Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Battle Continues In Effort to Keep Statement Sealed and Fairbanks Four Behind Bars

An Alaska inmate is asking a state court to keep from being admitted as evidence a file containing comments he may have made to a public defender that he was involved in the October 12, 1997 beating death of Fairbanks teenager John Hartman.

The Alaska Innocence Project says the file could lead to the exoneration of four Native men – George Frese, Kevin Pease, Marvin Roberts and Eugene Vent – now in prison for Hartman’s death.

Jason Wallace is believed to have commented about Hartman’s death during an interview with his public defender in a 2002 drug-related murder-arson. Wallace was convicted of that murder and is now serving 75 years in an Alaska prison.

Jason Gazewood, Wallace’s court-appointed attorney, is fighting to keep the information sealed, saying any statement Wallace made to his public defender is protected by attorney-client privilege. But the Alaska Innocence Project says the file corroborates a signed statement it received in 2012 from William Z. Holmes, a one-time high school friend of Wallace’s now serving life for a California double-murder that had ties to Wallace’s murder case.



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