Former Alaska Judge Margaret Murphy.

Editor’s note: This article was updated to due to the fact that the location of the Jan. 8 oral arguments in the perjury case against former Alaska Judge Margaret Murphy has been moved from Homer to Anchorage.

In what many judicial reform advocates see as a seminal moment in their ongoing effort to root out corrupt judges and government officials, the criminal case against former Alaska District Judge Margaret Murphy will proceed to public oral arguments at 10 a.m. on Jan. 8 at the Nesbett Courthouse in Anchorage (room 401).

The arguments will also be livestreamed on the Alaska Court System.

Murphy, who served as an Alaska District Judge in Homer before retiring in 2019, has been charged by a state citizen grand jury in Kenai with perjury. If convicted she faces up to 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

Last month, Murphy’s attorney Timothy Petumenos argued that oral arguments in Homer would be “expensive” and entail flying attorneys to and from Homer for the proceedings. Petumenos said the proceeding should be moved to Anchorage and then claimed to “have a concern about security,” noting there is considerable public interest in the case and asserting that there “seems to be some inference in some of [online] posts” that may be attempting to influence the outcome of the trial.

After initially denying the request to move oral arguments out of Homer, presiding Judge Thomas Matthews ultimately agreed to change the venue to Anchorage.

Murphy’s case appears to deal with a 2005 case against David Haeg, who was convicted of illegally hunting wolves via plane. Haeg has long-maintained that Murphy, Alaska Trooper Brett Gibbens and his own defense team illegally conspired to convict him. While this has never been proven in court, a Superior Court Judge has concluded that Murphy and the trooper were too closely connected, and that Murphy should not have handled Haeg’s case.

Why would judges not want grand juries to investigate judges, especially when our constitution says that is their most important duty?

– David Haeg

Over the past two decades, Haeg has spearheaded a much larger effort to root out judicial corruption throughout Alaska’s court system. A vital component of this mission is to empower citizen-led grand juries in their constitutionally-guaranteed authority to investigate and indict corrupt judges and officials without interference.

In particular, Haeg and others associated with the judicial reform group, Alaska Grand Jurors’ Association, have peacefully demonstrated in support of the Kenai Grand Jury’s constitutional authority to investigate Murphy as well as a number of other judicial corruption allegations, which they believe could result in additional charges against more government officials and judges.

The work of the Alaska Grand Jurors’ Association to inform, empower and equip grand jurors has drawn the attention of the Alaska Supreme Court, which issued Court Order 1993 about  a year ago in an attempt to place restrictions on a state grand jurors’ authority to investigate and indict corrupt judges and public officials.

Nevertheless, the Kenai grand jury proceeded with the charges, which has led to the current case against Murphy.

“Why would judges not want grand juries to investigate judges, especially when our constitution says that is their most important duty,” Haeg said earlier this year. “It is a very important thing, not only for us but for all future Alaskans, that we preserve the grand jury’s right to investigate wrongdoing by judges, because we now know that those judges and the court system will try to not have investigations into what they’re doing.”

The advocacy and public outreach effort of Alaska Grand Juror’s Association appears to be gaining traction. An August pretrial hearing in the Murphy case, which only lasted nine minutes, was packed with judicial reform advocates.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

UPDATE: Jan. 8 oral arguments for Alaska judge’s perjury case moved from Homer to Anchorage

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • J says:

    How do we convene a grand jury for Zink and company?

    • DaveMaxwell says:

      Seems totally appropriate as she and dunleavy surely harmed multiple Alaskans. The evidence is now known, the shot is deadly!

      • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

        I’ve been double-vaxxed and triple-boosted. I would beg to differ. But cling to your conspiracy theories if it makes you happy.

  • Clark says:

    The infamous criminal, and admitted felon, David Haeg.

    Nothing he says can be taken as credible. He’s been suing everyone involved in his conviction for years. He admitted to the crimes he was convicted of. He has just been trying to find a way to get out of it on a technicality ever since.

    He admitted to poaching of wolves in an area he was personally running guided hunting services(ie he poached them so he could make more money). And we know it was intentional because he petitioned the state to allow him to kill wolves in his area and he was refused….but he did it anyways and him and his buddy falsified the books to cover it up.

    But he is literally trying to claim that the officer testifying against him driving the judge to buy a Coke is evidence of a conspiracy against him. Even though the judge explicitly asked IN PUBlIC view on the record if Haeg or his lawyers had a problem with her going to get a Coke, and they raised no objection until TWO YEARS after the fact.

    His legal drama is so long and dumb and ill-conceived that it could be a class in college about criminals attempting to abuse the system.

    • AKSIT says:

      Perhaps your analysis of the Haeg case is wrong Clark. I would encourage anyone who is interested in the case facts from the defense aspect to go to and reach their own conclusion based on the evidence laid out by Mr. Haeg and then that brought forth by the state. I have done just that and have reached my conclusion.

      • Clark says:

        Perhaps my analysis is wrong?

        Every single thing I said is factual. It is all 100% part of the public record in his legal saga. Its not analysis, its reading a set of established facts. Sure, I only picked a few of the good bits. Most of his legal saga is an exercise in ignorance and incompetence. He has tried to sue literally everyone involved in his case, then tried to sue everyone who ruled against his appeal. Then tried to sue everyone who ruled against that appeal failing. He sued the judges, the lawyers, the other plaintiff, even HIS OWN lawyer. After that he started representing himself, and good lord that was a terrible decision. He had to be forcefully removed from courthouses once for physically threatening violence against the judges. They then changed the venue afterwards so they could add extra security because of him. He claims there was a government wide conspiracy to frame him for poaching? He literally confessed. He -confessed- as part of a plea deal that the state offered him so he could keep his guide liscense. He even tried to sue to have said plea bargain, in which he CONFESSED enforced. But he kept trying to change the terms of the deal so he could keep his plane. The state was unwilling to allow him to keep the plane, so he even tried to offer to give them a SECOND plane(presumably a junker) instead, but the state wanted the plane he committed the crime with. So ultimately, he recanted his confession. But innocent people don’t confess. They prove their innocence. David Haeg has always been guilty, so he CAN’T prove his innocence. Therefore he is reduced to spending his life trying to make it look like everyone else is ‘more’ guilty than himself.

      • WLM says:

        Well Said Aksit !

    • David says:

      BS Clark.

    • CD says:

      Clark, your information is not accurate. Everybody, before believing what he says, investigate it yourself. I have heard Haeg’s side of the story. This man would not be going through all this for a lie. He has been depleting his own resources to bring Justice to Alaska.

      • Clark says:

        David Haeg v State of Alaska
        “Both Zellers (as part of his plea agreement) and Haeg testified at Haeg’s criminal trial. Among other things, they both admitted that they had knowingly taken the wolves same-day airborne outside of the unit where they were permitted to do so, and that they had falsified the sealing certificates regarding those wolf kills. Their testimony therefore corroborated Gibbens’s findings:”

        This has a good long summary of the entire saga. Its actually entertaining to read because its a guilty man beating a dead horse that he killed himself, and hes trying to blame everyone else around him for holding him accountable for his crimes.

        The problem isnt that he was treated unfairly in a particular case. The problem is that he doesn’t respect the authority of the court -at all-. He thinks he should be entitled to poach wildlife whenever he feels like it. I wouldnt be surprised if hes running around in those ‘sovereign citizen’ circles under an anonymous name.

        He did exactly what he was accused of and he admitted it. The transcripts of his confession is part of the record of established facts.

  • Steve P Peterson says:

    That judge has to be John Goodman’s sister.

  • Doug glenn says:

    Chuck your a dead man walking. Get another boost. Cancer or heart attack will get you soon. No tin foil hat here.

  • Greg in Homer says:

    Today’s hearing in Judge Matthews’s court was a total dumpster fire. The online streaming video was overloaded by so many online viewers that it slowed to a crawl, then crashed right in the middle of Special Prosecutor Campion’s testimony. This is even worse because Judge Matthews has been urging people to watch these hearings online instead of coming in person. He also relocated this case from the Kenai Peninsula where Mr. Haeg and the grand jury rights group are based to Anchorage. Let’s see if I can piece this all together. Judge Matthews relocated the case to Anchorage, he requested that everyone view it online, then when the online streaming system crashed, the public was denied access to the court proceedings. If the public didn’t have distrust in the court system before today, they do now!

    • Clark says:

      It was a dumpster fire from the second a convicted felon with a grudge started the grand jury investigation.

      I was wondering why I hadn’t heard anything about the case on the conservative sites the last few days. Its because anyone concerned about corruption of the judicial system should be ashamed of the facts this hearing brought to light.

      Chief among then, the jury didn’t even have the legal quorum required to issue an indictment. One of the jurors left…. I had also wondered why every report of the indictment had basically 0 information. Turns out thats because the actual indictment has no teeth. They couldn’t find a single thing that she actually lied about…they literally just accused her of lying because her responses weren’t identical to some of her other responses in the past. Remember this is a 20 year old case. Its normal and expected that people recount past details in slightly different ways over time.

      I had expected the very first hearing would be about whether or not the case can even proceed because it was clearly tainted by bias and ineptitude. Turns out I was right. I’ll be legit shocked if it takes the judge more than a week or two to toss this farce of a case.

      Better luck next time mr Haeg! Lol