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Category Archives: 500 Assault / Violent Crime Victories

Mr. L had been suffering from stress-related depression and other mental illness issues. He was in a volatile relationship with his girlfriend and they had often argued. After one of their nights of arguing, he called the next morning and told her that she better come over to his house or he was going to choke her. He then called back again and told her he was going to cut himself and start bleeding if she didn’t come over. Finally, he called back and said he was going to come and find her and choke her.

His girlfriend decided to leave home and drive to work, and while on the way she recognized Mr. L’s vehicle pull up behind her. Eventually his vehicle got in front of her and he swerved at her trying to strike her. He did hit her car and both vehicles ended up falling down a ravine on the side of the road. He then left his vehicle and began choking his girlfriend for approximately 30 seconds until other witnesses ran up and stopped the incident. He was ultimately charged with Attempted 1st Degree Murder and Vehicular Aggravated Assault Dangerous.

After we became involved with the case, we gathered up all the medical records regarding Mr. L’s mental illness. We also had a neuro-psychological evaluation conducted to show that he had ongoing issues which could be successfully treated. After all interviews were completed, a Deviation letter was prepared and sent to Prosecution. Speaking with the Prosecutor, we got him to agree to drop the case down to a Class 6 Undesignated Felony for Endangerment and a Class 6 Undesignated Felony for Aggravated Assault. At sentencing, the Judge only gave two years of probation and did not order any jail time. Initially, Mr. L was facing decades in prison.

FELONY THEFT NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. K (DMC No. 13863) (Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office DR No. 13-011995): A Yavapai County Sheriff’s Deputy came to Mr. K home indicating he was investigating a Theft per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1802. Mr. K voluntarily went to the police department and participated in a post-Miranda interview. During this interview Mr. K made incriminating statements. After the interview, he was booked into custody and subsequently released. After being released, he contacted our office.

After retaining our office, it was discovered that the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office had “furthered” the case for additional information and was not going to be proceeding with the felony charges at that time. At this time, we met with our Pre-charge team and discussed the steps we could take under the circumstances. We determined that we would obtain a copy of the police report and then reach out to the Prosecutor’s office to try to ascertain a “misdemeanor compromise”, or something which would preclude felony charges from being filed.

After receiving a copy of the police report, we reached out to the County Yavapai Attorney’s Office regarding status of the case. After multiple calls to the County Attorney’s Office, in an attempt to speak with the reviewing attorney, it was discovered the case was still under investigation. Finally, fifteen months after retaining our office, we were able to speak with the assigned County Attorney, regarding their intentions with the case. He had indicated that the case had been sent back for additional information to the police, however, he had not heard back from the Officers. We discussed a potential financial compromise, however the Prosecutor indicated they do not normally do those. By the end to the conversation with the Prosecutor, he had agreed that he would not follow up with the Officer and would let the file sit. He indicated the only way that charges would potentially come is if the Officer recontacted him. No charges were ever filed.

FELONY AGGRAVATED ASSAULT DANGEROUS (with Knife) NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. T (DMC No. 13894) (Scottsdale Police Department DR No. 13-17308):   Mr. T lived with another man, the alleged victim in his case. One day, after a brief verbal and physical altercation the night prior, Mr.  T was served with an Order of Protection. In the Order of Protection his roommate was alleging that Mr. T had held a fork to his neck and drew blood, which would be an Aggravated Assault (Dangerous) per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1204. After being served with the order of protection, Mr. T met with our office and ultimately retained our firm for Pre-Charge services.

After being retained, the Pre-Charge team met to discuss the plan of attack in his case. The immediate plan was to (1) order a copy of the police report from the Scottsdale Police Department, and (2) send a Trebus letter to the Maricopa County Attorney’s office as a precaution. After these steps were taken, we had multiple calls with Mr. T and his father regarding the status of the order of protection and steps Mr. T was taking to remove his property from the home.  During one of these calls, Mr. T’s father advised that the alleged victim had contacted him regarding our client getting the rest of his property out of the house. After obtaining  the  telephone  number  for  the  alleged  victim  we  reached  out  to  speak  with  him regarding his side of what happened. The call was very short and ended with the alleged victim telling us to obtain a copy of the police report. Given his demeanor, the pre-charge team discussed the concern we had of potential class 3 dangerous charge coming Mr. T’s way.

Approximately a month and a half after being retained, a Detective from the Scottsdale Police Department reached out to our client and left a message requesting a call back. At this point, we returned the Detective’s call and submitted the Trebus letter, previously sent to the County Attorney’s Office. Later, we received  the  police  report  which  was  only   two  pages  long  and  indicated it was a “furthered investigation.” After multiple follow-up calls to the Scottsdale Police Department and we finally received the full police report one month later. In that report, it delineated that there was a physical  fight  between  our  client  and  his  roommate  over  using  a  fork  on  a  nonstick  pan. According to the alleged victim, our client was intoxicated. The alleged victim indicated that our client put the fork to his neck and held hot oil in the other hand as if he was going to dump it on him, however he didn’t. Our client is alleged to have said “I should kill you.” It was at this time that the alleged victim left. The report also indicates that an Order of Protection was in place and that the civil standby had occurred. The report ends with the following quote, “based on the fact that Michael T is not responding to my voice message personally and he is now represented by an attorney, I am unable to confirm the version of events described by the victim and have classified this case as inactive.”

FELONY CHILD ABUSE NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. P (DMC No. 13376) (Phoenix Police Department DR No. 2012-02271258): Mr. P had a 5 year old daughter who was at school when a teacher noticed a bruise on her ear. When the child was questioned, she stated “my daddy spanked me”. The school then called the Police Department.  When Mr.  P arrived at school he was contacted by an Officer of the Phoenix Police Department and he was questioned. He denied noticing any bruising prior to the school day or causing any injury to his daughter.

 

CPS were called and they began an investigation for Child Abuse per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3623. After both Police contact and the CPS contact, Mr. P (who had just graduated from Law School) contacted our office. Once our services were retained, I met with the Pre Charge team and we decided (1) to have Mr. P take a polygraph, (2) we would be with him when he was interviewed by CPS, (3) we would contact the Detective and then later send him a letter with the polygraph results. 5 days after we were retained, we sat down with the CPS interviewer and his Supervisor we explained to the CPS investigators that the 5 year old had previously gotten in trouble for stealing gum from the Principal’s purse. The theft was previously documented by the school. We then also explained to them that the child admitted that she was mad at her father after she got in trouble for stealing the gum. The real story as to her injury was she fell off the monkey bars and blamed her father due to her anger. Ultimately, no parenting plan or sanctions were put into place by CPS.

 

Approximately 1 week after the CPS meeting, we spoke with the Detective. He stated that the daughter’s allegations were that Mr. P had slapped her, pulled her hair and spanked her. We explained the situation that she had made the story up, and we also informed him that we had met with CPS and they were taking no action. He then requested to speak with Mr. P’s wife in order to receive confirmation of the daughter’s story.

 

Shortly thereafter, we contacted the polygrapher and explained the situation. We crafted the 3 questions would be asked of Mr. P at the exam, and he went in and took the polygraph (which he passed). We then sent a letter with a copy of the results to the Detective. The Detective then reviewed all the evidence and stated “there is no evidence to support a charge of Child Abuse at this time. This report will be closed.” After another contact with the Officer, he filed a supplemental DR stating “This case has been previously closed, and will remain closed.”

ASSAULT, CRIMINAL DAMAGE and DISORDERLY CONDUCT DISMISSED at BENCH TRIAL – State v. Mr. T (DMC No. 12027) (Scottsdale City Court 2013-030918): Mr. T was a professional athlete who had played running back for the Arizona Cardinals. Police were called to his house by his then live-in girlfriend regarding a “domestic violence.” They had been arguing about personal matters and had “broken up” earlier that day. Mr. T had departed and then returned to the house with a plane ticket for his girlfriend to fly to New York (as a parting gift).

At that time, she walked into the bathroom and began smashing items on the ground. These items include of various perfumes and some picture frames. Mr. T held her in order to keep her from damaging any more property. She subsequently received a minor injury and then called Police.

When Police arrived, they observed various broken items and ultimately charged Mr. T with Assault, per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1203, Criminal Damage per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1602, and Disorderly Conduct per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2904. Pursuant to policy, he was arrested and taken to Jail at that time. His young daughter was also in the household and was taken away by CPS. I received a call from Mr. T’s sports agent immediately after Mr. T had been released on his own recognizance. I then met with Mr. T at his house, toured the alleged crime scene and went over the facts of the case. After we interviewed both Officers involved and the CPS Specialist who met with the child at the Family Advocacy Center, we then began to attempt to have the charges dismissed by the Scottsdale City Prosecutors Office. The case was eventually set to Trial, and on the day of Trial, the State dismissed all charges.

VIOLATION of ORDER of PROTECTION DISMISSED – State v. Mr. J (DMC No. 11899) (Mesa City Court No. 2013-002170): Mr. J was a professional baseball player who pitched for the Red Sox organization. He had been going through a divorce with his wife and was served an Order of Protection. That Order of Protection included allegations of violence to his wife, children and the family pet.   The order issued by the Judge stated “Defendant shall have no contact with protected persons [wife and children] except through Attorneys, Legal Process, Court Hearings and as follows: Mail/ Writing”.

 

Ten months later, Mr. J showed up at his house with a trailer in order to pick up personal items. Mr. J had just driven in from California (where he was now living). This pick  up  had  previously  been  arranged  through  his  divorce attorney  and  his  wife’s  divorce attorney. In addition, his wife’s divorce attorney approved contact through text messaging in order to facilitate the pickup. When Mr. J arrived, his wife called Police and he was arrested for a Violation of the Order of Protection per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3602.

 

I was contacted by his divorce attorney and by his sports agent. I arrived at the Mesa City Jail in time for the morning docket on the weekend calendar. Mr. J was then released on his Own Recognizance. Subsequently, I received the police report and began to assemble documents in order to have the case dismissed. After meeting with the Prosecutor with all documents, she declined to dismiss charges and the case was set to Trial. At the time of Trial, the State moved to dismiss all charges.

FELONY FIRST DEGREE MURDER and FELONY SEXUAL ASSAULT REDUCED to 13 YEARS in PRISON – State v. Mr. B (DMC No. 12994) (Maricopa City Court CR2013-002605): This “cold case” involved a Rape / Murder per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1105 and ARS 13-1406, which occurred on January 20, 1980. In 1988, Mr. B plead to 2 Counts of Sexual Assault which occurred in Chandler, AZ in the mid 1980’s. In both of those cases, he tied up the victims with shoe laces prior to raping them. He had been sentenced to Prison and was not scheduled to be released until the summer of 2015. When the 1980 murder had first occurred, Mr. B was a suspect and he was questioned by Police (even though he was only 14 years old). After his 1988 convictions, the Police revisited Mr. B because the 1980 Rape/Murder had the same modus operandi as the 1988 cases.

They eventually tested his DNA in 2005 while he was in Prison. However, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office held off indicting Mr. B until June of 2013. We were then contacted and hired by Mr. B’s family.

Immediately after being retained, a three person defense team from our firm was assembled to defend this particular case. Board Certified Criminal Law Specialists David Cantor, Joey Hamby and an Associate Attorney met to discuss strategy. The 3 major defenses we focused on were pre-indictment delay due to the fact the DNA matched a single pubic hair taken from the victim’s vagina in 1980, which was not tested until 2005, and matched thirteen loci on our client. Our goal was to look for “actual prejudice” due to the delay between 2005 and 2013. Our second defense had to do with chain of custody because that single hair was tested in Mesa, then Los Angeles, then the FBI, then retested a fourth time by Mesa in 2005. The possibility of contamination was high. The third defense we looked for was whether there was an actual root on the hair. According to our DNA expert, you cannot do an analysis on a dead hair that does not have a root. Our theory was that when they executed a search warrant on our client in 2005 and plucked one of his pubic hair, that they then claimed that was the actual hair from the crime scene.

As the case developed, we also found evidence of a potential serial rapist/serial killer who had been in Mesa in 1980. We used private investigators to attempt to track him down, along with one of his surviving victims. This individual had a habit of keeping photographs of his victims. One of the surviving victims was actually interviewed by Police early into the investigation and had indicated that she thought she saw a photograph of the 1980 victim in this other person’s house.

Ultimately, the case was set to a settlement conference and a plea was received which resulted in 13 additional years of Jail from the time of the sentencing. Mr. B was in his late 40’s at the time of the sentencing and is now going to be a free man at approximately 60 years of age.

Mr. T had lived in a neighborhood in which there had been numerous arson fires regarding cars and dumpsters over the previous 3 years. There was a report of a car on fire by a neighbor who stated that they had seen Mr. T run from the area of the car into his apartment. When police arrived, they attempted to have Mr. T leave his house to talk to them, but he refused. They eventually broke down the door and took him into custody. He was charged with arson and resisting arrest.

We were able to show that Mr. T had merely been in the area looking at the car because it had been on fire, and that he had not actually set the fire. In addition, Mr. T had been drinking and was scared when the police came to his door. Lastly, Mr. T and his life partner were both concerned that the police would rough him up due to his sexual orientation. And, in fact, the police had roughed Mr. T up when they took him into custody. We ultimately had the arson charge dismissed, and the case was plead to the resisting arrest with probation and zero days in jail. Originally Mr. T was facing a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 8 years in prison on the arson charge alone.

FELONY ESCAPE, FELONY AGGRAVATED ASSAULT on a POLICE OFFICER and FELONY RESISTING ARREST REDUCED to MISDEMEANOR with ZERO DAYS in Jail – State v. Mr. D (DMC No. 7700) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2007-158714): Mr. D was a student at ASU and was tailgating in an ASU parking lot prior to a football game. He was seen carrying a closed beer, and an Officer asked him his age. He put the beer in his pocket and then the Officer spun him around, cuffed him and threw him to the ground. Mr. D then got up and ran a short distance before he was tackled and held by Police. He was subsequently charged with Felony Escape per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2503, Felony Aggravated Assault on a cop per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1204(8)(A), and Felony Resisting Arrest per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2508. We were able to show the Prosecutor that he never actually “resisted arrest” or fought with the Officer, and that he was only scared when he got up and ran. They agreed to reduce his charge to simple Misdemeanors with no days in Jail. Because he had no felonies on his record, he was allowed to remain at ASU.

MINOR in CONSUMPTION of ALCOHOL and DISORDERLY CONDUCT REDUCED to PUBLIC NUISANCE with ZERO DAYS in Jail – State v. Mr. S (DMC No. 8098) (University Lakes Justice Court No. JC2008-112277): Mr. S attended a fraternity party for the Sigma Chi fraternity at Arizona State University. As he was leaving the party, Police were outside and they immediately grabbed and cuffed Mr. S. When he asked why he was being arrested, they stated “for throwing ping pong balls”. He was then cited for Minor in Consumption under Arizona Revised Statute ARS 4-244.40 and for Disorderly Conduct. During the course of this case, I showed the Prosecutor that they never offered Mr. S a blood test, nor did they ever ask if he had been drinking. The Prosecutor agreed to dismiss the Minor in Consumption charge. As to the Disorderly Conduct charge, that was reduced to Public Nuisance with Zero days in Jail.

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