Murder suspect tells judge he's 'not qualified,' points fingers at 'real murderers'
The Anchorage Jail Courtroom is a familiar one for 20-year-old Kuach Chuol Kuach, familiar enough that the felon and now murder suspect has a preference on judges.
"Where's Judge Saxby? I thought he was supposed to be at my arraignment," he said, questioning the judge presiding over jail court Monday, adding, "Well you're not qualified."
Kuach faces charges of first- and second-degree murder, both unclassified felonies, and tampering with evidence, a class C felony, after a weekend shooting that pushed Anchorage over the all-time record for the number of homicides in one year.
Anchorage Police say Kuach walked into a bedroom in an apartment in the 600 Block of 9th Avenue where 22-year-old Devan McDonald was resting and shot him in the head.
Court documents say there had been an impromptu birthday party at the apartment and Kuach was a guest. A witness told officers she has known Kuach for "several years" and described him as a "hot head" who likes to carry guns.
After Kuach insulted the judge at the end of his arraignment, he drew attention to two women in the courtroom gallery saying, "Those are the ones that those are the murderers right there, that's them, they possessed me."
He started yelling a series of numbers and other inaudible expressions as he was taken away.
KTVA approached the women outside of court and one of them identified herself as Mana Nyak, the victim's girlfriend. She said described what happened, breaking into tears as she said, "He pretty much went in the room and shot my boyfriend. He shot my boyfriend in the head."
When asked why Kuach would call her "the real murderer," Nyak said it's because "he's in denial, he has mental issues, and I hope they help him".
She also said she wants him to "rot in jail."
Nyak says her boyfriend leaves behind their 14-month-old son.
Kuach was charged with manslaughter in connection with a homicide in August of 2016 for his involvement in a vehicle shootout that claimed the life of 19-year-old Chaduer Chuol, who was ejected from the car they were riding in together.
In April of this year, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to serve 12 months on probation. His probation conditions included a stipulation that he would not be in possession of firearms.
According to a transcript from the sentencing hearing, the District Attorney at the time, Clint Campion, told the judge he hoped the sentence would be "a rehabilitative one."
A defense attorney echoed that hope, saying Kuach needs to "mainly keep guns out of his hands."
Court records show Kuach had already violated his probation terms when he broke the law again in September of this year, by shoplifting.
In court Monday, Kuach told the judge he would "have his own counsel" come in, but after learning Kuach has no job, no money in the bank, and owns no property, the judge appointed a public defender for him.
Kuach's bail is set at a total of $1 million with a third party custodian, meaning he cannot get out without another hearing.
He is scheduled to return to court Tuesday afternoon for a pre-indictment hearing.
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