Wednesday morning, Jeffrey Craig was sentenced to 40 years for attempted murder in the first-degree after shooting another man nine months ago while under the influence of alcohol.
On October 2, 2018, the 53-year-old engaged in an altercation at a house on Edmonds Street at about 3:45 a.m. after being told his daughter wasn’t at the residence. The victim told Craig his daughter was not at the home, resulting in Craig striking the victim. Craig was then pushed off a balcony onto a patio, and proceeded to shoot the victim in the arm. According to police, they found the victim sitting in the living room with a blood-soaked towel wrapped around his arm.
Craig was later found at a residence on the North End, where he was arrested and brought to the local jail.
This was not Craig’s first offense. He has a previous history including burglary and substance abuse, which led to DUIs. He also has past charges of child sex abuse. District Attorney Timothy McGillicuddy says the concern for Craig’s children is why he should not receive a light sentence.
“It appears that the probation officers that described the defendant were very perceptive,” said McGillicuddy. “They described him as manipulative, defensive, controlling, narcissistic, impulsive, and immature. That’s what he was then, that’s what he is now. The defendant has a career of committing crimes—if he is out in the community again, there is no doubt that he will victimize, he will manipulate, he will threaten, he will cause harm.“
McGillicuddy says Craig’s past history is relevant to this case because it’s relevant to Craig’s motive and impacts how the court should view the offense.
Craig’s attorney, Alaska Public Defender Katrina Larsen, says he has completed programs through the justice system to provide healthy interactions. She reminded the judge of which crimes were currently being evaluated for that sentencing.
“I understand that the background circumstances…are relevant and important, but he’s not being sentenced for things he’s already been sentenced for in the past,” Larsen said.
Judge Trevor Stephens says there was no reason for Craig to be in possession of the gun, or injure anyone to be charged with attempted murder. That combined with his previous offenses were taken into consideration for the sentencing.
“He’s had a good opportunity to see the inside of a jail on a number of occasions and that hasn’t moderated his behavior when he’s out,” said Stephens.
According to Judge Stephens, Craig was on probation for misdemeanor assault when he attempted first-degree murder. Stephens agrees with the state’s assessment that Craig is a danger to the community.
Ketchikan Police Department Lieutenant Andy Berntson was one of the responding officers, and the case officer in the trial. He says the day of the incident was pretty memorable and is glad the case has concluded.
“As the prosecutor referenced, he’s been somebody that we’ve had to pay a certain amount of attention to, he’s done some things in the community that haven’t gone so well,” said Berntson. “So, it’s good to have a resolution to that case.”
Craig was sentenced to 40 years, with 10 suspended. He will be on probation for a 10 year period, which is the maximum Judge Trevor Stephens can assign.