A 32-year-old man accused of fatally shooting a man inside a Mendenhall Valley trailer park has been indicted on a slew of charges, including first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, third-degree assault and weapons misconduct.
The indictment against Christopher D. Strawn was issued Friday afternoon by a Juneau grand jury.
Strawn has been held in custody at Lemon Creek Correctional Center on $1 million cash bail since his Oct. 21 arrest. A judge maintained his bail Friday and set an arraignment date for next week in Juneau Superior Court.
Prosecutors say Strawn shot and killed 30-year-old Brandon C. Cook at the Kodzoff Acres Mobile Home Park in the 2800 block of Mendenhall Loop Road the night of Oct. 20. Cook was helping a friend paint the kitchen in her new trailer at the time, and Strawn had been hired to assist in the trailer renovations by the friend at the recommendation of her landlord.
Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige said previously in court that Strawn left the trailer that night, came back with a shotgun and shot Cook “execution style” in the back of the head. Police told Cook’s family in Wewoka, Oklahoma, that Cook may not have seen it coming, according to local media reports there.
The Juneau Police Department has not yet speculated as to what motivated the shooting, which appears to have been unprovoked and unforeseen. ADA Paige noted in court that drugs may have been involved on Strawn’s part.
Strawn fled from the scene after the shooting but was arrested at his home off Stephen Richards Memorial Drive, a few blocks away from where Cook was shot, the following morning.
First- and second-degree murder, the most serious charges in the indictment, are both unclassified felonies that can carry up to 99 years in prison. If the case goes to trial and prosecutors fail to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooting was a murder, a jury would also be able to consider the lesser charges of manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide. Those have a maximum possibly penalty of 20 and 10 years in prison, respectively.
According to the indictment, the third-degree assault charge relates to putting Cook’s friend, Tiffany Marie Albertson, in fear of danger during the shooting. Albertson previously told police she was just a few feet away from Cook in her kitchen when the shot rang out, although she did not see it happen, a police affidavit indicates.
The third-degree weapons misconduct charge relates to Strawn being a felon in possession of a firearm; the charge is a ‘C’ felony that can be punishable by up to five years in prison. Prosecutors said earlier in court that Strawn has a lengthy criminal history, including a 2006 conviction for felony vehicular theft.
Police have still not found the shotgun that was used to kill Cook.
“JPD has not yet recovered the firearm used in the crime,” Juneau Police Department spokesman Lt. David Campbell confirmed Friday by email. “Based on the victim’s injuries and witness testimony, the weapon used was a shotgun. Since we do not have the firearm, I cannot answer any questions about the gun’s owner or how Strawn got possession of it.”
In the indictment, Strawn was also referred to as Christopher Dean Baker and Christopher Dean Baker Strawn.