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Press Release

Drunk Driver Sentenced for Collision that Ended Police Officer's Career

June 2, 2014

52 year old Gregory Fulling was sentenced today to spend eight years in prison following a collision on September 22, 2011 which caused the end of Anchorage Police Officer Randy Hughes’ career.

Prior to the collision, Fulling drove 14 miles the wrong way on the Glenn Highway, from downtown Anchorage to Eagle River. Along the way, he forced three motorists off the road, nearly colliding head-on with them. Officer Randy Hughes of the Anchorage Police Department responded to try to stop the reported drunk driver. While driving up the hill from Eagle River towards Anchorage, Officer Hughes was struck head-on by Mr. Fulling.

Officer Hughes’s car was thrown into a roadside ditch and he suffered serious injuries. Fulling’s car caught on fire. Officer Daniel Sturkie was the first officer on the scene, and he pulled Fulling from the burning car. Officer Hughes ultimately had to retire from the Anchorage Police Department because of the injuries he suffered during the collision. Fulling’s blood alcohol level was significantly higher than the legal limit.

Fulling previously pled guilty to one count of assault in the first degree and one count of misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). He faced a sentence of seven to 11 years in prison for assault in the first degree and up to one year for the DUI.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Jack Smith sentenced Fulling to spend eight years in prison and did not suspend any of the sentence. Judge Smith also sentenced Fulling to an additional three days in jail for the DUI.

Judge Smith explained his sentence by commenting that the community was growing tired of the prevalence of drunk driving and the dangers that it poses to everyone. He stated that he needed to send a strong message with the sentence he imposed. Judge Smith noted that Fulling had engaged in significant efforts at rehabilitation while the case was pending and credited him for that. But Judge Smith declined a defense request to send the case to a special three-judge panel that could have imposed a lesser sentence. He said that justice required that Fulling be sentenced within the normal range for a person who had committed a first degree assault. Judge Smith ultimately found that the seriousness of the offense and the need to try to make people think twice before driving while intoxicated required a sentence of 8 years to serve.

CONTACT: Assistant District Attorney Jack McKenna @ (907) 269-6300 at the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office.

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