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Press Release

Maximum sentence for man convicted of attacking, stabbing police officers

August 30, 2019

(Anchorage, AK) – Anchorage Superior Court Judge Kevin Saxby handed down a maximum 40-year sentence to 55-year-old Anchorage man Edward Thompson, convicted of stabbing and attempting to stab three Anchorage police officers in a Spenard parking lot.

Thompson, whose adult criminal history began in 1982 at age 18, has been convicted of 16 felonies and 18 misdemeanors.

At Thompson’s sentencing hearing, Assistant District Attorney Daniel Shorey spoke of the remarkable restraint showed by APD Officers Keo Fujimoto, Nathan Keays, and George Vrablic in the face of the violent struggle during which Thompson, despite having two guns pointed at him, continued to slash at and fight with the officers.

Assistant District Attorney Shorey had requested the maximum possible sentence against Thompson as someone who could not be deterred and was incapable of rehabilitation. He distinguished Thompson from other violent offenders who typically stop being violent as they get older: “Mr. Thompson is not like that. He’s an old man who continues to be violent,” said Shorey.

Finding Thompson to be a worse offender, Judge Saxby commented that “every tool the criminal justice system has at its disposal” had been tried and had failed. “The only thing we can do is protect society,” said Judge Saxby. “Continuing to resist when there is a pistol to your head and a shotgun to your hand – there’s very little to deter you.”

Officer Fujimoto began his victim impact statement by noting that he bore no ill will toward the defendant but that he was “no different from any other victim of crime” in wanting a maximum sentence imposed. During the struggle, the blade of Thompson’s knife notched Fujimoto’s femur bone and narrowly missed his femoral artery. At trial, Fujimoto’s treating physician testified Fujimoto was “a very lucky man” in light of the location of the stabbing.

Thompson also stabbed Officer Keays during the attack, but Keays’ protective vest saved him from injury. The vest had to be retired because of the extensive damage done by Thompson’s knife.

Thompson’s defense attorney Mary Burnell had asked the court to reconsider an earlier ruling concerning competency, but the court disagreed that Thompson was not competent. “He’s a pretty smart person,” said Judge Saxby. “There’s just a worldview there that’s anti-social. If he wanted to stay out of jail, he could.”

In imposing the maximum sentence, Judge Saxby rebuked Thompson for his violent actions against “people who are protecting us” and noted that attacks on public safety personnel and public servants are treated very seriously and will result in more time.

For more information on Thompson’s trial, see the prior press release.

CONTACT: Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Daniel Shorey at (907) 269-6300 or daniel.shorey@alaska.gov.

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Department Media Contact: Senior Assistant Attorney General Cori Mills at (907) 465-2132 or cori.mills@alaska.gov.