Kenai shooting, heroin distribution suspect denied bail, set for August trials

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect the marital status of Ashley Nelund and Dylan Rink. Nelund's attorney stated in court that Rink was her husband, he has since denied the statement. In addition, Rink did not file for divorce from Nelund, he filed for custody of the children. 

 

A woman facing multiple assault and drug-related charges, was denied a bail motion Tuesday that would have put her on an electronic monitoring system and placed her in a Sterling home with her two children and a man who filed for custody of her children in March.

Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet denied the request to allow Ashley Nelund, 28, to spend time with her 3-month-old daughter and her toddler-aged son before her trial begins, citing the extensive criminal history of the man who lives in the home with the children, Dylan Rink, and the circumstances surrounding Nelund’s arrest.

While Nelund's defense attorney said that Rink was her husband, Rink denied that statement in a Wednesday email to the Clarion. 

“I’m not approving this, Huguelet said during the hearing. “I’m not going to send her back to possibly an estranged husband, when there’s violence like this and drug charges, so the bail motion is denied.”

Before the circumstances of the bail request were discussed, Huguelet said Nelund’s trial call was scheduled to begin Wednesday and that he had denied any further continuances in the case earlier in July.

Nelund, whose primary attorney was not present, was represented by attorney Jaffer Khimani who appeared telephonically and told Huguelet he was there to ask for a bail reduction. He said he had limited information about the case.

“OK, but I’m telling you that you’re going to trial,” Huguelet said.

Khimani said Nelund’s other attorney was currently in a trail in Ketchikan.

Huguelet said the case had already been continued eight times and would not be allowed to do so again.

Khimani said Nelund was close to accepting a plea agreement.

According to court records, in the case before Huguelet, Nelund is facing five felony charges including attempted Murder 1, stemming from a 2013 shooting in the parking lot of the Kenai Wal-Mart. That case is scheduled to go to trial August 4.

Neland is facing two further felony charges of possessing and delivering heroin. That case is scheduled to go to trial August 11.

Khimani said the primary reason for the bail reduction request was to allow Nelund to spend time with her children.

“She has been in custody since November,” he said. “She’ll be accepting a plea agreement soon and this proposal would allow Ms. Nelund to spend time with her baby during the (pre-sentence report) time.”

According to the terms of the bail reduction, Nelund would have been fitted with a GPS bracelet, been required to submit to drug test and lived under 24-hour house arrest. Alaska Monitoring Services would have been her third-party custodian.

When the judge asked who lived in the home where Nelund would have been allowed to stay, Khimani said it would be her husband, mother-in-law and children but said he wasn’t sure of the name of the husband.

The husband was identified as Dylan Rink, a man whom Kenai district attorney Scot Leaders said had a criminal history. Court records confirm Leaders assertion, Rink has been charged with several misdemeanors and minor traffic infractions in addition to theft and burglary charges.

“I prosecuted Mr. Rink for burglary charges a number of years ago,” Leaders said. “Mr. Rink has had a historical issues, I don’t know his current status, issues with controlled substance use.”

According to court records, Rink filed for custody of the children in March.

 

Reach Rashah McChesney at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com

 

 

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