Track Palin discharged from Veterans Court
The judge presiding over Anchorage's therapeutic Veterans Court ruled to expel Track Palin from the program after his most recent arrest on domestic violence charges.
Last weekend, the 29-year-old Army veteran and son of former Gov. Sarah Palin was arrested on misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree domestic violence assault, interfering with the report of a domestic violence crime, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, in a case similar to one in which he was charged nearly two years ago involving the same woman.
The new charges come as Track has been making his way through Veterans Court -- a program allowing veterans who are charged with crimes to seek treatment in place of jail time -- for another domestic violence case stemming from an assault on his father, Todd Palin, in December of 2017.
In order to participate in Veterans Court, veterans must plead guilty to at least one charge against them, something Track did in June. His deal involved pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of criminal trespassing in the first degree for a sentence of 10 days in jail with successful completion of the program.
According to his agreement with the state, if he failed Veterans Court, Track would have to serve up to a year in jail for the 2017 case.
Anchorage District Attorney Richard Allen called Track's latest arrest "unexpected," and said he was disappointed to learn about it. Allen previously stated that Track had been accepted into Veterans Court once before and that this would be his second and last chance at completing the program.
Track appeared in court on Wednesday for a hearing to determine whether he'd be able to remain in Veterans Court.
Allen asked Veterans Court Judge David Wallace to terminate Track's enrollment in the program, a request he said he hasn't yet made for another case in his 11 months on the job.
Describing Track's actions as conduct that “could arguably be described as an escalation in criminal behavior," Allen also requested that Track be required to turn himself in immediately Wednesday to serve the remainder of his sentence.
Patrick Bergt, Track's defense attorney, argued that the strength of the evidence in the latest case against Track is questionable, based on the fact that a Palmer judge only set a $500 unsecured bail, allowing Track to be out of custody without paying any money up front. He requested the court wait to make a decision on Track's involvement in Veterans Court.
Todd, the victim in the case that landed Track in the program, told the judge, "I wish he was able to continue on in Vet court."
Track said the program had been difficult but he felt he was making progress and he "appreciate[d] the opportunity, regardless of the outcome."
“I’m saddened by whatever happened that led to the new charges in Palmer,” said Judge Wallace.
He ultimately sided with the State and ruled to dismiss Track from the program.
"I was the judge a few years ago when you had your first domestic violence offense and you kinda sniffed the court a little bit but you determined that it wasn't gonna work for you for various reasons, and you were convicted of that domestic violence offense. And now you're in this court on another domestic violence offense, and now you have brand new domestic violence offenses, and you have to recognize the fact that domestic violence offenses in Alaska and throughout our nation are something that's taken extremely serious, and the court has to take it serious as well," said Wallace.
He urged Track to continue to seek out rehabilitation services available to veterans, and ordered him to turn himself in to face the remainder of his sentence on Oct. 31.
Mary Simton contributed to this story.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.