Kevin Scott Nauska, 19, appears in Juneau Superior Court in December for his arraignment on a single charge of manslaughter in connection to the stabbing death of Jordon J. Sharclane, 37. A Juneau grand jury chose not to indict him on more serious murder charges.

Kevin Scott Nauska, 19, appears in Juneau Superior Court in December for his arraignment on a single charge of manslaughter in connection to the stabbing death of Jordon J. Sharclane, 37. A Juneau grand jury chose not to indict him on more serious murder charges.

Bail reduced for defendant in manslaughter case

Despite a mother’s plea that more violence could await her family if the man accused of killing her son was not kept behind bars, a judge lowered the defendant’s bail Wednesday and created conditions for his release.

Kevin Scott Nauska, 19, was previously held on a $100,000 cash bail. Judge Philip Pallenberg adjusted that amount Wednesday to $10,000 and approved a third-party custodian.

“It’s been less than two months and now, with everything else, I have to worry about this kid getting out,” Myrna Brown, the mother of deceased Jordon J. Sharclane, told the Empire after the bail hearing.

Nauska was arrested Dec. 6. after a confrontation at a Douglas Island apartment ended with 37-year-old Sharclane dead and his son Michael Sharclane, 19, injured.

The defendant, however, may have a strong self-defense claim. Nauska maintains he used a knife to protect himself after the Sharclanes came to his home in the middle of the night to confront him about stolen electronics. Defense attorney Eve Soutiere of the Office of Public Advocacy said the fact that Nauska remained at the scene that December morning instead of fleeing is reason to believe he can handle a pre-trial release.

“(Nauska) has spent 20 years, 20 years today, abiding by the rules,” Soutiere said, emphasizing her client’s birthday was that day. “The jails are full of people not to be trusted. Mr. Nauska is not one of them.”

Soutiere said Nauska’s family was of limited means and his bail amount was out of any reasonable range. She requested her defendant’s bond be unsecured, meaning no payment required, and she presented a third-party custodian to the court to watch over Nauska upon his release.

Pallenberg approved Juneau resident Ralph Cornell to act as a custodian for Nauska. Cornell said he has known the Nauska family for a long time, since the defendant’s infancy, and presently lives with the defendant’s birth mother Barbara Nauska.

Juneau District Attorney James Scott asked Cornell if he could foresee trouble with Nauska’s mother, a convicted felon herself, staying with her son. Cornell assured the court he would uphold his promise to report any wrongdoing. Pallenberg said Cornell’s past employment as an airport Transportation Security Administration officer gave him confidence he could be a good custodian, but reservations still lingered.

“Really, the issue for me is will Mr. Nauska do what he’s supposed to do?” Pallenberg asked.

Based on the defendant’s lack of criminal history, the judge was willing to meet the defense’s request that bail be lowered. But Pallenberg also said he felt compelled to require some bail payment so that the defendant could understand the seriousness of the charges he faces.

All of this went against the wishes of Jordon Sharclane’s mother who told the court she also worried, with such a large extended family, someone might run into Nauska and react in anger. She told the judge her son can’t come back to life, but that the court can do its part to protect those still living.

Michael Sharclane, speaking telephonically in court Wednesday, was also asked to speak against the bail change. When Pallenberg asked for the younger Sharclane’s comments, he could only be heard sobbing and gasping for air.

Pallenberg, however, did not find the family’s safety concerns reason enough to maintain the high bail previously set.

“People shouldn’t be locked up because someone else might act inappropriately,” Pallenberg said.

Nauska’s next schedule court date is March 1 for a status hearing. March 29 and April 4 are the scheduled days for his pre-trial and trial hearings, respectively.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Nauska remained in custody at Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

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