North Pole Man Convicted for Assaulting His Fiancé
April 25, 2014
April 25, 2014 (Fairbanks, Alaska) After only three hours of deliberations, a Fairbanks jury on April 15, 2014 found Air Force Major Shaun White guilty of domestic violence against his fiancé, who was so distraught over the incident that she refused to return to Alaska to testify. On April 24, 2014, the court sentenced White to 180 days with 120 days suspended and a two year probation. White’s conditions of probation include no contact with the victim unless the victims first files written consent with the court, payment of restitution, and the successful completion of a state-approved alternatives to violence program.
The evidence presented at the trial showed that on January 26, 2014, Air Force Major Shaun White and his fiancé returned home after a night out with friends at a local bar. An argument between the two escalated to the point that a neighbor felt compelled to respond to the victim’s cries for help. When the neighbor, an off-duty Army Criminal Investigation Command Agent, finally arrived, she found the situation calmed and the victim gathering up her things to leave; the neighbor left and returned to her apartment. Ten minutes later, the neighbor heard more screams for help and noticed the victim’s car still in the garage.
Upon walking out to the driveway, the neighbor witnessed White on top of the victim with his hand around her neck. The neighbor yelled at White to “leave her alone.” In response, White pulled his fiancé off the ground and told the neighbor that the victim was just drunk. Meanwhile, the victim was screaming to call the police and that White had choked her. When EMTs responded to the scene after the neighbor called 911, the victim declined medical treatment.
A week later, White was indicted for felony assault for strangling his fiancé. At grand jury, his fiancé testified telephonically from another state. When it was time to take the case to trial, the victim felt that she could not handle the trial and refused to come back to Alaska to testify.
Because the victim had refused medical attention, there was no forensic evidence to corroborate her claim of strangulation. Without her testimony, going forward with the felony strangulation charge would not have been possible. Undeterred, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Baldock took the case to trial on misdemeanor assault charges without the victim by using the trooper’s audio and the statements and observations of the independent witness.
CONTACT: Assistant District Attorney Andrew Baldock or Paralegal Marja Hallsten at (907) 451-5970.
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