Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Park Myers, 40, of Juneau waits in Juneau District Court on May 25, 2010 after being charged with unlawful taking of big animals.
By Klas Stolpe
Megan Kline was uneasy whenever Romeo’s name was featured in news articles pertaining to the wolf’s demise at the hands of Park Myers.
Kline feared that Myers might return to the state of Pennsylvania where she still lives, where Myers pleaded guilty to charges of corruption of and furnishing liquor to a minor; that minor was Kline.
“I have followed this story from Pennsylvania and have struggled with it the entire time,” Kline said.
Juneau District Court Judge Keith Levy filed an order Tuesday expressing concern that Myers’ attorney submitted to the court a sentencing memorandum in November 2010 claiming Myers “has no criminal history” and should be sentenced as “a first offender” during Myers’ big game hunting violations trial.
Court documents in Pennsylvania reveal Myers entered into a plea agreement in 2000 when he pleaded guilty to one count each of corruption of a minor and furnishing liquor to minors. As part of the agreement, one additional charge each of corruption of a minor and furnishing liquor to a minor, along with a charge of indecent assault against Myers was dropped.
Kline was a minor at the time, but has since reached the age of majority and has agreed to allow her name to be used in this story.
Levy’s order states that the court relied heavily on the representation that he had no criminal record. Levy’s order also states that citizens have submitted documents that would appear to establish a prior criminal record that was not disclosed by either party at sentencing.
Calls to Myers’ attorney David Mallet on Tuesday were not returned. Doug Gardner, who was the district attorney in Juneau at the time Myers was found guilty, said the DA’s office should comment on the case.
“As far as what the district attorney knew at the time, I do not know,” current District Attorney Dave Brower said. “I do know that if prosecutors are aware of criminal history they will inform the court.”
Kline: ‘It was done so I wouldn’t have to testify’
The initial criminal complaint filed by police in Pennsylvania against Myers alleged he and an adult female played strip poker with Kline and another person when she was less than 16 years old, and also states that he touched her breast and pelvic area without her consent. However, the plea agreement contains no findings of guilt on those accusations.
“It was done so I wouldn’t have to testify,” Kline said of the plea bargain. “I don’t know what happened behind closed doors … I just remember saying I did not want to be anywhere near any of this.”
According to Kline these charges were never brought to the attention of Judge Keith Levy when he first sentenced Myers in game hunting violations and a probation violation.
“My parents tried to shield me from as much of it as they could,” Kline said. “It was inappropriate conduct. It never got further than that. It was a long time ago. He started to push the limits.”
The next day another client Kline babysat for knew something was different about her and Kline stayed home from school. Confronted by her parents, Kline broke down and they called the police.
Years later while bartending Kline heard his name mentioned and panicked. The person’s discussing Myers were talking about a baby sitter and a three-some Myers bragged about. According to Kline, the parties said Myers had gotten into trouble for something the ‘babysitter’ had made up.
“It affected me a lot,” Kline said. “It was years later but I guess I was not over it. I don’t think I will be.”
Myers commented about the incident in a phone interview with the Empire.
“When you’re not home and even if your front door is locked,” Myers began. “And someone breaks into the house and is under the age of 21 and takes your alcohol out of the house you are responsible. As one person to another I am not this evil guy people are making me out to be.”
When asked why he did not comment to the court about the Romeo incident Myers said his lawyer advised him not to.
Myers related this account of shooting Romeo:
“When I walked up to that wolf … there were three wolves 40 miles away from the glacier, way out past Eagle Beach. If someone was going to target that wolf they would have done so at the glacier. We were just taking a walk up Yankee Basin, my buddy had a pistol in case we saw a bear, and I was carrying a .22 in case I saw some ptarmigan. We got into this opening and there was this pack of wolves. Romeo always ran by himself.
here were three wolves and I took a quick shot at one of them, didn’t think anything of it, when we walked up to it I broke down in tears. I know people won’t believe it and will call bulls--- on this but I had never seen Romeo, had never seen a wolf in the wild. When I walked up on that, I broke down in tears, I had a hard time even getting out of the woods, I bawled like a little baby all the way out of the woods.”
In an initial court appearance in the Romeo trial, however, Myers stated he would be an idiot not to know the difference between a grey and a black wolf.
Myers stated in his phone interview that he has lost everything.
“My home has been foreclosed and anything of value associated with that,” Myers said. “People call my employers until I am let go. I can’t feed my family and my wife is working two jobs. I don’t know where my wife and kids will be. All I want to do is move on with my life. I fought for my country in Desert Storm in Kuwait, I fought for these people’s rights to have their opinions.”
Myers stated that he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time and the shooting could have happened to anyone. Myers said he and his family just want to go back East and start over.
“Why would he come back here,” Kline said, alarmed. “I guess I never really thought about that part of it. I have always been concerned because I didn’t want to run into him … I just figured he would end of in jail there (Alaska). I’ve grown up a lot since then … and honestly, because of what happened my phone number is unlisted, my address is unlisted, and I live in a different county. Those incidents changed about how I felt about letting people know where I am … It’s so weird, it has been 10 years but I am shaking as I talk about this right now.”
• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.