Pipeline shooting trial set for Sept. 23

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The trial of the man accused of shooting a hole in the trans-Alaska oil pipeline has been postponed.

Superior Court Judge Ralph Beistline agreed Tuesday to postpone the trial of Daniel Carson Lewis to Sept. 23. The trial was originally scheduled to begin this week.

Lewis is charged with shooting the pipeline Oct. 4, causing a leak of 285,000 gallons of crude oil.

Lewis is facing state felony charges of criminal mischief, assault and drunken driving as well as misdemeanor charges of oil pollution and weapons misconduct. In addition, he faces a federal firearms charge.

Beistline did not rule on a defense motion to suppress statements Lewis made to Alaska State Troopers. Instead, he scheduled a hearing for March 11 on that issue.

Lewis made the statements despite telling a trooper he was not giving up his legal rights, including his right to remain silent.

Assistant public defender Adam Gurewitz said an FBI agent read Lewis his rights after Lewis was apprehended by an armed security officer working for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.

Later a trooper informed Lewis of his rights. According to court documents the trooper then asked if Lewis wanted to talk and Lewis said no, but talked when questioned by the trooper.

Under the law, questioning must cease when people under arrest say they don't want to talk. However, Gurewitz says troopers continued to ask Lewis questions immediately following his arrest and at trooper headquarters.

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