Supporters of Fairbanks Four speak out after state's response

Supporters of the Fairbanks Four say the state's response to the post-conviction relief filing is unfounded.

Advocates for the four men, Kevin Pease, Eugene Vent, Marvin Roberts, and George Frese say the 23-page filing contains statements that lack factual documentation or evidence attached to support the state's claims.

Further they say the state has attempted to keep essential evidence in the case out of court, calling a confession made by William Holmes hearsay and attacking the character of another witness provided by the Innocence Project.

Another argument in the defense of the four men is the lack of DNA evidence and faulty testimony from a key witness.

Initially the Assistant Attorney General handling the case Adrienne Bachman had 45-days to investigate the new allegations, later getting a 6-month extension, which backers of the four men in jail say, was not completed.

April Monroe-Frick with Free the Fairbanks Four said, "You know they assured Alaskans what they were going to do was investigate the veracity of these new claims, see if they were truthful, investigate whether or not indeed 4 innocent men are in prison, and 5 guilty men were not held accountable for a murder they committed."

She continued, "Instead what they did was, over the course of 8 months instead of doing that was come up with a very short, very unsubstantiated, legal technicality argument that the confession shouldn't be allowed into court. They said, we want to bring people resolution by holding an evidentiary hearing, but we don't want any of this new evidence allowed in."

The Tanana Chiefs Conference also released a statement this afternoon regarding the state’s filing and said, “To say the written confession of William Holmes amounts to nothing more than hearsay is disgraceful. The State continues to assert rightful conviction of the Fairbanks Four in the face of questionable arrest, interrogation, and prosecution work.”