Conditions of release have not changed for a man charged with murder in the July 4, 2016 van wreck in Petersburg.
The judge in the case against 24-year-old Chris Allen has changed. The defendant requested the case be heard before a judge other than William Carey and it was assigned to superior court judge Trevor Stephens instead.
Allen is charged with two counts of murder in the second degree, two counts of manslaughter, one count of assault and one count of unsworn falsification. Judge Stephens presided over a bail hearing Tuesday morning, August 1. The judge, attorneys and defendant all attended the bail review by telephone but the Petersburg court room was full with local residents.
Allen’s attorney assistant public defender Jay Hochberg argued that Allen should be released into 24-hour third party custody of his wife Jordyn. The couple have been living with his parents in Fairbanks until Allen’s arrest on July 21st. Hochberg also sought to have the bail amount reduced. It had been set at 50,000 dollars at a hearing last week.
Assistant attorney general Adrienne Bachman argued against the request for third-party custody. Bachman questioned Jordyn Allen about her knowledge of her husband’s seizure disorder and advice from doctors that he not drive. A statement from R.D. and Madonna Parks, parents of Molly Parks, one of the victims in the fatal wreck, urged the judge not to release Allen to his wife or one of his family members.
Allen’s attorney Hochberg countered that Allen’s wife would make a good custodian when he is released.
Prosecutors say Allen had a seizure that caused the fatal van wreck that killed two and injured another. Bachman alleges Allen had a well-documented history of seizures and ignored doctors’ advice not to drive.
Stephens ruled against releasing Allen into his wife’s custody but said he may agree to release him to another third-party custodian.
The next hearing in the case has been rescheduled for August 30th at 2 p.m. and a trial was scheduled for the week of November 13th, although that date could be pushed back as attorneys prepare for a trial.