Jury finds two men innocent of murder in Saxman man's death

Posted: Sunday, April 21, 2002

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A Ketchikan Superior Court found two men innocent of murder in the death of a man who was struck, fell and hit his head.

The jury found Joshua Anderson and Terry Simpson guilty Friday of second-degree theft, the least serious charge the two faced. The verdict was what the defense had requested.

The two men were charged with killing Steve Perry, 36, of Saxman, during a robbery last July. Perry, also known as David Blair, was found dead last July on the stairs of the Ziegler Law Firm in Ketchikan.

District Attorney Steve West declined to comment.

The defendants had admitted to stealing money from the victim after striking him, but said they never planned the theft.

West said Simpson and Anderson met Perry at the Pioneer Cafe sometime after 2 a.m. on July 26. Both sides agreed Perry had a fetish for smelling men's socks, and the defendants planned to trick Perry into paying them $25 to smell their socks.

Perry and the defendants then went to a grocery store where the victim wrote two checks for a total of $45.

The three then took a taxi back downtown. The taxi driver testified during the trial that the three men walked away from the taxi together. The defense argued the defendants were trying to ditch Perry at that point, and they walked from the taxi without him.

West said the defendants led Perry to the doorway of the law office under the pretense of letting him smell their socks. He said they then assaulted Perry and took his money.

Both sides agreed Anderson punched Perry in the mouth that night, causing him to fall backward and hit his head.

The state claimed the defendants assaulted Perry to rob him, and the defense claimed that Anderson was defending himself from a sexual assault.

Sentencing was set for June 17.



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