Ninety-Nine Year Sentence for Convicted Murderer

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) On October 5, 2018, Superior Court Judge Catherine Easter sentenced Trayvon Morrissette to serve 95 years in prison for the July 4, 2016 murder of Jorge Rea-Villa, Jr. Judge Easter also imposed a 4 year sentence for first degree burglary, and ordered that this time be served consecutively.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Morrissette attended a barbeque on July 4th, 2016 with several others at an Anchorage residence. During the barbeque Morrissette went into a bathroom, drew a 9mm handgun and shot the victim nine times. Morrissette left the residence, got in his car and drove away. Other residents heard the gun shots and called 911, reporting that the victim was dead and that Morrissette had shot him for no reason.

Morrissette was seen minutes later driving into a secure parking garage beneath a nearby apartment complex. After hiding in one of the apartments, Morrissette fled from the building on foot. Multiple people called Anchorage Police to report contacts with a man matching Morrissette’s description as he fled around the area of Campbell Creek. These reports assisted a police canine unit in finding Morrissette shortly thereafter hiding under a stairway near another apartment building.

Morrisette testified at trial that he was suffering from paranoia induced by methamphetamine usage.

Judge Easter, who presided over Morrissette’s trial, said that first degree murder is the most serious crime recognized under Alaska law. She called Morrissette’s prospects for rehabilitation “guarded”. Judge Easter told Morrissette, “I have no doubt that if I somehow had the ability to release you today, you would go right back into using drugs.” Observing that Morrissette had previously been convicted of first degree assault, Judge Easter warned him that “your confinement is necessary to prevent further harm to the public.”

Assistant District Attorney James Klugman, who prosecuted the case, noted that this murder occurred in the midst of a homicide epidemic in Anchorage. “Our city cannot tolerate these heinous crimes,” he said. “Drug impairment is never an excuse for murder, and those who make the choice to take the life of an innocent person should expect no safe harbor in our courts of justice.” ADA Klugman also expressed his appreciation to the work of the officers of the Anchorage Police Department and to the members of the community who assisted in Morrissette’s apprehension.

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