Kevin’s Last Night – Timeline

Kevin Pease spent most of the night of October 10th and the early morning hours of October 11th with other teenagers at a house party. Much of the night is painfully ordinary – he of course could have had no idea as he went through his night that each moment would come under scrutiny. That as he climbed into a car stuffed to the brim with teenagers, laughing and enjoying the night, across town a boy had never met was being beaten to death. That he would come to be wrongfully convicted of that crime. That this night would become the one that divided his life into a before and after.

One of the kids he was with for much of the night was Eugene Vent, who of course would be accused as well. Below is a detailed timeline of his activities and movements, derived from police transcripts of interviews with others, and testimony from his trial.

10:00 pm – Kevin is with a group of kids who are all getting a ride from Christy Moses in a van who stop by Eugene’s house to pick him up. They are all headed out to a party at Kevin Bradley’s house off Chena Pump Road.

10:30 pm – The group arrives at the house party, where they play drinking games, listen to music, and hang out for the next several hours. One of the people there is Joey Shank, who doesn’t drink and is the designated driver that night.

1:30 am – A group of nine kids, including Joey Shank (sober driver), Kevin, Eugene, Shawna, Allen, Shara, Eddie, Nathan, and Dana pile into Kevin Bradley’s mother’s car and drive toward town. Kevin Bradley was ready to have the party end, and the group was hoping to meet Conan at the Eagle’s Hall. About this same time, across town, Hartman is attacked. Read his timeline HERE.

1:50 am – Joey Shank and his passengers arrive at the Eagle’s Hall. All of them, except for Shara and Nathan, get out of the car. Kevin, Eugene, and the rest stand outside on the porch talking with people who are outside. Only Dana goes inside, and looks for Conan (Everyone was! See the PAGING CONAN post). Joey estimated that they stayed for five minutes.

1:55 am – After Dana determines that Conan isn’t at the reception, the group all jumps back in the car. Eugene hopped in the front seat even though Kevin had called shotgun, so Kevin got Eugene to move and Kevin rode in the front, Eugene squeezed in with the rest in the back. They left to drive  to Conan Goebel’s house.

2:05 am – The group arrives at the Goebel Residence, but Conan isn’t home. Shawna Goebel, Kevin Pease, Eddie, and Nathan get out at the Goebel house. Joey Shank drives the rest of his passengers (Eugene Vent, Shara, and Allen) back to the Eagle’s Hall. Kevin hangs out at the Goebel residence briefly

2:15 am – Kevin walks home.

2:50 am – Kevin is at home and gets in an argument with his mother, the late Carol Pease. He woke her up when he came in, she was angry, and the two argued. Kevin overturns some potted plants  in anger. He then gets upset and leaves on a three-wheeler.

3:00 am – Carol calls the police to tell them that Kevin left on the three wheeler without permission. Of course she would have had no way to know that this call would in part cast suspicion her son’s way, and deeply regretted ever having made the call. In an interview in 2001, she sobbed while explaining to reporter Brian O’Donoghue how trivial the incident had been and how sincerely she blamed herself for her son later being framed in the Hartman case.

3:15 am – (approximately) Kevin arrives back to the Goebel residence, where settles to sleep on the floor. Conan, Shawna, Shara, and a handful of others confirm that Kevin arrived by three wheeler and spent the remainder of the night sleeping there at the house.

The testimony of a crowded house party and packed car, with the especially time-aware testimony of Joey Shank, place Kevin across town at a party and in a crowded car during the crucial times surrounding the assault of John Hartman. Like the others, Kevin is not linked to the crime by physical evidence of any kind, and has an abundance of abilis for the critical time.

In the flurry of press and speculation, the community of Fairbanks made these four young men into monsters in their minds, and were so blinded by the desire for closure that they did not consider the facts, and the gaping holes in the police theory. But dehumanizing these young men came first – perhaps if anyone had remembered that these young men were sons, brothers, friends, human beings, none of this could have ever happened. So, we will close with this picture of a young Kevin Pease as a reminder to all that these four accused were human. As a warning that this could have happened to anyone’s child, still can today. That Free the Fairbanks Four movement is a human rights movement at its core. Sign the petition to end this injustice here.

Beautiful Gifts – A Letter from Marvin

It is wonderful to receive two things at once when each serves to illuminate the other. Today we had one angry comment that these guys are “drunks” who should “rot in jail like they deserve” and one letter from Marvin, who has every reason to be bitter, but is instead humbled, faithful, hopeful, forgiving, and grateful. Please remember that all four of these guys do not have to rot in jail. All of them could be out and free if at critical points they had taken a deal, or even as recently as this fall, agreed to express remorse instead of innocence at a parole hearing. They have chosen, at great personal cost, to stand behind the truth because it is right, and despite their experiences are united in their faith that they will some day be exonerated and free, that God has a plan for them.

The stamp on the letters that come from Marvin (pictured above) say “Correspondence originated from a correctional facility. Facility not responsible for substance or contents.”

It is a poignant label. The content originates from Marvin’s heart, and despite his years locked up in facilities, the substance remains courage and truth. Marvin’s letter scanned better and is quite readable – here it is. We will type it out soon, but wanted to get it out today, as he provides some insight into how we respond in our hearts when hate comes our way.