Cavaness’ Remains Put to Rest


Jay Barrett/KMXT

The ashes of a Kodiak man beaten to death here three years ago were scattered in Fort Abercrombie last week. It was one of Darrel Cavaness’ favorite spots, and where he proposed to his wife.

Danni Cavaness scattered her husband’s ashes on what would have been their 23rd wedding anniversary.

She was in town with her young nephew Chase Hinsberger. They wore T-shirts emblazoned with Darrel’s photo, because she says she doesn’t want people to forget what happened to her late husband.

(Cavaness 1 :37 sec "I just want people to be aware … want to bring awareness.")

That tattoo artist she mentioned was Justin McGriff, who also worked at a local restaurant. He was killed in a hit-and-run on Pillar Mountain three years ago, just a couple months after Cavaness was killed. While nobody has been arrested in connection with McGriff’s death, or Medina’s 1993 murder, two men were charged with killing Darrel Cavaness – Chawn (shawn) Summerall and Joshua Erikson.

A jury had acquitted Summerall of second degree murder in December, though he was convicted of felony assault, and sentenced in April to 11 years in prison. Erikson’s trial on charges of second degree murder and first degree assault is tentatively scheduled for November.

Danni Cavaness said dealing with her husband’s killing, the uncertainty that accompanied the lack of an arrest in the case for over a year, the dismissing and refilling of the charges, and the trial itself, have served to give her a new direction in her life:

(Cavaness 2 :17 sec "Now that I’ve been touched … for victims of justice.")

She said her visit to Kodiak last week was also to show appreciation to the people who helped her and her family the past three-and-a-half years:

(Cavaness 3 22 sec "Just want to thank everyone … can come to closure.")

Cavaness said she would be back in Kodiak this winter when Erikson goes on trial, though she said it would be hard for her to be in the courtroom when the verdict is read.


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