Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Convicted murderer Demarqus Green reacts after Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran decided to reschedule a sentencing hearing  on Friday Nov. 13, 2015 in Kenai, Alaska. Green was found guilty of second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence in the killing of Demian Sagerser in Homer - but his sentencing hearing was scheduled in Kenai despite the objection of the murder victim's mother. Moran said she was unaware of the mother's objections and pushed the next sentencing date back to December.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Convicted murderer Demarqus Green reacts after Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran decided to reschedule a sentencing hearing on Friday Nov. 13, 2015 in Kenai, Alaska. Green was found guilty of second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence in the killing of Demian Sagerser in Homer - but his sentencing hearing was scheduled in Kenai despite the objection of the murder victim's mother. Moran said she was unaware of the mother's objections and pushed the next sentencing date back to December.

Homer area murder sentencing moved again

The sentencing for an Anchorage man guilty of murder has been postponed and moved to Homer after a communication mishap.

Demarqus Green, 23, was found guilty in May of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the 2012 shooting of Demian Sagerser, then 40. Green’s defense attorney had argued self defense, saying that Sagerser had attacked Green with a knife when Green visited the man’s cabin in Stariski Creek to buy marijuana.

Before the hearing could begin, Superior Court Judge Anna Moran addressed confusion surrounding the change in the original venue from Homer to Kenai. Moran said she received an unopposed motion from the state to transfer the sentencing to Kenai, with the goal of resolving the case more quickly.

Sagerser’s mother, Marjorie Bantz, was present at the hearing and visibly emotional throughout, speaking up through quivering sobs to voice her opposition to the Kenai location.

“I don’t even begin to know what to say,” she said, adding that her wishes had been “completely misrepresented” to the court.

Bantz said she had always wanted the sentencing to take place in Homer where more of her son’s friends and family would be able to attend. Bantz said and she had tried to email Moran directly to voice her opinion. Moran said she never received those emails.

Kenai District Attorney Scot Leaders said he only submitted a motion to move the hearing to Kenai because, at the time, he believed Bantz wanted the earliest possible sentencing date, even if that meant moving it to Kenai.

“This is very different than the phone call I had before making that motion,” Leaders said before bringing a distressed Bantz out into the hall to speak privately about the mix-up.

Green’s new sentencing will be held at 2:15 p.m. on Dec. 28 at the Homer Courthouse. Green’s defense attorney, Adam Franklin, said he had conflicts that would prevent the sentencing from taking place in November.

“It’s just very important that we are sensitive to the community’s needs,” Moran said of the additional venue change.

Confusion over how to submit statements from Sagerser’s friends and family was also addressed. Bantz, who Leaders said did not feel able to make a verbal statement at the hearing, had submitted one in writing along with several other people who were close to her son.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsula.com.

More in News

A sign outside of RD’s Barber Shop indicating that they are closed can be seen here in Kenai, Alaska on March 25, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Changes proposed to pending ‘shop local’ program in Kenai

Changes to the program have been proposed by city council members, city administration and the public

File
Dunleavy appoints new attorney general

Sniffen held the position in an acting capacity following the resignation of Kevin Clarkson.

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai to consider extension of disaster declaration

If approved, the declaration would be extended to Feb. 28

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer 
Welcome bags and plexiglass dividers placed around their desks await lawmakers on the Alaska House floor in Juneau. The committee was among several that had scheduled meetings Monday, the last day before the new Legislature is set to convene Tuesday.
Alaska Legislature to convene amid budget, virus concerns

Neither the House nor the Senate has organized majorities.

New signage at the Alaska State Capitol on Friday, Jan 15, 2020, reminds visitors of health mitigation strategies. Committees from the previous legislature had their final meetings Monday as the new session starts Tuesday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
State will audit CARES Act funding

Public money, public information.

COVID-19. (Image via CDC)
More than 55,000 Alaskans have received initial vaccine

DHSS announced 153 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska on Monday

The River City Academy class of 2019 awaits the walking ceremony Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
City of Soldotna now accepting scholarship applications

In total, the committees will award up to a combined $55,100 to eligible applicants

Most Read