On Oct. 16, Joshua Erickson, 33, appeared before Judge Fred Torrisi in Anchorage and entered a plea deal. Erickson's charges were reduced from second-degree murder and first-degree assault to one count of criminally negligent homicide and one count of hindering prosecution.
According to court documents, Erickson and Chawn Summerall, 33, were the two people involved in beating Cavaness to death. Cavaness was found unconscious and bleeding at a Kodiak apartment in January 2008. He died one week later.
Kodiak Police Chief T.C. Kamai said the case wasn’t an easy one, which is why it has taken years to come to an end.
“There was a tremendous amount of physical evidence and leads that needed to be run down,” Kamai said. “This is one of those cases where it took time and effort and resources that needed to be marshaled to work this case to a successful conclusion.”
Summerall went to trial in December 2010, and a jury found him guilty of first-degree assault. He was acquitted of the second-degree murder charge. In April 2011, Summerall was sentenced to 20 years in prison with nine years suspended.
The case will come to a close when Erickson is sentenced Feb. 5, 2013 in Kodiak.
“It’s very gratifying to see a crime like this get to a point where we can hold those folks accountable for their actions,” Kamai said. “It is not as much comfort to his family and friends, but it is something.”
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