'Fairbanks Four' member arrested for car theft, DUI, threatening Trooper - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, July 14, 2020
HomeThe 907‘Fairbanks Four’ member arrested for car theft, DUI, threatening Trooper

‘Fairbanks Four’ member arrested for car theft, DUI, threatening Trooper

On Jan. 2, Alaska State Troopers were trying to stop a 2008 red Mazda for swerving near mile 56 of the Glenn Highway.

The vehicle drifted into the opposite lane of traffic, but eventually Troopers, the State Crime Suppression Unit, and the Palmer Police Department were able to get the vehicle stopped after it pulled into a church parking lot.

The driver, George Frese, age 42 of Fairbanks, ignored repeated commands by Troopers, resisted arrest and made verbal threats of physical harm to Troopers, according to the report.

The Mazda was reported stolen out of Fairbanks on Dec. 29, 2019. Frese, according to the report, showed signs of impairment but refused a field sobriety test. He will be charged with Eluding 1, Theft 2, Vehicle Theft 1, Resisting Arrest, DUI, and Refusal.

Frese is one of the four men who spent time in prison for the murder of a Fairbanks teenager in 1997. Those who wanted them out of prison, including the Innocence Project, labeled them the Fairbanks Four to build sympathy for their case.

Gov. Bill Walker promised to release them from prison and did so upon taking office, striking a deal with the four that they would not sue the State of Alaska.

Jahna Lindemuth was the attorney for the four. She then became Gov. Walker’s Attorney General, and now is an attorney trying to get Gov. Mike Dunleavy recalled from office.

Even Mark Begich got involved, calling for a federal investigation.

[Read: Who killed John Hartman?]

Frese, 20 at the time Hartman died, had confessed to attacking Hartman, who was just 15 when he died after being beaten on a cold October night.

Last year, Kevin Pease faced criminal assault charges for threatening a woman with a bat. Those criminal charges were dismissed, however.

The case is AK20000382.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Amazing these punks aren’t behind bars for good, no jurors with integrity all intimidated! Liberal BS is what prevented justice in the last cases.

  • “Frese, 20 at the time Hartman died, had confessed to attacking Hartman…”
    Not quite correct: Frese had been in a different altercation, on that same evening, several blocks away, with someone other than Hartman. He admitted to that fight, not realizing that he was actually being tricked into confessing to the Hartman murder.
    Two black men, on separate occasions, had confessed to the Hartman murder, claiming that there were three other black men involved, all five of them had beer riding around in one vehicle that night.
    This revelation was suppressed because the police didn’t want to admit that they had sufficient evidence to have investigated the five black men, but chose to cast the blame on Natives.
    ADN has the full record in their archives. Also, you can google “The Fairbanks Four” to see for yourselves.
    I’m going from an old man’s memory. My bad if I have some details mixed up.

    • This case is still a mystery, but it you talk to FPD, they will tell you that the Fairbanks4 were all guilty of murder and that the 15-year old Hartman did not get his full justice.

    • you are correct the real killer is in a California prison and confessed as his buddies rat on him and they found hidden evidence at his old home in Fairbanks. This is why they the Fairbanks 4 were released they did not do it.

    • Sure blame it on the “Black Men”.

    • It was one black man, and he accused a person that had testified AGAINST him of being the murderer. Someone who helped put him away for life.
      That little detail gets conveniently dropped out of these conversations.

      • Didn’t another man, who is now in a California prison, confess to killing Hartman?

    • Interesting information, Joseph. I hadn’t heard the 5 black guy story before. Either way, it’s a sad tale, the life and promise given to Mr. Hartman taken by a group of drunks, just for the Hell of it. I wonder how a person gets confused regarding fighting 1 guy vis-à-vis 4 guys pummeling 1 guy.

    • Read the case: Two of those black men went on to murder several others and are doing life sentences for it. Those others wouldn’t have been murdered by them if the FPD had done their job right.
      The state doesn’t want to re-open the case because the systematic discrimination against Natives would be starkly revealed.
      In Alaska, for a Native to simply be accused, is often “proof” of guilt.

      • Oh? So the Black guys did it. The Native men are not capable of violence? Another jailhouse confession by a Black dude who is in a CA jail for the remainder of his life, and would like to weigh in on another murder that gives him a bit more publicity and criminal standing amongst his criminal colleagues in prison. Joseph……get a reality life.

        • I’m simply reminding the readers that there’s a lot of information available, which may change some casual opinions into studied opinions.
          Formulating an opinion from a preconception is lazy, casual. It takes effort to look into matters and derive a studied opinion.
          Many consider that effort to be an distraction from whatever else is on their list of priorities.

        • The Fairbanks Four is a notorious case, but this does not in anyway lessen the fact of which Joseph mentions of the systematic discrimination toward AK Natives in the state criminal justice system.

  • Obviously not rehabilitated even after going free for murder. It is a matter of time …

  • This is unfortunate and I hope Mr. Frese resolves these charges appropriately. It would be a mistake to try to attach political labels to the Fairbanks Four case. Many investigatory rules were broken in connection with this matter, the biggest of which is that the police developed “tunnel vision” as to the four young Native men, focusing on the Four to the exclusion of most other evidence.

  • You’ve never liked the notion of the innocence of these men. Your snide attitude toward Natives shines through on this Suzanne.

    • That’s a bunch of BS! You just don’t like the truth she tells. I’m native and I love her. True jurnalist.

      • nope she is snide towards natives…just because you are enamored of some of her postings, does not get her off the hook.

        • I agree that Suzanne appears to have some biases, just as we all do. However, it’s my opinion that Suzanne works to overcome her biases, and tries hard to be fair and even-handed.
          Even if she’s snide towards Natives, she prints my comments, even when they are contrary to her positions.
          That’s why I had donated more to her last year, than what an ADN sub would have cost.

        • I don’t see it. I am a conservative native so maybe that’s it.

      • Valene, what hook is Suzanne hooked on? The only hook the truth teller gets hooked on is The Truth. Democrats and Lefties don’t like the Truth.

    • John Hartman is deceased, where’s the justice, stop the b s raciest get out of jail ticket. And then to add insult to injury, criminals want to become famous. If a person is innocent why would you confess to a crime you didn’t commit. I don’t care if they beat you with a rubber hose. Be realistic. And most importantly there is other justice in life thank God Almighty God knows who does what , there is a judgement day, no getting out of that. Soo very sad for everyone involved.

  • That’s a bunch of BS! You just don’t like the truth she tells. I’m native and I love her. True journalist.

  • All guilty as charged – see in transcripts- ‘no I didn’t keep kicking him because my foot was broken.’ That wasn’t dragged out of him / and the lady cab driver was scared when she saw them. I predicted they would all be back in jail within 5 years and we’re well on our way there. Now everyone will blame jail for their violent behavior. But it was always there all the time, when they kicked young Hartman to death. Two down, two to go.

  • Lisa Murkowski also demanded a federal investigation into the Fairbanks Four – separate from Mark Begich.

    https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/press/release/murkowski-shares-fairbanks-four-concerns-with-attorney-general-eric-holder

  • Consider this: maybe during the time Frese was falsely put into prison he was not able to learn skills to earn a proper living. False incarceration can mess with one’s head, especially during his younger years when he would have been learning a skill for a career. I know that if I had to do that and lost most of my life I would have a hard time. Let’s cut him a break…innocent until proven guilty.

  • Wasn’t this story about a drunk dude and a stolen car? Stay on topic, people. Good grief.

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