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HOW DO WE SORT GOOD FROM BAD?

Maybe the story about the good Mesa cop never surfaced last week because his exemplary work got squished in the mud of bad-cop allegations. Or perhaps we didn’t learn earlier about the compassion that drove him to help a Mesa couple — a predicament that he could have easily shrugged off as non-police business because his good deed vanished in…read more →

SUIT CHALLENGES STIFF NEW DUI LAWS

On Jan. 30, Phoenix police arrested Barbara B. McCloone on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Based on two breath tests, it was determined McCloone had a blood-alcohol content roughly three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent. The 57-year-old Phoenix woman was charged with extreme DUI, leaving the scene of her single-car accident and speeding. Under harsher…read more →

PHONY IRS PAPERS FILED FOR ROAD-RAGE SUSPECT

John Chester Stuart had one of the best defense attorneys in town and an argument for self-defense in a January road-rage shooting death in north Phoenix. Then, on March 26, someone filed a series of documents in Stuart’s name with the Maricopa County Superior Court; several have Stuart’s signature, and one, according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, bears his…read more →

MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AT HEART OF TRAFFIC STOPS

A 50-year-old Scottsdale man is battling traffic citations in City Court because he says he was ticketed twice by a police officer who doesn’t know the difference between a motorized bicycle and a moped. Steve Livingston says the officer, R. Royston, a longtime traffic officer, does not understand a new law that treats motorized bicycles like traditional pedal-powered bicycles. Jesse…read more →

RIGHTS COALITION CRITICIZES THOMAS CHARGES SOUGHT IN APRIL DENTENTION OF IMMIGRANTS

An association of Hispanic attorneys and 12 civil rights groups demanded Monday that Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas press charges against Patrick Haab, the soldier who held seven undocumented immigrants at gunpoint at an interstate rest stop in April. “Our extensive legal research has caused us to conclude that Patrick Haab’s arrest and detention (of the undocumented immigrants) was unlawful,…read more →

MIGRANT-HOLDING RESERVIST WALKS

No criminal charges will be filed against an Army reservist who held seven undocumented immigrants at gunpoint this month at an Arizona rest stop. Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said Thursday that Sgt. Patrick Haab had the legal right to make a citizen’s arrest because the man smuggling the immigrants into the country was committing a felony and the immigrants…read more →

PEORIA COURT THEFT EXCEEDS FIRST ESTIMATE

The theft of funds from the Peoria Municipal Court was worse than initially feared, city officials said Wednesday. Peoria police initially estimated the loss at $320,000, but officials admitted that “at least” $355,000 was embezzled over about a four-year period, allegedly by a court worker. “We’re shocked and outraged,” City Manager Terry Ellis said. Ellis said safeguards have been put…read more →

WOMAN TO TESTIFY TODAY FOR 9TH DAY

An Ahwatukee Foothills woman facing the death penalty on a charge of murdering her husband takes the stand today for the ninth day in a trial that has stretched twice the length of many felony-case trials. Defense attorneys not involved in the case agree that Wendi Andriano’s long visit on the stand is unusual, but some say it could be…read more →

FAMILY OF DUI VICTIM HOPES FOR JUSTICE TODAY

Since the horrible September morning when a drunken driver killed a Mesa firefighter’s wife, her daughter proves every day that she resembles her mother far more than in mere appearance. Brandy Johnson, 19, assumes many of Robin Johnson’s motherly duties, babysitting for sister Sierra, 9, making sure the fourth-grader does her homework, eats balanced meals and gets plenty of sleep….read more →

TRIBE HAS FEW LEGAL OPTIONS ON FIRE-STARTER

If the White Mountain Apache tribe decides to press a legal case against the woman who started the “Chediski” fire last month, prosecutors will have to settle for civil complaints, much like traffic tickets, rather than criminal charges. Tribal attorneys and Indian legal experts contacted by The Arizona Republic agreed that federal law prohibits the criminal prosecution of Valinda Jo…read more →

RESIDENTS IN AREA FORGIVE FIRE-STARTER

For more than a month, Heber residents raged against Valinda Jo Elliott for setting a wildfire that burned down their homes and forest. CAPTION: 1) Valinda Jo Elliott visited Heber and Overgaard last week. CAPTION: 2) The “Rodeo-Chediski” fire consumed nearly a half a million acres and destroyed nearly 500 buildings. They spread rumors, demanded criminal prosecution and spoke her…read more →

FEDS GETTING MORE BLAME ON WILDFIRES

The federal government took two wallops Thursday for its handling of the “Rodeo-Chediski” fire. Controversy continued to swirl around decisions to forgo using some rural fire departments during the fire, and the White Mountain Apache Tribe announced it plans to sue someone for the “Chediski” fire. U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., is planning hearings in September on what went wrong…read more →

FIRE-STARTER IS TOAST WITH RIM’S CROWD

There is no forgiveness here. There is rage and anger and frustration and lots of lashing out. There are a thousand other emotions too, but none of them resemble turning the other cheek. In the Rim Cafe — motto: “A rumor and a quarter gets you a cup of coffee” — people briefly turned to the television on Friday morning…read more →

KILLER GETS LIFE TERM FOR WAL-MART SLAYINGS MURDER SPARED THE DEATH PENALTY

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge spared Michael Gherman’s life Monday, but sentenced him to spend the rest of his life in prison, with no possibility of parole, for the murder of two Wal-Mart employees. Judge Robert Oberbillig ruled that stress caused by a high-speed chase from a Wal-Mart store in East Mesa to a Gilbert church construction site 10…read more →

MACHINIST CONVICTED IN SLAYINGS FACES DEATH IN WAL-MART DOUBLE KILLING

A Chandler machinist was convicted Monday of first- and second-degree murder in the 1998 slayings of two Wal-Mart workers who had chased him from a store on suspicion of shoplifting a television. While jurors delivered a split verdict in the case, the family of the store security officer whose death drew the less serious second-degree conviction still considers the outcome…read more →

WAL-MART DEATHS: GUNMAN’S LAWYERS CLAIM SELF-DEFENSE

Attorneys for a man who gunned down two Wal-Mart employees after they chased him as an alleged shoplifter claimed Wednesday that their client was defending himself from an overzealous security guard who took the law into his own hands. But prosecutors said witnesses will testify that Michael Gherman fled the store after trying to steal a television and ended up…read more →

MESA OFFICER EXONERATED CLEARED IN SEX SCANDAL, WILL RETURN TO WORK

One of the seven Mesa police personnel implicated in a sex-on-duty scandal has been cleared of all charges and will return to work today. Officer Steven York, 29, learned of the news Thursday in a meeting with Mesa’s Assistant Police Chief Mike Whalen, said his lawyer, David Michael Cantor. “They told him that the charges against him were unsubstantiated,” Cantor…read more →

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