Trial in kidnapping, sexual assault case delayed

  • By DAN BALMER
  • Sunday, January 11, 2015 11:21pm
  • News

Trial for a Soldotna man facing charges of sexual assault of two women in two separate 2013 home invasions has been delayed until April while the defense awaits more audio recordings for the case.

Shane Heiman, 39, who worked as a handyman before his incarceration, returned to Kenai Superior Court for his seventh trial call Wednesday wearing a yellow jumpsuit. His trial would have started today but public defender Josh Cooley requested a 60-day continuance. Cooley said he is waiting on transcripts for all of the audio recordings that were made in connection with the case and declined to comment further.

Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet set Heiman’s trial for the week of April 6. When Huguelet asked the defendant if he would waive his right for speedy trial once again, Heiman paused and sighed before he said yes.

Heiman has been in custody since his Dec. 13, 2013 arrest after Soldotna police and Alaska State Troopers found enough evidence to link him to a report of a burglary, assault and attempted rape of a 23-year-old woman at a Soldotna residence earlier that night.

In that incident, troopers allege Heiman broke into a woman’s cabin on Tobacco Lane after he shut off power to the cabin. The 23-year-old woman woke up to find Heiman standing over her with a hunting knife and a headlamp. The woman was able to escape to a nearby relative’s house. The victim told police she recognized her attacker as Heiman, from when he worked on the house a few months earlier, according to court documents.

A month earlier on Nov. 11, 2013, troopers allege Heiman kidnapped an 18-year-old woman from her Soldotna apartment and raped her repeatedly. The woman told police Heiman entered her apartment around 4 a.m. and tied her up at knifepoint. She reported he had a headlamp in his hands and he put a fast food bag over her head. The woman was able to escape Heiman’s truck after he stopped to use the bathroom. She ran down the Sterling Highway in her underwear in the early morning from Ski Hill Road to Safeway, according to a police affidavit.

Heiman is currently housed at Wildwood Pretrial Facility on eight felony charges between the two incidents, including two counts of first-degree sexual assault, kidnapping, two counts of first-degree burglary, second-degree sexual assault, and two counts of third-degree assault. Heiman is also charged with resisting arrest.

Last July, Cooley filed a motion to sever charges of the two incidents. Kenai assistant district attorney Kelly Lawson opposed that motion and Huguelet rejected the motion last August.

The two incidents were linked through DNA testing after a Sexual Assault Response Team at Central Peninsula Hospital examined the 18-year-old and results matched with Heiman’s DNA.

Last December Huguelet denied a motion filed by Cooley to suppress statements Heiman made prior to his arrest. Cooley claimed in his argument, based on audio and video from Soldotna police and troopers, that police pulled him over with the intent to arrest him and he was interrogated before he was given a Miranda warning.

“This isn’t Mr. Heiman driving down the road with a taillight out,” Cooley said in an evidentiary hearing last November. “They knew they were going to arrest this guy. Nothing about this was a routine traffic stop.”

According to court documents, Huguelet ruled the facts show custodial interrogation did not begin until Heiman was placed in handcuffs.

Huguelet said there was reasonable cause for an investigative stop and a suspect is not entitled to a Miranda warning until the stop turns into a custodial interrogation.

The two 2013 incidents are similar to allegations in 2008 when Heiman was convicted for criminal trespass of a Soldotna home.

In that case, Heiman was convicted of illegally entering a home on Birch Street around 2:30 a.m. when a then 23-year-old woman woke to find Heiman sitting at the end of her bed. According to police, she “freaked out” and woke up her parents. Her father confronted the intruder, which forced him out of the house and into the woods.

Heiman was convicted on three misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass, harassment and DUI on Jan. 13, 2009 and Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran sentenced Heiman to 180 days in jail with 160 days suspended. Four other misdemeanor charges were dismissed.

In a February 2014 bail hearing, Lawson described the cases as a “pattern of behavior.”

“His conduct is similar to the 2008 incident,” Lawson said. “Now here he is in 2013 committing similar if not more perfected types of crimes. I’m concerned about putting him back on the street.”

Heiman’s next court date is a trial call on April 1 in Kenai.

Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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