In Geisinger v. State, 498 P.3d 92 (Alaska Ct. App. 2021), the court of appeals held that the defendant was not entitled to post-conviction relief for convictions and sentencing related to manslaughter, first-degree assault, driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an injury accident, and second-degree forgery. (Id. at 95–96). Geisinger was driving his truck with a forged insurance card and under the influence of alcohol when he failed to brake and instead collided straight on with a parked car on the side of the road, killing one and severely injuring two. (Id. at 95). Geisinger left the scene without calling for assistance and hid from authorities for the fifteen hours following the accident. (Id.). In denying defendant’s post-conviction relief, the court of appeals held the following: (1) Alaska’s Professional Conduct Rule 3.3(a)(3) is not limited to perjury and instead requires refusal to offer evidence that the lawyer reasonably believes to be false. (Id. at 100); (2) It was harmless error for the defense attorney to not request a jury instruction on incapacitation as a defense for leaving the scene of an injury accident because there was no reasonably possibility that a jury would have acquitted on this account. (Id. at 102); (3) Third-degree assault as defined in A.S. 11.41.220(a)(4) is not a lesser included offense of first-degree assault charges as defined under A.S. 11.81.900(b)(59)(A). (Id. at 102–03); (4) Since there is no legal distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence, surrounding circumstances can establish intent to defraud for a forgery charge. (Id. at 105); (5) Consolidating all six counts against the defendant wouldn’t have made a difference in the outcome. (Id. at 108); (6) A flaw in the jury instruction on the elements of the crime does not require automatic reversal of a criminal conviction. (Id. at 109). But reversal can be proper if the flaw in the jury instructions prevents the defendant from presenting and the jury is prevented from considering a chosen defense. (Id. at 110–11); and (7) The trial attorney’s failure to call a witness to the stand to testify to the blood alcohol content the defendant would have after the four beers witnesses saw his consume would not have had an influence on the jury’s decision because there was testimony from other witnesses, which the jury found credible, stating that the defendant appeared intoxicated well before he was seen drinking the four beers. (Id. at 117–18).
For the aforementioned reasons, the court of appeals held that the defendant was not entitled to post-conviction relief for convictions and sentencing related to manslaughter, first-degree assault, driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an injury accident, and second-degree forgery. (Id. at 95–96).