State v. Mr. L (DMC No. 15390) – (2 Counts) Felony Armed Robbery (with Gun – $131,000) and (6 Counts) of Felony Aggravated Assault Dangerous – Dismissed – Maricopa County Superior Court (Case No. CR2017-114927).
The victim in this particular case was a member of the Salt River Indian Tribe. Pursuant to the tribal rules, whenever a tribal member turns 21 years old, they receive money that has been held in trust by the tribe, based on casino earnings. In this case, the victim had received $131,000 on his 21st birthday. The next day, while he was with several other individuals in his apartment, his door was kicked in and he was robbed at gunpoint.
The two people who broke in were wearing hoodies and bandanas. At one point, one of the victims called 911 and the phone is taken away from her. Unbeknownst to the robbers, the 911 operator was still on the phone and the Police were on their way. Eventually, one of the victims was shot in the stomach and the robbers fled before they could be caught. An Investigation proceeds and ultimately Mr. L is arrested at gunpoint.
When Mr. L was taken in, he stated he had knowledge of the robbery, but he was not involved. When asked if he looks like his younger brother he responds, “yes.” His younger brother had also been arrested. Once Mr. L was arrested and charged, we became involved in the case.
We were able to show that the guns found at Mr. L’s house did not match the guns that were used in the robbery. In addition, we presented a key alibi witness, who told Detectives Mr. L was nowhere near the scene. Lastly, we interviewed the witness who viewed the photo lineups, and it became apparent that this witness was coached into picking Mr. L out of the lineup. We conducted this interview with the Detective with the Prosecutor present, and then we discussed the filing of a Deserault Motion regarding the lineup being unduly suggestive. Ultimately, the Prosecutor saw all of the weaknesses that she had in her case, and she filed a Motion to Dismiss all charges against Mr. L. Originally, he was facing potentially the rest of his life in prison if he were to be convicted on all counts, and if they were to be run consecutively.