Demarqus Green, 23, is lead out of the Homer Courtroom by a corrections officer after being convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting of Demain Sagerser on July 7, 2012, at Sagerser's Stariski Creek home.

Demarqus Green, 23, is lead out of the Homer Courtroom by a corrections officer after being convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting of Demain Sagerser on July 7, 2012, at Sagerser's Stariski Creek home.

Green found guilty of second-degree murder

After three days of deliberation, a Homer jury on Thursday afternoon found Demarqus Green, 23, of Anchorage, guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Demian Sagerser, then 40.

Green had claimed self defense in the July 7, 2012, shooting of Sagerser at Sagerser’s Stariski Creek home. Green said Sagerser attacked him with a utility knife when Green attempted to buy marijuana.

The jury found Green not guilty of first-degree murder and on a lesser charge of first-degree robbery. It found him guilty of witness tampering for destroying a red jacket and other evidence related to the murder.

As Judge Anna Moran read the verdict, Green sat passively next to his attorney, Adam Franklin, and showed no apparent emotion to either the not-guilty or guilty verdicts.

Sagerser’s mother, Marjorie Bantz, did not attend the hearing. Kenai Peninsula District Attorney Scot Leaders said he did attempt to contact Bantz. During final arguments on Tuesday, Bantz sobbed and held her face in her hands as Leaders described her son’s death.

Green admitted that he went to Sagerser’s cabin near Mile 149 Sterling Highway to buy marijuana. While there, Green said he shot Sagerser. An autopsy showed Sagerser had been shot in the back and the left side. Alaska Bureau of Investigation detectives found 9 mm bullets in the cabin, and forensic analysis showed the bullets matched a 9 mm Smith and Wesson semiautomatic pistol seized from Green when he was arrested in late August 2012.

At dispute was if Green shot Sagerser in self defense, if Green stole marijuana and money, and if Green and his girlfriend, Nancie Modeste, 29, destroyed evidence.

Modeste had already pleaded guilty to destroying clothing Green wore, such as a red jacket.

A game camera set up by Sagerser outside his A-frame cabin captured images of Green in a red jacket walking into and out of the cabin about 7 p.m. July 7, 2012.

To discount the self-defense claim, jurors only had to disprove one of a list of factors, such as that Green had been involved in a robbery, that he did not believe the extent of force used was needed to prevent harm to himself and that he had a duty to retreat.

The state also asserted that Green had engaged in a felony drug transaction or purported drug transaction.

Under Alaska law, a defendant cannot use self defense if involved in a felony drug transaction. Franklin asserted that Green bought a half-ounce of marijuana, less than a felony amount.

In her instructions to the jury, Moran had said to find Green guilty on second-degree murder, it had to show one of three things:

• He intended to cause serious physical injury which resulted in death,

• He knew his conduct was certain to cause death or serious injury, and

• He committed a robbery and during the robbery or pursuit he caused a death.

Leaders said that because the jury found Green not guilty on the robbery charges, that was the only factor that could be known was not disproved in a self-defense claim or proven in a second-degree murder claim.

To find Green guilty of first-degree murder, the jury had to find that Green intended to kill Sagerser. By finding him not guilty of first-degree murder, the jury concluded Green did not intend to kill Sagerser.

After the jury foreperson delivered the verdict to Moran and she read it, Leaders asked her to poll each juror to see if they agreed with the verdict. One by one the jury of seven women and five men all said they agreed with the verdict.

Moran set a sentencing hearing at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Homer Courthouse. Under Alaska law, any bail set was reduced to no bail.

Three Homer Police officers and Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Jeremy Stone, head of the Anchor Point Post that initially responded to Sagerser’s killing, guarded the courtroom door as the verdict was read.

Green was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

More in News

Ryan Tunks works at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn OՈara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘The first, first responders’

Dispatchers hope service isn’t lost in political dispute

FILE - In this March 12, 2020 file photo, Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, addresses reporters at a news conference in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases, a day after the state’s largest hospital announced it had entered crisis protocol and began rationing care. When many people become ill at the same time, it overwhelms the state’s health care system. "And then we start to see excess mortality where more people dying from other things such as heart attacks and strokes and car accidents and bear maulings or whatever else happens," Zink said. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Zink: Health care workers face increasing hostility

Health care professionals with the state have borne the brunt of scrutiny… Continue reading

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination drive-thru clinic at Evraz Place in Regina on Thursday, April 15, 2021. Saskatchewan’s only children’s hospital is opening its pediatric intensive care unit to younger adults who have COVID-19 as the province runs out of critical care beds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor
Weekly vaccine lottery winners announced

The Alaska Chamber of Commerce announced the second week’s lottery winners Thursday,… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 7 recent COVID-19 deaths

The state Department of Health and Social Services reported another seven recent… Continue reading

Skilak Lake can be seen from Hideout Trail in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on July 5, 2020, in Alaska. (Photograph by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Refuge cancels ‘Fall Fun Day’ due to state of COVID

Peninsula Clarion The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge canceled its weekend “Fall Fun… Continue reading

Ahlberg to take over as OEM manager

Brenda Ahlberg is the new emergency manager for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.… Continue reading

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Nikiski North Star goes to universal masks

Universal indoor masking for staff and students was instituted at Nikiski North… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Another COVID death, more than 1,200 new cases reported statewide

Statewide, there were 213 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Wednesday.

Candidates for Soldotna City Council attend a forum at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna council candidates discuss city development, COVID response at forum

Jordan Chilson, Erick Hugarte, Dan Nelson and Micah Shields participated in the event.

Most Read