Updated with more information about August DUI charge
FAIRBANKS - One of the Fairbanks Four may find himself back in jail the next time he makes contact with law enforcement, according to a charging document filed in court this week.
Felony assault and criminal mischief charges against 40-year-old Kevin Walter Pease allege he swung a baseball bat at a woman in a car parked outside his home near Clay Street Cemetery on Fifth Avenue, two weeks ago on Dec. 7. An arrest warrant has been issued, according to the criminal complaint, which was written Dec. 8 and listed on the state Courtview website Wednesday.
Pease wasn’t in custody as of Thursday evening, according to Fairbanks Correctional Center staff.
An additional misdemeanor warrant was issued for Pease back in Oct. 29 for failing to appear at a calendar call hearing for a driving under the influence charge. In that pending case, he’s accused of driving under the influence on Aug. 31.
Pease is one of four men often referred to as the Fairbanks Four, who spent nearly two decades incarcerated for the 1997 killing of 15-year-old John Hartman. Pease was released under the terms of a negotiated settlement with prosecutors in December 2015, following a monthlong hearing that re-examined his conviction and presented an alternate theory that Hartman was killed by a different group of then-teenagers in Fairbanks.
Pease and the others — George Frese, Marvin Roberts and Eugene Vent — have a civil lawsuit against the city police and state persecutors that alleges malicious prosecution in the Hartman case. A U.S. District Court Judge dismissed the lawsuit this fall, but they are appealing to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The new assault charge against Pease originates from a woman who filed a written report with police on Dec. 8. She stated that while she was dropping off friends who she had given a ride to at about 9:30 p.m., Pease “‘came out of nowhere’ with a baseball bat,” officer Sydney Rosenbalm wrote in the criminal complaint.
The woman alleges that Pease came around her vehicle, swinging the bat and shattering car windows as she tried to reverse her car to get away from him.
It’s not clear from the charging document if and how Pease and the woman who reported the assault knew each other. City police department spokeswoman Yumi McCulloch said Friday morning that police aren't disclosing information about her relationship to Pease out of respect for the woman's privacy. The alleged assault was classified as a nondomestic violence related offense in the criminal complaint.
The victim reported that after Pease shattered the rear driver-side, rear passenger-side and front passenger-side windows of her car —sending glass into the interior of the car — he came around the front of the car “staring her down and slapping the bat in the palm of his hand,” Rosenbalm wrote in the complaint.
The front drivers-side window was partially down, and the woman reported that instead of swinging the bat at the window, Pease yelled “‘You’re lucky your window was down!’” and “I wish I would have hit you,’” the complaint states.
The victim reported that a “friend” of Pease — who is not named in the complaint — yelled a threat as she drove away, saying “get the (expletive) out of here before the next time it’s you.’”
Pease was charged with third-degree felony assault and third-degree criminal mischief. Third-degree criminal mischief is the crime of intentionally causing $750 or more in damage to someone else’s property. Pease was also charged with violating release conditions from the August DUI case.
In the August DUI case, Pease is accused of driving a three-wheeler from Fifth Avenue to an apartment on 25th Avenue. In that case, police said Pease admitted drinking alcohol and said he failed field sobriety tests and had a breath-alcohol content of 0.272, more than three times the 0.08 level that's used as one legal standard for intoxication.
Contact Outdoors Editor Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors