Sentencing in fatal Anchorage hit-and-run case postponed
A sentence was expected Friday for 18-year-old Alexandra Ellis, convicted on charges relating to the death of 51-year-old Jeff Dusenbury, but it was postponed until the following week.
Instead, Judge Michael Wolverton allowed an accident investigator — hired by the defense — to speak. Jay Smith, who has 33 years’ experience in the field, said Dusenbury was traveling between 30 and 35 miles per hour at the time of the collision.
A friend of the Dusenbury family, Mike Vania, said there was “no way” he could have been traveling that fast, as he was in the early portion of a long bike trip and would have needed to save energy.
Vania said the prosecution wasn’t aggressive enough, allowing for a plea agreement that he says doesn’t do the crime justice.
“We were all stunned with the agreement — three years with two suspended, and worse: the hit-and-run was dropped. Are you kidding me?” he said. “I was shocked that the prosecution, after all this time, with all his assurances, could just roll over and give the defense a deal that amounted to a slap on the wrist.”
There was also testimony from Dusenbury’s widow, Melissa Holder.
“Alexandra Ellis killed my best friend of 32 years,” she testified. “He was my soulmate, my husband and the father of my only child. In 32 years, I never went more than 12 hours without hearing his voice.”
Wolverton said a confidential hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday, during which they will determine a timeline for the next proceedings.
KTVA 11’s Eric Ruble and Daniella Rivera contributed to this story.
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