'Those are the murderers right there,' accused shooter blames others at arraignment
A man charged for the shooting death of a 22-year-old man appeared in court on Monday.
Kuach Chuol Kuach, 20, is facing charges including murder in the first and second degree along with tampering with evidence.
Kuach allegedly shot Devan McDonald on Sunday, but at his arraignment told the courtroom others were to blame.
"Those are the ones that, those are the murderers right there," Kuach said as he looked in the general direction to where two women were standing.
One of those women was Manaa Nyak, McDonald's girlfriend.
"Cause he's in denial, he has mental issues and I hope they help him to be all honest," Nyak told reporters. "I don't have a gun to murder anybody and he's obviously in denial and that's that."
According to court documents, McDonald's sister found him "shot in the head" on Sunday on the 600 block of East 9th Avenue.
Documents said Devan was obviously deceased in the bedroom of the apartment. "Next to Devan McDonald was a cell phone covered in blood. An expended cartridge casing was on the floor in the room near the door," according to a police affidavit.
Documents said McDonald's girlfriend told police they had decided to have an impromptu birthday party at the apartment and had known Kuach for several years.
After waking up, she said Kuach had a gun and had been behaving strangely, demanded a ride home and had threatened to "take Devan out," documents said.
"I walked up to the living room, my sister was sleeping he had a plastic over his gun and he was shaking my sister, he was like, 'You guys need to take me home, you need to take me home,' and he was also using profanity and so I was like 'OK, I'm gonna go get the key so we can take you home," Nyak said.
After leaving to grab a key, Nyak said she heard a gunshot.
"As we were putting on our shoes and we were gonna walk out of the house, he stayed in the house, we seen him walking behind us and he's pretty much went in the room and shot my boyfriend, he shot my boyfriend in the head," Nyak said.
Nyak said she doesn't know why Kuach was angry and shot McDonald, but what she does know is that her 14-month-old son will grow up without McDonald in his life.
"I'm a single parent. My baby has to grow up with no dad that's pretty messed up 'cause somebody's selfish and wants to take somebody's life for no reason," Nyak said.
and eventually pleaded guilty to a third degree misconduct with a weapon, a class C felony.
Megan Edge, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections said Kuach was sentenced to 12 months with 12 months suspended.
"The longest he was in custody was 8/23/16 to 9/10/16. Most of that time was spent at ACC, less than a week at GCCC. He was released to a third party on 9/10/16. He came back to jail on 4/12/17 and was sentenced on 4/14/17. He was released immediately," Edge wrote.
Kuach was out on supervised probation, according to Edge.
While he couldn't comment specifically on the case, Assistant District Attorney Arne Soldwedal said there are a number of factors that could factor into cases being pleaded down or resolved short of a trial, including evidentiary issues.
Kuach also requested a Rule 5 hearing at his arraignment.
"There are certain speedy trial rules that we have for a defendant who is charged with a felony and is in custody and requests a Rule 5 hearing," Soldwedal said. "We have 10 days to indict him before the case would have to be dismissed so we would either file misdemeanor charges. If we're unable to indict him and then continue into a point where we could indict him or we would indict him within that time so the case will be moving forward."
Kuach's bail was set for $1,000,000 and a third party custodian.
There is a
set up for McDonald's family to help pay for his funeral in Ketchikan.