A man accused of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday.
Juneau man Dylan J. Wiard, 26, was indicted by a Juneau grand jury earlier this month on charges that date back to a car crash that occurred June 24, 2016 near Hoonah, according to charging documents. The crash killed 23-year-old Jeffrey Turner, according to the indictment.
Wiard (pronounced like “wired”) was present in court Tuesday in front of Superior Court Judge Philip M. Pallenberg. Wiard did not have a lawyer, and Pallenberg ruled that the Public Defender Agency would represent Wiard. Pallenberg also entered a not guilty plea on Wiard’s behalf.
Assistant District Attorney Bailey Woolfstead is prosecuting the case, and declined commenting on why it took more than two years to indict Wiard. She cited Alaska Rule of Professional Conduct 3.8(f), which impedes prosecutors from revealing details of a case that are not in the public interest.
In court, Woolfstead estimated that a trial would last about two or three weeks. Trial is currently scheduled for Dec. 3, with a pretrial hearing scheduled for Nov. 26.
Pallenberg ruled that Wiard is not allowed to drive unless he’s properly licensed and insured, and that Wiard cannot consume alcohol or enter establishments that primarily deal in alcohol (bars or liquor stores). Woolfstead did not request any further conditions.
“Mr. Wiard has no prior history before this,” Woolfstead said in court. “He’s had no history since.”
Woolfstead said in court that Wiard and Turner were friends. Turner was from Tampa Bay, Florida, according to reports at the time. Wiard was flown to Bartlett Regional Hospital for injuries from the rollover crash, according to reports at the time.
Manslaughter is a class A felony, criminally negligent homicide is a class B felony and driving under the influence is a class A misdemeanor. According to the indictment, the grand jury interviewed eight witnesses and took nine search warrants into account. Woolfstead said in court that there’s a hefty amount of discovery from interviews, and that her office should be able to get that discovery to the Public Defender Agency in the coming days.
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.