Catch-and-release: Shane Muse is out again


Shane Muse is out of jail as of Monday, on supervised release while he awaits trial.

Muse has been one of numerous repeat offenders who have cycled in and out of jail under the the State’s “give crooks a chance” law, SB 91.

He was singled out by Anchorage Assembly members Dick Traini, Fred Dyson, and Eric Croft in a letter drafted to state legislators, pleading with them to strengthen penalties for those repeatedly committing serious crimes.

Muse’s recent criminal career in Alaska includes an incident in October, when he was stopped by Anchorage police in a stolen silver 2003 Cadillac Escalade on West 44th Ave., after careening through Midtown and ramming police vehicles in an attempt to escape.

Officers arrested him and two others in that incident. One person in the car, Crystal Tui, had been released several weeks ago. Muse was released by the judge after being charged with numerous Class C felonies.

On March 6, Muse was caught in a 2006 black GMC Yukon that had been reported stolen weeks earlier. The Yukon was parked next to two other occupied vehicles: a silver GMC pickup truck and a silver Chevy Malibu. The officer who spotted the Yukon knew it to be stolen.

As the officer waited for backup, the drivers of the three vehicles noticed him, and pulled away. With all three vehicles now evading the law, patrol units were dispatched to chase the Malibu and the GMC pickup, while another officer forced the Yukon into a snowbank at 10th and Juneau Streets.

At some point in the proceedings, numerous shots were fired not far from the police officers. No one was hit, but officers found a stolen handgun inside the Yukon, tucked beneath the seat where Muse had been sitting. There was a bullet in the chamber.

Muse was booked, but with the pretrial risk assessment tool the state uses, he scored a 2 out of 10, and qualified for mandatory release in spite of being charged with two counts of theft, vehicle theft 1, and being a felon in possession of a weapon. He also had a prior forgery charge and had been missing his court dates on that charge.

The Assistant District Attorney Kevin Bergt told the judge at the time that Muse was a serious risk to the public. But the judge wasn’t able to keep Muse in jail on the car theft and felon-in-posesssion charges, since he could not afford bail.

However, the judge was able to keep him locked up for the forgery incident, since it occurred before the lenient catch-and-release portion of SB 91 went into effect.  The judge set bail at $5,000, which has now been paid. Muse left jail on Monday.

Didn’t the Legislature fix the quick-release bail system? Shouldn’t Muse be in jail for two car theft charges plus evading officers, plus the hand gun under the seat? Isn’t that enough to hold him?

“The short answer is, the ‘fix’ was superficial,” said Amy Demboski, a member of the Anchorage Assembly who also has a talk show on KVNT. “They put a Bandaid on SB 91 to make it through the election and didn’t even come close to fixing it. It is fundamentally flawed.”

The lenient arm of the law: More ‘catch-and-reoffend’ car thievery




  1. I think it’s time to replace everyone in state elected office, no exceptions, they all must go and elect none Career politicians , oh heck, just elect none politicians periode all across the board and that goes for anchorage Assembly too……

  2. Having worked in probation before (not Alaska) I can tell you those risk assessment tools really only serve one purpose. Thats to cover the butts of everyone when the release goes bad. They can say we followed the assessment tool so its not our fault…even if the release defies all common sense. Those assessment tools are skewed to the result wanted by the particular agencies involved & the laws in effect at the time in the jurisdiction & to get as many people out of jail as possible. In other words they are political & not always based on repeated & persistant criminal behavior. Now thats just my opinion. Sometimes they are accurate but then again…you know the expression….even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

  3. Oh, gosh, Suzanne, if you start writing about all the fish they’re letting go after numerous non-appearances and re-offenses while awaiting trial, you’ll never have time for anything else! Isn’t it beyond ridiculous?? And honestly, BART, while they’re in the minority by a long shot, there are a few we need to keep. Very few, I grant you, but still, a few that are golden. One (okay, he’s only silver) is even a democrat ?

  4. So tired of these wanna be gangsta think they can steal other people’s crap and hurt others and get away with it.. what’s wrong with our system ?… he is nothing but a punk who deserves to spend time in jail… he even has a daughter… what a awesome role model!

    • Yes, I agree we have lost all sense of reason & logic totally off the charts & I hold our “do nothing mayor & the State of Alask Lefgislative Body rsponsible.

  5. Silly question, but does this upstanding gentleman have a home address? Just curious.

    Believe he has proven himself to be a career criminal. Maybe the public & his victims should pay him a visit. Just to chat.

    • I like it. Because thats whats going to happen, at some point, if the politicians can’t their priorities straight. The public will take care of the problem themselves. And thats especially true in Alaska. People won’t put up with it. You know the phrase…”that works”

  6. F$&king sick this is the world we live in work hard follow the rules and get Fluffed!!! And that’s not the word I wanted to use believe me!! I for one am tired of it and I know everyone else besides these low life scums are too we need to get new people voted in for sure! This guy probably stole a vehicle when he got released and the cops probably didn’t report it due to no action!!! Ready to see if we can move and start a life on a different planet?

  7. So now he’s out running around and exponentially more dangerous than he was when he was last picked up. Nice…

  8. Yep, I voted no on SB 91 and was the first to call it on the House floor the “catch and release” bill. I gave a long speech on why SB91 was bad.
    I am running again and will do all I can to fully repeal SB 91 and overhaul our ineffective criminal justice system.
    Liz Vazquez

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