Noorvik man convicted of perjury, filing false statements
NOORVIK - A Noorvik man was convicted of two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements to law enforcement officers last week in the Second Judicial Court in Kotzebue.
Edward "Chip" Hailstone was found guilty by a jury of all four charges against him on Friday, July 27. He could face a multi-year prison term at his sentencing hearing.
Hailstone's conviction stems from an incident in mid July, 2011 in which he alleges a state trooper physically assaulted his then 17-year-old daughter and then took actions that left his family in fear of bodily harm.
According to an indictment handed down by a Kotzebue grand jury, Hailstone was charged following a July 13, 2011 incident involving another family in Noorvik in which Hailstone claimed a resident had pointed a rifle at his daughter after an altercation involving his son, Jonathan Carter, and several others.
During the subsequent interview with troopers, Hailstone admits tensions flared in regard to actions that should be taken in regard to injuries his son had suffered. At one point during the interview, he said his daughter extended her arm toward Trooper Christopher Bitz while talking. The trooper, he said, responded by grabbing her right hand and moving to put her into a submissive hold.
In the indictment, Trooper Gordon Young said Bitz "deflected her right arm and put her wrist and arm in a hold" and informed the teen she would be taken to jail if she touched him.
Hailstone, who said he, his daughter and the officer had a second encounter days later, contended the contact was unnecessary and, on July 20, 2011, made a request with Kotzebue Magistrate Brooke Alowa for a restraining order on behalf of his daughter. According to court records, he later made a sworn statement via telephone to Judge Paul Roetman as part of a request for a long-term restraining order.
As part of the AST investigation, a special investigator from Fairbanks, Trooper Joshua Rallo, was assigned to follow up on the complaint. Rallo interviewed Young, Hailstone, his wife, Agnes, and their teen daughter before submitting a report supporting the law enforcement officer's actions.
In November, Hailstone said he found out he had been charged with perjury.
Hailstone said that incident has caused him to fear for his and his family's safety.
Sgt. Duane Stone of Kotzebue's Detachment C squad said Hailstone, nor his family, has any reason to fear the Alaska State Troopers.
"I'm sorry he feels that way," said Sgt. Stone of Kotzebue's Detachment C squad. "He is very, very safe but he needs to stay compliant with the law."
Hailstone said he plans to appeal the conviction at his sentencing hearing.