State's response in court to Fairbanks Four case; confession is hearsay

The prosecutor reviewing the post-conviction relief petition of the Fairbanks Four filed a response in court today.

Adrienne Bachman said this is just a step and a process to move to the next phase.

Bachman, with the Office of Special Prosecutions in Anchorage said, inside the response the state will look to dismiss claims to redo testimony made in the case.

Further she said the state's position on the alleged confession made by William Holmes is that it is "not a confession but, a report of an out of court statement by Jason Wallace" and that they further consider that hearsay that a court might not admit into evidence as sufficiently trustworthy.

That decision will be up to Judge Lyle.

In an interview Bachman said, “In that petition Mr. Holmes statements are characterized as a confession but the state doesn’t concede that William Holmes confessed to any involvement in Hartman’s death. What he said actually both to the innocence project and to the State Troopers who interviewed him was he didn’t see, he didn’t hear, and he didn’t participate in any attack on John Hartman. What he does say is that 3 other people, that he alleges are participants in some manner in the attack on John Hartman, made statements and that Jason Wallace was silent when they made those statements.”

In documents filed in court the state claims that the evidence gathered to date "does not corroborate Mr. Holmes' version of the events of October 11th, 1997" it continues, "The opposite is in fact true- other new evidence discovered by the state supports the convictions."

The state will ask for a hearing to be set in which the defense can call witnesses to prove their case.