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Jury finds Tyonek man not guilty of kidnapping, assault

Posted: January 5, 2014 - 8:47pm

After hearing the alleged victim’s and the defendant’s accounts of a September incident, a Kenai Superior Court jury found a Tyonek man accused of kidnapping and assault not guilty of all charges on Friday.

The state had alleged Virgil McCord, 37, had beaten his then girlfriend, Valerie Sigourney, 44, of Anchorage, on Sept. 20, 2013 in Tyonek. It charged him with kidnapping and two felony assault charges as well as two misdemeanor charges — fourth-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal mischief.

Public Defender Andy Pevehouse called two witnesses Friday, McCord’s grandfather, who appeared telephonically, and the defendant.

McCord told the jury about his relationship with Sigourney, saying he had liked that Sigourney was active, sweet and loved kids. But he said they had arguments about her drinking, and he didn’t like when she spent time with certain people in the village because they influenced her drinking. He said he also had an issue with the amount of attention she gave to one of her friend’s husbands, but he wasn’t jealous.

Then Pevehouse questioned McCord about the September incident. McCord said he picked Sigourney up from her friend’s home to go for a drive and to go moose hunting. He said she had started drinking at her friend’s house and brought a bottle of whiskey with for the drive. McCord testified he had a little bit to drink but not enough to get drunk or even buzzed, but he said Sigourney became intoxicated.

McCord said it was getting dark when the couple got into an argument about Sigourney’s drinking. He thought she drank too much. He said she asked him to take her home. He testified he said “OK” and planned to turn around at the airstrip about half of a mile ahead. Before he got there, he said Sigourney jumped out of the pickup while he was driving. He said he tried to stop her by grabbing her sweatshirt.

“When my arm popped out (of its socket), I let go,” he said.

McCord said he had little mobility in his right arm.

He testified that he thought he put the pickup in park and got out after Sigourney, who had jumped out of the truck and was lying in the road. But the truck wasn’t in park so he tried to go after it, and it got stuck in the ditch. McCord said when he got to Sigourney she looked knocked out. He said he called her name a few times and when she came to, they went back to the truck.

McCord said he wanted to stay in the truck overnight because there are a lot of bears in Tyonek and with his injured arm he wouldn’t be able to use his gun. He said Sigourney didn’t argue about staying in the truck.

In her testimony on Tuesday, Sigourney said McCord had begun hitting her while he was driving and that’s why she jumped out of the pickup. She also said after the truck went in the ditch, McCord choked her and pointed his rifle at her threatening to kill her. She said she didn’t want to stay in the truck overnight.

McCord said he never pointed his gun at Sigourney and he didn’t do anything to make her stay in the truck.

“Have you ever laid a hand on (Sigourney)?” Pevehouse asked.

“No, I (have) not,” McCord said.

In her closing argument Assistant District Attorney Kelly Lawson asked the jury why someone would jump out of a moving truck.

“There must have been something really horrible going on inside that truck,” she said.

She spoke about Sigourney’s glasses, which were broken down the middle that night, and echoed Sigourney’s testimony that the glasses were broken on purpose by McCord.

Pevehouse in his closing argument submitted to the jury that when looking at all the evidence, Sigourney, when she jumped out of the pickup, hit her right side on the ground. He argued that her glasses twisted and broke when her head hit the road. He argued the sleeve on end of the glasses that hooks over the ear slide off because it was pinned between her head and the road.

“Nothing in the physical evidence supports (Sigourney’s) story,” he said.

Pevehouse submitted to the jury that Sigourney came up with the domestic violence story because she felt foolish about having jumped out of a moving vehicle.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at

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Akn8ivebutterfly 01/09/14 - 07:13 pm

Wow!!!! I'm so thankful that we live in a borough with a great court system such as Kenai Superior courts to send a message across to men that it's ok to beat a woman, hold her against her will and threaten to kill her. They don't know how much of a manipulative liar this man is. For those that have lived around him our whole lives knows how he is, he's extremely jealous, he is a woman beater and a psycho!!! I had frens that dated him and u can ask anyone here if his girlfriends were ever allowed to have any friends or go out during social gatherings or anything for that matter. He keeps them locked down in his home at his grampa's.
Why wouldn't the courts jury see all the testimony was true, you cannot fake all those injuries and say it was jumping from a moving vehicle, even if it was he would have to have been going at a very fast speed to obtain bruises on the face, a split ear which u can see was bitten, a broken couple of toes from being stomped on and lacerations on her ear and body. I've fell from moving vehicles before and most I've ever gotten was scrapes, and was going about 40-45 mph!!!! Like I said we all know him over here and he also is a heavy drinking alcoholic!!! Y'all should be ashamed of urself letting someone fool u like that!!! We really need to become our own borough or get out of the kenai borough, y'all don't help us anyway!!!! Bottom line!!!!! Not even enough to protect us from the bad criminals. To say that the troopers service our area... Bologna... They tell us oh we have little staff and we don't see that it's justifiable to send a trooper there!!! Wow!!! Serve and protect troopers our tax dollars pay ur wages too!!!!

beaverlooper 01/09/14 - 08:23 pm

What goes around comes around.......I hope.

Raoulduke 01/10/14 - 05:49 am

First! Why would anyone stay with someone.Who beats them.
Second! The violator has to sleep sometime,and a many a real good wallop's with a piece of 2x4 across the knee caps.Just might open up the mind,and heart of the violator. The beatings should stop.Especially! When the violator knows.You will NOT take it anymore.Men have NO reason to hit a person.Who they say they love,and care for.This is B.S..Third! You are in DANGER,and the assaults will continue.Get out of the situation.There isn't any reason to stay.Yeah! Yeah! You say. I can not leave.I have kids.You would be doing the kids a favor.When you,and your kids get away from an obvious unstable person.Realize! You are in a crappy situation,and leaving could only make your life better.The problem with the justice system is.The people presiding over such cases.Were also probably raised under such circumstances,and believe there is an excuse for such behavior.

Marian King
Marian King 01/10/14 - 04:50 pm

I know both parties very very well, and I will tell you that his account of what happened is full of lies. But what comes around goes around and he will get what is coming to him in the end. He is and always has been a woman abuser. She did not know this when they started going together but I guarantee you that I did tell her when I found out they were going together. How it didn't come out in court that he is an alcoholic and a woman beater is beyond me. But he will do this again and now it is on record that he is a woman beater, so like I said, he will get what is coming to him.

Akn8ivebutterfly 01/10/14 - 05:28 pm

Yep!!! And also no he does not sleep, he would stay up all hours of the night just to make sure she didn't leave. Even questioning her getting up to use the bathroom and make coffee!!! Hopefully our great justice system will hold him accountable and help other women have justice served. This sends a message out to women that if they are beaten and threatened that they shouldn't take it to court because they will always believe the abuser. That's why so many women stay in the relationship, no where to go, no one to turn to for help and they know the courts won't do crap!!!!

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