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IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF ALASKA
FRANK R. JOHNSON,
) Court of Appeals No. A-9444
) Trial Court No. 2NO-04-356 Cr
) O P I N I O N
STATE OF ALASKA,
) No. 2146 — February 1, 2008
Petition for Review from the Superior Court, Second Judicial
District, Nome, Ben J. Esch, Judge.
Appearances: Sharon Barr, Assistant Public Defender, and
Quinlan Steiner, Public Defender, Anchorage, for the Petitioner.
Kenneth M. Rosenstein, Assistant Attorney General, Office of
Special Prosecutions and Appeals, Anchorage, and Talis J.
Colberg, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Respondent.
Before: Coats, Chief Judge, and Mannheimer and Stewart,
This case involves the father of an infant child who was convicted of
manslaughter for failing to take action to protect the infant from the life-threatening
actions of the mother. The father was aware that the mother was subjecting the infant
to prolonged starvation. However, the jury found that the infant ultimately died, not
– 2 –
from starvation, but rather because the mother intentionally dropped the infant on its
head, inflicting fatal skull and brain injuries. The question presented here is whether the
father can validly be convicted of criminal homicide when the life-threatening conduct
that ultimately caused the infant’s death (the physical assault) is not the same type of life-
threatening conduct that the father was aware of (the prolonged starvation of the infant).
Based on the Alaska Supreme Court’s analysis of this issue i