We are in the days, weeks, and months to come going to hear directly from many people who were alibis for the four, interviewed by the police during the investigation, or participants in the trial.
For those readers who were part of this case in a large or small way, we urge you to come forward and tell your own story as well. The community does not know this story, not the whole story. They do not understand that many, many people were affected, that many people KNOW these men are innocent because they were with them that night, that many people had scary experiences when they tried to come forward.
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to come forward with your own face, words, and name. Many people do not want to return to the experiences they had in October of 1997. Somer people can barely speak of it, their experience was so scary, violating, or sad. It is both courageous and important to tell the truth, the whole truth, and stand up against injustice. These four men NEED your courage, your truth, and so does the next generation who, if we are successful, may not have to have an experience like ours. We would like to thank our first two letter-writers, and encourage others to follow their path.
Vanessa Cruger lived and attended school in Galena, Alaska. She moved to Anchorage after graduation and lived there for years before moving to Fairbanks. Vanessa works for a nonprofit in Fairbanks, Alaska in Human Resources. She saw Marvin throughout the night in question and was ultimately called to testify at trial. As she relates in her story, the DA Jeffery O’Bryant approached her there and attempted to intimidate her in an effort to prevent or alter her testimony. Her letter is below:
I was at the wedding reception that night, I spoke to Marvin Roberts as I was returning from the restroom to a table I was sitting at with several other people including Eileen and arry. Marvin was standing with Joel Titus in the entry way and I stopped to speak with them. Marvin joined us at our table and danced with several people. I do not know the exact time this took place as I wasn’t anticipating it being a important factor for future events. What I also recall was seeing Mr. Dayton that night after he had been mugged, Mr. Dayton was being assisted by others as he sat on the stairs. I believe this was some time after I had spoken to Marvin.
The fact that I had spoke with and saw Marvin that night later lead me to be a witness and testify at his trial to those exact facts. During a recess called by the court I was outside the court room and was approached by a member of the opposing side which I believe was the DA, he said you told the court that you do not know the other defendants only Marvin, I confirmed to him that was true. I have never had any contact with none of the others and had not met them before. He insisted that I knew Kevin and I had repeatedly told him I did not. He took pictures out of his suit pocket and asked me to look through them, once I did he asked me again if I knew Kevin, again I insisted I did not. He then insisted that in one photo I was the girl sitting with him on a couch, I told him that was not me and to look at it closer. True we did look similar but it was not me. I believe that he was trying to catch me lying but the fact of the matter was I was telling him the truth. During our conversation he mentioned that I would be under oath and lying was a offense. I am not sure how the trial process works but I don’t think that it seems fair for the opposing side to be able to speak in that sense outside the court during a recess. Regardless of that the honest truth is that I did speak, talk to, and even sat near Marvin that night. – Vanessa Cruger 12/21/11
Carry Orrison-Edwin is the wife of Gary Edwin, the two have five children together. She is a homemaker and student, and has kept herself busy raising her kids, who are involved with basketball, cheerleading, and football. She is originally from Rampart and North Pole, Alaska and currently lives in Eagle River, Alaska. She was at the reception at the Eagle’s Hall on the night of the murder and here is what she has to say about Marvin’s movements that night:
Overall, I saw Marvin throughout the whole night and every time I saw him he was with Angelo and he was not drinking. In my interview with the police I told them that Marvin was at the table at approximately 1:15am, and that he sat there for another 30 minutes or so afterwards. I also saw Marvin and Angelo sitting for while with some girls, one of them being Daphne Huntington. – Carry Orrison-Edwin