Judge Sets Hoonah Murder Suspect’s Bail at $1 Million

Matt Miller & Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

A Juneau magistrate has set bail at $1 million for the Hoonah man accused of shooting and killing two police officers last weekend.

45-year-old John Marvin Jr. appeared in Juneau District Court today (Tuesday) — escorted by a state trooper and a judicial services officer — dressed in red prison pants and shirt, slip-on shoes, and hands and feet cuffed and chained.

District Attorney Doug Gardner justified such a high bail amount by saying the shooting of Officers Tony Wallace and Matt Tokuoka was an “unprovoked slaying.” Both officers did not even contact Marvin Saturday night and were — instead – socializing with their own family members. Marvin also has a record – including a conviction for sexual abuse of a minor in 1993.

Magistrate John Sivertsen attempted to explain to Marvin his rights, but Marvin did not appear to be very responsive.

At least twice he blurted out, “I’m John McMartin Royal.”

Then, after reading the charging documents, he repeatedly asked “Who’s treating Officer Wallace?”

In partial frustration, Magistrate Sivertsen replied “I don’t know. I think he’s dead.”

Marvin was appointed a public defender who did not immediately contest the high bail amount.

Sivertson advised Marvin that – if convicted — he would face a minimum of 99-years in prison for each charge of murder of a police officer.

Today’s court hearing was also attended by members of the District Attorney’s office –a few of whom were visible upset — half-a-dozen Juneau police officers, state troopers from the Juneau post, and other courthouse staff.

Marvin’s next court appearance in Juneau District Court is September 8th unless a grand jury returns with a bill of indictment. Then, the case will automatically go to Superior Court.

Meanwhile, Hoonah’s Interim City Administrator Bob Prunella says counselors from SEARHC Behavioral Health led community stress management workshops today (Tuesday) at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. He says the counselors are also meeting with people individually as needed.

“I know they’ve already been meeting with a lot of the first responders and there’s two chaplains here that are connected to the state police, and they’re going to spend an extra day. So, some good stuff’s
happening,” he says.

Prunella says more reinforcements arrived Monday night for Hoonah’s depleted police force. Yakutat Police Chief John Nichols is doing patrol shifts, and two officers from Wrangell continue to fill in. Wrangell Police Lieutenant Merlin Ehlers is serving as acting police chief while Hoonah Chief John Millan takes time to grieve.

Classes were canceled at Hoonah School on Monday due to the police standoff with Marvin, who barricaded himself inside his home after the shootings. Interim Superintendent Charla Wright says counselors were available at the school today for students who may have trouble coping with the weekend’s violence.

“It’s important to let kids get into a familiar place, a safe place, and get back into a routine. And then there will be opportunities to grieve and express their feelings and we have a good support system for them to be able to have support,” she says.

Wright says both officers were involved in school activities. Wallace ran open gyms after school hours, and was a volunteer wrestling coach. Tokuoka had two children, a six-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter.

State flags are lowered to half staff today and a memorial service is being planned.

Download Audio (MP3)