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Man sentenced for evasion, third vehicle theft

Daily News Staff Writer

A Ketchikan man was sentenced to five years Monday for stealing a motor vehicle in Ketchikan, and leaving a Juneau halfway house, before finishing a court-mandated program.

Paul Martin Jackson, 37, was sentenced to three years for unlawful evasion in the first degree and four years, with two suspended, for stealing a truck in Ketchikan on Oct. 20, 2018. Both charges are Class C felonies.

Presiding Superior Court Judge William Carey said the sentences can be served concurrently. In addition, Jackson has been held on a $20,000 bail since his arrest on Oct. 20, 2018. This means Jackson could serve out the sentences in about two years.

Jackson's probation is for five years.

This was Jackson's third first-degree vehicle theft conviction.

According to the affidavit, Jackson was convicted of first-degree vehicle theft in Alaska in both 2003 and 2007.

Jackson also has, "several other convictions in Oregon and Arizona (that) reference unauthorized use of vehicles and vehicle theft,” according to the affidavit.

According to the document, an Alaska State Trooper was parked at the intersection of North Tongass Highway and Old Ward Lake Road at around 11:45 p.m. on Oct. 20, 2018. The trooper observed a pickup truck heading north abruptly exit the lane upon seeing the AST motor vehicle.

“The driver drove down a dirt path and stopped approximately 10 feet from my vehicle,” the document states. “… The male then drove down towards the area of two closed businesses and a day-use area which closed at (10 p.m.).”

According to the affidavit, the trooper headed down Old Ward Lake Road, which has a dead end. He observed “fresh acceleration tracks on the roadway, indicating that a vehicle was traveling fast around corners.”

When the trooper arrived, he saw the same pickup truck parked at the end of the roadway and Jackson getting on a bicycle.

When being questioned, Jackson said that he didn’t know anything about the vehicle and had just been driving his bicycle around the Ward Lake trail.

“The male stated that he did not see anyone else in the area and had not been there very long,” the affidavit states. “I asked the male to stop, which he replied ‘sorry,’ and continued driving his bike in the direction of North Tongass Highway.”

According to law enforcement, the driver’s side window of the truck parked at the end of the road was down and the keys were still in the ignition.

The arresting officer later stopped Jackson at Mile 6 on the North Tongass Highway and positively identified him.

When asked why he didn’t stop originally, Jackson said, “It was not his deal, and had nothing to do with him.”

The report states Jackson told the arresting officer that he had been drinking beer around a campfire with an unidentified female named “Shelby.” A subsequent search of the Signal Creek Campground found no indication of bicycle tracks and no campers.

When a records search was run on Jackson, he was found to be on felony probation for second-degree theft. Jackson also had two outstanding warrants for his arrest, one was for unlawful evasion in the first degree.

Troopers contacted the owners of the stolen 2005 truck. The owners verified to AST that the truck was missing from their residence, which is located in the neighborhood on the hillside across from the Ketchikan Shipyard. The owners told law enforcement that they were unaware that the vehicle was missing as they had gone to bed at 10:30 p.m.

The truck was valued at $10,000, and the owners told AST that they had left it unlocked with the keys in the center console, according to the affidavit. Several items on Jackson were identified stolen from the vehicle, according to the affidavit. However, the misdemeanor theft charge for those minor items was dismissed.

In court Monday, Assistant District Attorney Kristian Pickerell said, "Mr. Jackson is largely benefiting from the quick intervention by the law enforcement here, because the impact to the victims was relatively minor."

Carey, said that he had seen Jackson for the first vehicle theft about nine years ago and that he seemed more remorseful now.

"Mr. Jackson is not a youthful offender," said Pickerell, "but I'm hoping that this time around will open his eyes to the need to focus on his own rehabilitation."