photo by Michael S. Lockett | 
Juneau Empire 
                                David A. Powell, 54, appears in Juneau court Monday after being charged with property damage for nailing a sign to the door of the governor’s mansion on Dr. Martin Luther King Day as a form of protest.

photo by Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire David A. Powell, 54, appears in Juneau court Monday after being charged with property damage for nailing a sign to the door of the governor’s mansion on Dr. Martin Luther King Day as a form of protest.

Man charged for nailing sign to governor’s mansion pleads no contest

He was fined and got a suspended three-day jail sentence.

A Soldotna man who nailed a sign to the door of the governor’s mansion in Juneau last week pleaded no contest to misdemeanor property damage on Monday.

David A. Powell, 54, was fined and sentenced to three days of prison by Juneau District Court Judge Kirsten Swanson. Both the fine and jail sentence were suspended, contingent on Powell following probation conditions.

Prosecutors said nailing the sign to the historic house on Calhoun Avenue caused enough damage where it could have been charged as a felony. Powell changed his plea to the misdemeanor at the city-level, before the case could be elevated to a felony and transferred to state prosecutors.

In court, Powell said he chose the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday last Monday to post the sign to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s door.

“Some 400 years ago, a man nailed a piece of paper to a door,” Powell said in a statement read aloud in the courtroom. “The day I nailed that to the door was the day celebrating that man’s life. Soon that note will be looked at in the same way with Martin Luther’s note.”

The event Powell references many years ago was when Martin Luther, a monk and scholar, nailed his “95 Theses” to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church, a list of issues he took with the Catholic Church and practices Luther perceived to be corrupt. It’s widely recognized as a foundational moment for the Protestant Reformation. Hundreds of years later, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be named after the scholar.

Powell brought his note to the courthouse. Following a brief open letter format introduction to the governor, it outlines a number of points that Powell hoped would be addressed, including justice for Alaska Natives treated poorly by the government, restitution for reduced PFD payoffs over the last several years, an end to mandatory vaccines, and an international case brought against Japan and General Electric for environmental effects of radiation in Alaska resulting from the Fukushima event.

“In the days to come, I will stand tall with Jesus Christ,” Powell said in an interview after the court hearing. “The Lord’s been pulling at my heart about this my whole life.”

Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

The budget is passed and lawmakers have gone home

Now, it’s time to wait and see.

Aspen Hotel chain Owner George Swift cuts a ribbon officially opening the most recent building in Homer, Alaska, during a grand opening ceremony on May 29, 2019. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Trends: Tourism industry takes hit from COVID-19

‘Completely decimated travel in Alaska’

Nathan Simpson of Dutch Boy Landscaping on Nov. 14, 2019, installs colored lights on the tree by Homer Electric Association in Homer, Alaska. The big tree by HEA is one of Homer’s landmark holiday decorated trees. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Candidates announced for HEA board elections

Completed mail-in ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on May 6, 2020 in order to be counted.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a Friday, April 3, 2020 press conference in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)
State recommends wearing face coverings in public

Number of Kenai Peninsula cases grows to 10; state tally rises to 157

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink participates via teleconference in the state’s daily press briefing on the new coronavirus on Monday, March 30, 2020. (Courtesy photo)
State changes website, COVID-19 reporting

Seward reports second COVID-19 case

COVID-19. (Image Credit: CDC)
10 COVID-19 new cases reported, mandates extended

Eatery dine-in services, bars and entertainment venues to be closed indefinitely

A sign welcoming visitors to the Alaska Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet Finfish meeting is seen here at the William A. Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska on Feb. 11, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Trends: Shifting tides

A look at the regulatory changes for the Upper Cook Inlet Fisheries

Mariah Schloeman wipes down the counter at East Rip in Kenai on Wednesday. The store has implemented more stringent cleaning protocols, including wiping down surfaces after every transaction, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Trends: Pot industry looks for stabilization amid market, global uncertainty

“One thing that’s certain is that people want their cannabis.”

HEA rates hike goes into effect

Residents facing financial hardships due to the pandemic will not see their electricity shut off.

Most Read