Press Release

Prisoner Sentenced for Assault on Correctional Officer

April 03, 2014

On April 2, 2014, 27 year old James Coven was sentenced for assaulting correctional officer while imprisoned at the Anchorage Jail Complex. Coven's assault caused multiple fractures to the officer's jaw, a fractured nose, multiple broken teeth, and a concussion.

The incident arose when the correctional officer denied Coven's request to make a phone call and ordered Coven back to his cell. Instead of going back to his cell, Coven punched the officer in the head, causing the officer to fall to the ground. Coven then repeatedly kicked the officer until other officers arrived. The officer had to be taken to the hospital and treated for multiple injuries.

Coven was previously convicted of a double homicide in 2012 and was serving out his 199 year sentence when the assault occurred.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Sen Tan sentenced Coven to serve 19 years in prison. Coven's attorney argued that the sentence should have been mitigated because Coven's conduct was not as serious as other similar assaults. Judge Tan declined to mitigate Coven's sentence. The Court explained that the sentence was necessary to deter other prisoners from assaulting correctional officers. Coven told the Court that he was already being punished for his assault on the officer because he was serving his sentence in segregation.

CONTACT: Deputy District Attorney Clint Campion @ (907) 269-6300 at the Anchorage District Attorney's Office.

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