Noorvik's Hailstone sentenced, seeks appeal
Edward "Chip" Hailstone of Noorvik was sentenced to 15 months in prison last week in connection to his July conviction for felony perjury and false testimony. The court determined that Hailstone had lied in order to obtain a temporary stalking protective order against a Kotzebue-based Alaska State Trooper Christopher Bitz, which he was filing on behalf of his daughter.
Hailstone said two separate confrontations with Trooper Bitz led him and his family to fear for their safety.
The court found that he had falsely testified and committed perjury during his sworn statements to the court, along with making an initial false claim against Bitz.
"Mr. Hailstone's actions significantly undermined the justice system," said Captain Barry Wilson, C Detachment Commander.
However, Hailstone is continuing to argue that his testimony and claims against the troopers have been truthful all along, and further that the troopers have tampered with audio recordings submitted as evidence in his trial.
Hailstone and his public defender, Jay Hochberg, filed a motion for a new trial. That motion was denied, Hochberg said, making the next step for Hailstone an appeal of the ruling.
The motion for retrial states: "A forensic audio expert hired by Mr. Hailstone has confirmed that the audio presented to the defense was 'interrupted'. This constitutes newly discovered evidence that confirms the defense testimony as well as scientific proof that, far from lying, the defense witnesses were accurate. The interests of justice require a new trial."
The audio expert was able to determine that the tape in question was paused for 11 seconds, Hailstone said, missing information that he believes corroborates his previous claims of the trooper threatening him and his family.
Hailstone is optimistic about his chance at appeal, he said. He maintains his original claim that Trooper Bitz acted threateningly toward his family members, and that the troopers have made efforts to cover those actions and discredit Hailstone.
In August Sgt. Duane Stone of Kotzebue's Detachment C squad told the Sounder that neither Hailstone, nor his family, has any reason to fear the Alaska State Troopers.
"I'm sorry he feels that way," Stone said at that time. "He is very, very safe but he needs to stay compliant with the law."