A man who claims a high school classmate told him he and group of friends killed John Hartman back in 1997, testified in state court in Fairbanks on Thursday.
Scott Davison appeared at an ongoing hearing on evidence in the murder, for which four other local men were convicted, and are seeking exoneration. Following the discovery of 15-year-old Hartman badly beaten on a downtown street in October 1997, Davison says fellow Lathrop High student Jason Wallace talked about the crime.
“He had a newspaper in his right hand and he took ownership of what was in that newspaper which was the murder of John Hartman.”
Davison told the court that Wallace, who’s now serving time for another murder, threatened to kill him if he said anything. Davison says he initially kept the secret, but could not stop thinking about it.
“You can’t just block it out. And I tried. I tried drinking it out, drugging it out, a confession like that does not leave you, especially when you know in your heart that other people are doing time that’s not theirs.”
Davison, who’s been in and out of incarceration, says he even told a Fairbanks police investigator, but nothing came of the information, until he was contacted in prison by Alaska Innocence Project Director Bill Oberly.
“Someone actually took me serious, someone with somewhat of authority that could do something about it.”
Davison signed an affidavit about what he knew, a document he now says isn’t completely accurate, because he did not thoroughly vet it. State assistant attorney general Adrienne Bachman picked apart Davison’s affidavit and testimony, including his recounted struggle to remember her name and title.
“Your memory, not so good is it? I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed…Thank you.”
Davison says he only remembers one other name from a group of people Wallace said were involved in the Hartman attack: William Holmes, who’s serving time for unrelated killings. Both Holmes and Wallace have confessed to involvement in the Hartman incident.