designated driver to scores of people. Many, many people testified that they saw Marvin throughout the night. Ultimately the DA would make the argument that their testimony should be discounted because his alibis were Native, that Marvin was Native, and that all Natives lie for each other.

Here is what we know of how Marvin spent his last night of freedom:

11:00 pm – Marvin picks up his friend Daniel Huntington from a house about ten blocks from the Eagles Hall.

11:05 pm – After driving for a few blocks Marvin and Daniel stop to chat with some girls on 2nd Avenue. The girls were: Skye Malemute, Monica Carlo, and Justina Demoski. They joked for a few minutes before continuing down the road.

11:15 pm – They arrive at the Eagles’s Hall and head inside, but the dance is not yet in full swing so they decide to go look for a few more friends.

11:20 pm – Marvin and Daniel arrive at Harland Sweetsir’s house, but no one is home. They then drive through the Klondike parking lot and a few other local haunts to see if they come across anyone they know. They don’t, and decide to head back to the Eagle’s Hall and see if things are picking up over there.

11:35 pm – Marvin and Daniel arrive at the Eagles Hall and spend a few minutes talking with Harland Sweetsir, Shannon Jenkins, and Brad Cruger.

11:40 pm – Marvin and Daniel drive a block over to Mapco to use the payphone to page Conan Goebel. They wait 5-10 minutes for a call back but don’t get one. They head back to the Eagle’s Hall, this time to head inside and join the reception in earnest.

11:50 pm – Marvin arrives at the Eagle’s Hall and sees friend Angelo Edwin outside. Daniel stays outside and Marvin hooks up with Angelo. They head in together, where Gary Edwin asks them to sit with him, joking that there are too many women at his table. They sit at his table.

12:00 am – 12:45 am –  Marvin dances with a series of women, including Athena Sweetsir, Tracy Monroe, Michelle Andon, and a handful of others.

12:45 am – Marvin drove a block over to Mapco (gas station) to get a soda for Athena Sweetsir. He was alone in the car.

12:55 am – Marvin made it back to the Eagle’s Hall with a pop for his dancing partner. He say with Gary Edwin, Angelo Edwin, Carrie Orrison, Eileen Newman, Tracy Monroe, and a few others.

1:15 – 1:30 am – Around this time there was some commotion concerning Frank Dayton, who had arrived back at the Eagle’s Hall injured. Marvin and Angelo asked Gary Edwin what had happened, and he responded “I’m trying to find out.” Out of the commotion, Marvin and Angelo eventually hear the basic story – that Frank Dayton had been mugged by four men driving a white or tan four-dour car. (911 Call came in at 1:30am, the same time John Hartman was being assaulted. Police would eventually add the mugging of Frank Dayton to the charges. Three people testified to seeing Marvin while the 911 call was made).

1:45 am – (approximately) Marvin sees Frank Dayton, who has a cut on his head.

1:45 – 2:00 am – Daniel Huntington rejoins Marvin and Angelo. All three continue to hand out at the Eagle’s Hall, where things seem to be quieting down.

2:00 am – The band stops playing. They are on break but a lot of people leave thinking the dance has ended.

2:05 am – Marvin, Daniel, and Angelo realize that the band is only on break and that the reception is not ending, and drive to Detour (a nearby club) to tell some of their friends that the party was not over. Gilbert Frank went with them. Gilbert was unable to get into the club so they all returned to the Eagle’s Hall.

2:15 am – They arrive back at the Eagle’s Hall and run into Allen Sisto who had just been dropped off by Joey Shank (Read more on Eugene’s timeline HERE)

2:30-45 am (approximately) – Marvin drives Alan Sisto and Shara David to Conan Goebel’s house on 24th Avenue. When Marvin drops off Allen and Sisto at Conan’s house Eddie Kootuk was there, and hops in with Marvin to head back to the Eagle’s Hall

2:45am – 3:00 am –  Marvin arrives with Eddie Kootuk at the Eagle’s Hall, and Marvin goes back inside to dance and mingle.

3:00 – 3:30 am – Marvin heads back outside of the Hall, where he visits with Calvin Charlie, Kevin Charlie, and Gilbert Frank for a few minutes. He reconnects with Angelo and Daniel and they decide to drive back over to The Detour to pick up their friend Shannon Jenkins. When they pull into the club parking lot it appears to be closing, with patrons outside in the parking lot and in cars. They cannot spot Shannon Jenkins.

3:30 am – They drive the half block over to Arctic Bar and find Shannon there. Marvin gives him a ride to an apartment at Executive Estates. The group goes inside for a few minutes, then leave Shannon there and head to Alaska Motor Inn to check out a party there.

3:50 am – Marvin, Angelo, and Daniel arrive at the Alaska Motor Inn. They see a heavily intoxicated Eugene Vent sitting on the bed using the phone. Harley Semekan is there along with Nicole Pitka and Gilbert Frank. Gilbert is passed out on the bed. The are only there for a short time before they are told the police had been called on the hotel room.

4:15 am – After hearing that the police were on their way, Daniel takes off on foot. Marvin leaves in his car and drops Angelo off before going home and going to bed.

The next afternoon the police arrive at Marvin’s house and take him into the station to interrogate him. He is as stunned as you would expect him to be. Read about his interrogation and access transcripts of it HERE

Everything that comes next is…..unthinkable. If it had not happened, it would seem impossible. Marvin is arrested for the murder of a young man he had never met, whom he had no connection to, with no physical evidence, and shortly after many hours of interrogation where he begged for a lie detector and maintained his innocence. Marvin had never had so much as a speeding ticket before the day he was arrested for Murder in the First Degree.

Read what Marvin has to say about his time in prison HERE.

Read about the physical evidence against him HERE.

Read a little about the men who sought him HERE.