Forster's hearing postponed

Posted: Thursday, January 22, 2004

A court hearing to decide who will represent David S. Forster was postponed again Wednesday until Jan. 28.

Forster is the Kenai man accused of killing Kenai Police Officer John Watson on Christmas Day.

A similar representation hearing postponement was granted by Superior Court Judge Harold Brown 10 days ago after Kenai attorney Joe Skrha told the court Forster's family contacted Skrha saying they were in the process of determining whether the family had enough money to afford a private attorney.

On Wednesday, Skrha, who is not representing Forster at this time, said the family is continuing to determine the value of assets.

"Last week has been very busy for the family," Skrha said.

"An attorney is coming down from Anchorage to possibly assist in representing Mr. Forster.

"The family has met with one Realtor and would ask that the court consider a week to two weeks more to determine the value of certain assets," Skrha said.

Brown said he would give the family one more week.

He set the new representation hearing for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 28. If it is determined Forster cannot afford an attorney, he is to reapply to the court for a public defender, the judge had said earlier.

Forster, who had been led into the courtroom in handcuffs along with 12 other Wildwood Pretrial Facility prisoners, sat silently throughout the discussion, staring straight ahead or down at the floor.

Officer Watson was fatally shot after an alleged confrontation with Forster outside Forster's residence on Watergate Way in the Kenai VIP Subdivision. Watson had responded to investigate a call from Alaska State Troopers about a possible domestic violence situation.

After a lengthy standoff with police following the shooting on Christmas evening, Forster surrendered without incident early the next morning.

He has been in custody at Wildwood Pretrial since, charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of third-degree assault and two counts of domestic-violence related third-degree assault.

On Wednesday, Brown ordered bail to remain at $1 million with a court-approved, third-party custodian required if he is released on bail.

Forster turned 34 on Jan. 16.

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