Kodiak Man Acquitted of Murder

Jacob Resneck, KMXT – Kodiak

A 31-year-old Kodiak man has been acquitted of second degree murder after a jury returned a not guilty verdict. But the jury did convict Chawn D. Summerall of felony assault and he will likely remain incarcerated until he is sentenced this spring.

Summerall was one of two men accused in the 2008 beating death of 41-year-old Darrell Cavaness of Kodiak. The jury spent late Thursday, all-day Friday and just a couple of hours Monday deliberating before returning its verdict shortly after 10 a.m.

Neither the prosecutor nor defense attorneys that had argued the case were present for the reading of the verdict but heard the decision through a conference call.

Present in court was Josh Fitzgerald, a court-appointed attorney representing Summerall. He would not speculate on the type or length of sentence Summerall faces when sentenced.

It was on the night of Jan. 22, 2008 that Cavaness was found beaten unconscious in an apartment on Natalia Way in the city of Kodiak. He died about a week later in an Anchorage hospital.

An earlier indictment against Summerall was thrown out after a judge ruled prosecutors had presented hearsay as evidence. Charges were refilled against Summerall and the murder trial began Dec. 6.

Also indicted is 31-year-old Joshua Erickson, who faces a charge of second-degree murder. Prosecutors had decided to try the men separately and that trial is scheduled to begin in March.

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