Bail lowered for Kenai man

Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2003

Bail was changed to $25,000 in Kenai Superior Court on Wednesday for Erwin J. Petterson Jr., the Kenai man charged with four counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of an Anchorage couple killed in a motor-vehicle accident last fall.

Petterson will be required to post 10 percent of a $25,000 cash appearance bond and an additional cash or security performance bond of $50,000, the court ruled. The court also approved Petterson's father, Erwin Petterson Sr., as a third-party custodian.

Bail originally was set at $50,000 cash, plus the third-party requirement.

The younger Petterson is being held in Wildwood Pretrial Facility pending bail, in connection with the Oct. 12 accident on the Seward Highway that left Robert Weiser, 60, and Donna Weiser, 56, dead.

According to an Alaska State Trooper report, Petterson and a friend were watching an in-dash digital video when Petterson's Ford F150 pickup crossed the double-yellow lines on the highway and crashed head-on into the Weisers' Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Weisers died in the accident, and Petterson suffered a broken ankle and broken ribs. His passenger was treated for minor injuries.

During Petterson's arraignment hearing Tuesday, his attorney, Peter Ehrhardt, said he did not believe the allegation about the video and said, "We believe it was an accident."

Not-guilty pleas were entered on all four charges.

The case is scheduled for trial in Judge Charles K. Cranston's courtroom during the week of Aug. 4.

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