Suspect in Spenard triple homicide appears in court for bail hearing

Published: Oct. 30, 2017 at 3:49 PM AKDT
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The man accused of fatally shooting three people inside a Spenard precious metals dealer last month was back in court Monday morning for a bail hearing.

Anthony Pisano is charged with three counts of first degree murder for the deaths of Steven Cook, Kenneth Hartman and Daniel McCreadie on Sept. 12. As the date for his trial draws near, Pisano’s attorney is requesting that he be released on bail and placed on house arrest with an ankle monitor and a third party custodian. Prosecutors want him to remain in custody.

At today’s hearing, the defense called on two character witnesses to speak to the defendant’s trustworthiness. Former soldiers Robert Moser and Richard Chandler Jr. said they both worked with Pisano at different points during his 20-year career with the U.S. Army.

Both Moser and Chandler described Pisano was an exemplary soldier and a close friend. They said they were confident he would obey any orders issued by the court.

“I worked with him in the Army under oath on multimillion dollar research and development projects,” said Chandler. “We've been charged with a great deal of responsibility and he's never let me down, never breached his integrity, never lied to me.”

“I have not been in combat with him, but with all the training that we've done and scheduling some projects that we worked on together, he doesn't lie and he's a man of his word,” said Moser.

In questioning the two character witnesses, state prosecutor John Darnall revealed that Pisano was once charged with fraud during his tenure with the Army. Allegedly, he submitted fraudulent parachute jump records in an attempt to claim additional pay. The case was handled by the military as a non-judicial process.

Pisano’s attorney, Julia Moudy, questioned the validity of that information.

“Mr. Darnall doesn’t know the circumstances that led to that document, there’s nothing that indicates what the facts were,” Moudy said, referring to the alleged charges. “He hasn’t provided anything that even shows that that’s a genuine document.”

Superior Court Judge Jack Smith ruled the questioning could continue, with some restrictions. The charges will be discussed further at an evidentiary hearing, and could be ruled out in the future.

“Given the testimony of the witness, it became relevant material,” Smith explained. “I’m limiting Mr. Darnall’s access to this, we’re not going to get into all the background.”

After the character witnesses, testimony turned to the victims’ family members in attendance. Steven Cook’s wife and his mother were among those to speak.

“He has proven he cannot be trusted by his actions. I hope while Mr. Pisano is incarcerated he reflects on the man he once was, the man my son and many others trusted and tried to help,” said mother Deborah Cook, speaking over the phone. “Understand the devastation his choices have caused.”

“I believe I speak for all the victims' families and loved ones here when I say enough,” said wife Patricia Cook. “We've already dealt with enough heartache and pain and don't need the added pressure of living in fear every day because of that man Anthony Pisano.”

Ultimately, Superior Court Judge Jack Smith decided to postpone his decision, and scheduled another bail hearing for Nov. 16. Pisano’s trial is currently scheduled to start on Dec. 4, according to online court records.