A 31-year-old Kodiak man has been acquitted of second degree murder after a jury returned a not guilty verdict. But the jury did convict Chawn D. Summerall of felony assault and he will likely remain incarcerated until he is sentenced this spring. He faces a maximum 20 years in prison.
Summerall was one of two men accused in the 2008 beating death of 41-year-old Darrell Cavaness of Kodiak. The jury spent late Thursday, all-day Friday and just a couple of hours Monday deliberating before returning its verdict shortly after 10 a.m.
Neither the prosecutor nor defense attorneys that had argued the case were present for the reading of the verdict but heard the decision through a conference call.
It was on the night of January 22, 2008 that Cavaness was found beaten unconscious in an apartment on Natalia Way. He died about a week later in an Anchorage hospital.
An earlier indictment against Summerall was thrown out after a judge ruled prosecutors had presented hearsay as evidence. Charges were refilled against Summerall and the murder trial began December 6th. It included more than 30 witnesses and 300 exhibits entered in as evidence.
Also indicted is 31-year-old Joshua Erickson, who faces a charge of second-degree murder. Prosecutors had decided to try the men separately and that trial is scheduled to begin in March.