Trial in highway shooting postponed
The trial of an Anchor Point woman accused of shooting at an Alaska Wildlife Trooper on the Sterling Highway has been postponed to March 21.
Tonee Walker, 58, was charged with attempted first-degree murder and four counts of third-degree assault. Troopers allege that on July 15, 2012, Walker shot at Trooper Trent Chwialkowski in his patrol car when he tried to stop Walker. Troopers had received 911 calls that Walker tried to force other cars off the road on the Sterling Highway near Happy Valley. When Chwialkowski caught up with Walker, she stopped and shot at him, troopers said. Chwialkowksi returned fire, hitting Walker in the arm and torso. The incident shut down the highway on a busy summer weekend for almost six hours.
However, if the defense and prosecution can reach a deal, the trial might not happen at all. At a court hearing last Friday with Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet, Walker's attorney, Andy Pevehouse, said the defense might be close to making an offer with the state, but he wasn't yet ready because he hadn't been able to contact Chwialkowski. Pevehouse and Assistant District Attorney Amy Fenske both said they were ready to proceed to trial otherwise.
Huguelet set a new trial date of March 21, but said if an agreement between the defense and prosecution was made by then, he would reschedule that on the court calendar as a change of plea hearing.
Walker is being held at Highland Mountain Pretrial Facility and attended telephonically, but did not speak in court.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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