According to the official charging document, James Koenig is charged with the following:
-- One count Felony Assault in the Third Degree
-- One count Misdemeanor Misconduct Involving Weapons in the Third Degree
-- One count Misdemeanor Driving Under The Influence
-- One count Refusal to Submit to Chemical Test
There's now an entry in the Alaska Court System database, designated as Case No. 3AN-12-04680CR.
Narrative: Koenig was with Terry Reeves, the father of murdered SrA Clinton Reeves at the Great Alaska Bush Company on Monday night early into Tuesday morning, as both were helping each other come to terms with their respective recent tragedies. Upon departure at 2:20 A.M., the bouncer, identified as Robert Amrine, decided that Koenig was too drunk to drive and offered to call a cab. Koenig allegedly got aggressive and said "Get back from my door or meet my 1911", in reference to a Colt M1911 .45 caliber pistol. When it appeared that Koenig was reaching for a gun, Amrine backed off and called police. They showed up shortly afterwards at Koenig's home.
Koenig denied threatening Amrine with a weapon and invited officers to search his vehicle, where they found a Ruger 1911-style pistol in the center console. However, here's where Koenig made a mistake. He admitted that he was at the Bush Company, and he was visibly intoxicated, slurring his words, and had difficulty maintaining his balance. This combination gave police an instant probable cause to arrest him for suspected DUI. At the police substation, he was asked to submit a breath sample, and he refused. ADN also reports that Lt. Dave Parker told them that Koenig did not submit to arrest peacefully, and challenged one of the officers to a fight, but this is not reflected in the charging documents, which indicates that the officers knew who Koenig was and may have cut him some slack because of the ordeal with Samantha.
What James Koenig should have done was merely assert his Fifth Amendment rights when asked if he had been at the Bush Company. Police may have still arrested him, but the case might be weaker; the prosecution would have had the additional burden of proving that Koenig actually drove the vehicle under the influence. Of course, since Terry Reeves was still with him at this point, Reeves would have had to cooperate, but in a way in which he could not be accused of lying to police.
Koenig was arraigned on Tuesday March 15th and posted $4,000 bail, including $2,000 appearance bond and a $2,000 cash performance bond. Conditions of release include avoiding all bars and liquor stores, and no consumption of alcohol or drugs while the case is pending.
Probable Outcome: The fact that James Koenig made it home without incident despite being intoxicated implies he knows how to correct for it while driving. It also implies he's done it before. But cops found him visibly impaired at home, and the margin of error for an intoxicated driver is simply too narrow. We sympathize with his recent ordeal, but we cannot give him a license to drive drunk.
Consequently, if the prosecutors are smart, they'll offer to drop all other charges in exchange for a guilty plea on misdemeanor DUI. It'll be a pain in the ass for him, but it will be only a misdemeanor. And if he takes an alcohol cessation course, it may well expedite his personal recovery from the Samantha Koenig tragedy. While DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, since Koenig has no prior DUI convictions, he could be sentenced to as little as 72 hours in jail and a fine of $1,500, along with suspension of license for as little as 90 days. Refusal to submit to a chemical test is considered the same as a DUI.
Koenig's getting some support in the comments posted to KTUU:
Jessica Massman: Can you really blame him or Mr. Reeves? They both have lost children this year, they both had to deal with their children missing, they both just attended a memorial Monday for SrA Reeves. Granted, he shouldn't have been driving and putting everyone else in danger, but give the man a break. And, how can you charge someone with DUI, if you didn't actually SEE the person driving?
Rebekah Kines: Good lord! This shouldn't stick!