Gallion gives statement before recommended sentence handed down

We continue our coverage of the sentencing proceedings for Jamison Gallion.
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 3:29 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The victims of the Two Rivers arsons expressed anger and sorrow after hearing the recommended sentence from the prosecution during day two of Jamison Gallion’s sentencing trial.

Gallion is facing 23 charges ranging from Arson 1, Arson 2, Criminal Mischief, Burglary 2, and Terror Threat 2 on several counts.

On Wednesday, the prosecution and defense focused on examining other cases to find a precedent for his sentence.

Previous arson cases and the sentences that were given for those cases were reviewed and compared to this case. Risk of injury in each case, prior criminal history, the number of properties damaged, along with the severity of damages were included in the examination.

Both the defense and prosecution argued over some of the charges and how the charges pertained to the case. The charge and definition of terroristic threat was disputed by the defense claiming it did not fit the case well.

Judge Lyle noted he needed the consistence of council to discuss two Alaska Court of Appeals decisions in the 1987 Mossberg VS. State and 1996 Hathaway V. State.

“That will control whether there is some consecutive time available for the Arson 1, and Criminal Mischief 1, for the McKee residence and … the Two Rivers Lodge,” Judge Lyle said.

“I do think that that is justifiable with Hathaway and Mossberg, when you look at them together that it is a property offense. But, it’s a property offense where when you raise it from arson 2 to arson 1. The biggest concern is the risk to people that are specific people and not just the generalized risk in Arson 2 and Criminal Mischief 1,” said Anna Ralph, District Attorney for the State of Alaska.

“I know the lawyers know this, but the parties as a whole need to know and understand in the State of Alaska Double Jeopardy not only precludes people for being tried twice for the same crime it precludes people from being sentenced twice,” Judge Lyle explained.

The Judge said that he agreed with the State and the Defense that there is merger with some of the offenses.

“I’m required to place a decision on the record about the merger, so I am prepared to do that,” said Judge Lyle. “But not for the Arson 1 at the McKee residence or the Arson 1 for the Two Rivers Lodge.”

The attorneys deliberated the reasoning for their recommended sentences and the court heard from arson victim Pasteur Wayne Shea, and the defendant, Jamison Gallion.

“This reign of terror has brought a terrible fear to our community. This has not been good. Judge, your honor, I believe Jamison needs some help controlling himself. In his own letters he said ‘evil come over me and I couldn’t do anything about it.’ It seems to me as I’ve looked at his life and read his letters, I don’t know if this young man has a moral compass,” said Pasteur Wayne Shea, who is also the president of the Pleasant Valley Community Association.

Shea also said Jamison needed to pay for his sins by being given full punishment granted by the law.

Jamison Gallion apologized to the victims of his arsons and the Two Rivers community as a whole, saying that he deserves a harsh sentence. “I don’t feel there are words that can quite describe how I feel and how you must feel about this whole situation. It’s hard to fathom what’s happened and the chaos it’s caused. I hate what I’ve done to you. I think I do deserve more punishment. I think it will work well with me,” said Gallion.

When Judge Lyle asked the prosecution and defense for their recommended sentences, the prosecution for the State of Alaska recommended Gallion be sentenced to a total of 35 years, with 17 served and 18 suspended. Meanwhile, the defense recommended Gallion only be sentenced with 4 years served and 7 suspended.

After the court was adjourned, victims of the arsons expressed anger and sorrow with the recommended sentences.

Testimonies from arson victims can be viewed at Jamison Gallion sentencing hearing

Judge Lyle will hand down Gallion’s sentence at 2 p.m. on Thursday, February 2 at the Rabinowitz Courthouse in Fairbanks.