Alaska vs. John Kenneth Peel - (8 Counts of Murder)

Michael John Tario

Case Conclusion Date:January 1, 1984

Practice Area:Criminal Defense

Outcome:Not Guilty on All Charges

Description:Case # 1KE-S84-1010 Cr. On September 7, 1982, a commercial fishing boat was discovered burning near shore in Craig Alaska. The owner of the boat, his wife, and their two children died along with four other crew members. The prosecution alledged that some or all of the deceased had also been shot. After a two year investigation, in 1984, the State of Alaska indicted and charged 22 year old fisherman John K Peel with eight counts of first degree murder and Arson. The legal proceedings mostly took place in South East Alaska. The first trial took place in Ketchikan Alaska and involved several hundred witnesses and multiple expert witnesses. The trial took many months and ended up with a hung jury. I moved to Alaska for many months to help try and defend the case. The case was retried in Juneau and ended up in a finding of not guilty on all charges. I was the first attorney hired by Mr. Peel and his family. I worked on the case for over two years. It was my decision to hire co-counsel in Alaska to assist in the trial of a case of this magnatude. This case was the largest and most complicated homicide trial in the history of the State of Alaska. After Mr. Peel was found not guilty he filed a civil lawsuit against the State of Alaska for wrongful prosection. He prevailed and obtained a very substantial monetary settlement.

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