Anchorage man acquitted in 2018 death of boater on Flat Lake
PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - A jury has acquitted an Anchorage man in the 2018 death of a woman on Flat Lake, attorneys in the case say.
A Palmer jury acquitted 31-year-old Reagan Martz, who was charged with manslaughter in the death of Jennifer Horazdovsky on June 9, 2018. Martz’s boat had collided with an innertube carrying three women that was being towed by another vessel, killing 35-year-old Horazdovsky and seriously injuring the other women.
Martz was also facing four additional charges, including three first-degree assaults as well as a DUI. The jury did convict Martz for driving under the influence with sentencing scheduled for May 19.
According to early reports of the incident, Martz fled Flat Lake after the accident before Alaska State Troopers located him nearby on a Jet Ski and placed him under arrest. Charging documents for the arrest indicate Martz initially refused to submit to a blood alcohol test before giving a breath sample that registered at .163, more than twice the legal limit.
Horazdovsky’s mother, Sharon Hulley, said the family was disappointed with the outcome of the trial that lasted nearly four weeks.
“For someone to just totally get off on a technicality,” Hulley said. “I told myself that it’s okay because it wasn’t us against him — it’s the state against him — but I’m just really disillusioned in the whole court system.”
Outside the Palmer courthouse, one of the jurors approached Hulley to apologize for what happened to her daughter and express how difficult it was to serve on the trial. Hulley assured the juror that she had no hard feelings toward the jury’s decision.
Despite the disappointing verdict, Hulley said she felt as though a weight had been lifted now that the court process was over.
“It’s time to be able to go on with our lives and to pick up the pieces — and that wasn’t allowing us to do that,” Hulley said. “It was just really difficult.”
In an emailed statement Thursday, John Cashion — an attorney for Martz — thanked the jury for their service.
“There were no winners in this trial, numerous lives were permanently affected by the underlying accident, and it took a courageous jury to fairly weigh the facts and apply the law,” the statement read in part.
This article has been updated to reflect that Cashion is an attorney for Martz, not the Horazdovsky family, as well as include additional context from Jennifer Horazdovsky’s mother.
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