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Category Archives: 63-65 Homicide 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.

(2 COUNTS) FELONY VEHICULAR SECOND DEGREE MURDER and (1 COUNT) FELONY HIT & RUN REDUCED to 19 YEARS in PRISON – State v. Mr. N (DMC No. 6998) (Maricopa County Superior Court No. CR2005-011605): In this high profile vehicular homicide case, Mr. N had blown through a red light and rear ended another vehicle containing 2 passengers. One of the passengers was pregnant at the time. Their car then struck a bus stop and bursts into flames. Both passengers inside burned to death. Mr. N then got out of his car and fled the scene. When he was apprehended, he was found to have cocaine in his system along with alcohol. He also had prior felony convictions. He was ultimately charged with 2 Counts of Second Degree Murder and 1 Count of Felony Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident.

The family hired us to attempt to challenge the evidence and secure the lowest possible prison offer for Mr. N. His initial plea offer was to stipulate to 25 years in custody. We then negotiated an offer to a range of 16-32 years in prison, with the  exact prison sentence to be left up to the Judge. After putting together an extensive Mitigation Package that include interviewing all if Mr. N’s family members, along with a history of his upbringing and drug dependency, we convinced the Judge to give a sentence of 19 years. The Prosecutor wanted 25-32 years. Our involvement helped shave 6 years of prison off of the original plea offer.

CONVICTION REVERSED PCR (Rule 32) (7 YEAR PRISON SENTENCE) and NEW PLEA OFFER GIVEN with LESS PRISON TIME/ FELONY MANSLAUGHTER (with GUN) and (3 COUNTS) FELONY ENDANGERMENT (DANGEROUS) – State v. Mr. M (DMC No. 11460) (Yuma County Superior Court No. S1400CR2009-00194): Mr. M had been reckless with a firearm while in the presence of a woman and her three children. The gun discharged and killed the woman. Mr. M was subsequently charged with Manslaughter (Dangerous) and 3 Counts of Endangerment (Dangerous). His first Attorney had the case for 2 years and conducted no interviews. In addition, that Attorney advised Mr. M not to take an offer to Negligent Homicide with a range or 4-8 years in prison. Mr. M subsequently terminated that Attorney and hired another Attorney. That Attorney had the case for 7 months and conducted no interviews. An offer was secured by that Attorney to probation with 1 year in jail, or prison with 5-12.5 years of incarceration. That Attorney told Mr. M that he could most likely get the probationary term with only a year in jail. He was ultimately sentenced to 7 years in prison.

We were hired by Mr. M’s family to file a Post Conviction Relief Petition pursuant to Rule 32 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. We had evidence in our Petition that both previous Attorney’s were “ineffective” because they had not interviewed any witnesses. In addition, when Mr. M was sentenced, 8 other mitigating factors were not presented to the Judge. Just prior to an Evidentiary Hearing in front of the sentencing Judge, the Prosecutor offered a new plea agreement which allowed Mr. M to be sentenced to 5.5 years in prison, with credit for the time he had already served. Our involvement in the case saved him 1 and a half years of prison time.

FELONY VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER and FELONY HIT & RUN DISMISSED – State v. Mr. A (DMC No. 8667) (Maricopa County Superior Court No. CR2005-134626): An individual was crossing the roadway near McClintock and Apache Boulevard in Tempe, Arizona, when he was struck and killed by Mr. A’s car. When the Police arrived in the area, they acted on a “hunch” and searched all neighboring apartment complexes. They saw Mr. A’s vehicle parked in a parking space concealed with a car cover. The Officer lifted up the car cover in order to inspect for damage. When he saw damage, he ran the license plate and ascertained Mr. A’s apartment number. Mr. A was then brought out, questioned and arrested for Vehicular Manslaughter and Felony Hit & Run.

We filed motions to have the entire case dismissed due to an “improper search” issue. The Officer could have sought out a search warrant before lifting the car cover but he did not do so. The Trial Judge agreed with us and ruled that this was an illegal search and all charges were Dismissed. Although the State Appealed to the Arizona State of Appeals and that decision was reversed, they choose never to re-file charges against Mr. A due to various other problems with the case.

NOT CHARGED | CAPITAL MURDER – In 1997 Mr. M’s wife was gunned down in front of her house as she was leaving for work. Chandler Detectives claim that because Mr. M wasn’t present at the house he had committed the murder. After a thorough investigation (including an eye-witness from across the street who happened to be a DPS Homicide Investigator), we were able to prove Mr. M had nothing to do with his wife’s murder. In addition, we arranged to have a civil lawsuit filed against Chandler Police Department for defamation of character.

Chandler Police Department

NOT CHARGED/REDUCED | MANSLAUGHTER NOT CHARGED/REDUCED to Misdemeanor DUI – State v. Mr. T. (DMC No. 7216) (East Mesa Justice Court No. TR2006-172224): Mr. T. was traveling westbound on University Drive in Mesa when an individual attempted to cross University diagonal to the flow of traffic. He was unfortunately struck and killed. Mr. T. was interviewed by police and he admitted to using marijuana in the prior 24 hrs. We were able to convince the State that no individual would have been able to stop in time to avoid the collision. In addition, we were able to show that the marijuana would not have affected his ability to drive. Although we convinced the State to not file Manslaughter charges, they did file charges for DUI with a metabolite of marijuana in System. The case was ultimately resolved as a Misdemeanor DUI Drugs with 1 day in jail – even though it started out with Mr. T. facing a potential 21 years in prison.

NOT CHARGED | VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER – State v. Mr. R. (DMC No. 11737) (Gilbert Police Department Investigated): Mr. R. was driving his car with his brother alongside him when he turned around a corner and began having a seizure.  The vehicle flipped, and Mr. R.’s brother died in the passenger seat.  Although no drugs or alcohol were involved, the case was routed to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to review for charges.  We were able to find several witnesses on the scene who stated that Mr. R. clearly looked to be having a seizure as he came around the corner.  In addition, we had Mr. R. subjected to an MRI of his brain which showed an “area of parenchymal signal abnormality”.  After almost 2 full years, the County Attorney declined to file any charges against Mr. R.

NOT CHARGED | MANSLAUGHTER – State v. Mr. T. (DMC No. 6044) (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office DR2005-095229): Mr. T. was driving along the roadway, when an elderly man rode his bicycle directly in front of Mr. T.’s his vehicle and he was struck and killed. Mr. T. was subsequently interviewed and provided a blood and urine sample. Although it came back with the presence of marijuana, we conducted interviews with other witnesses and a first officer on scene and it was determined that Mr. T. was not impaired. We convinced them not to file any charges against him for manslaughter. He did, however, receive a citation for misdemeanor DUI drugs. He was originally facing possible 7 to 21 years in prison, and ended up with a misdemeanor misdemeanor DUI drugs with 1 day of jail.

NOT CHARGED | VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. W. (DMC No. 6723) (Navajo County DPS DR2006-026637): Mr. W. owned a logging truck company, and was running loads of lumber in the Pinetop Lakeside area.   He was returning with a load of lumber at dusk, when he saw an accident scene to the side of the road.  Roughly 10 miles down the road, he was stopped by police who asked him questions of whether he could have struck somebody in the roadway without knowing it. Subsequently, a search warrant was issued and his truck was seized.

We were able to intercept the case and convinced the Detective that charges should not be filed against Mr. W.  Due to the autopsy records, the alleged victim, a Native American man with a .199 BAC, apparently was laying in the roadway.  Due to the height of Mr. W.’s truck, and the position of his lights, if he did strike and cause the death of the alleged victim, he was not at fault.  We eventually convinced the Detective to not file charges and release Mr. W.’s truck back to his possession.

NOT CHARGED/DISMISSED | VEHICLUAR MANSLAUGHTER /DUI DRUGS (Marijuana)  – State v. Mr. C. (DMC No. 10610) (Apache Junction City Court TR20120026): A motorcyclist had been involved in a minor collision at Broadway Road & Meridian Road in Apache Junction. The motorcyclist then wandered around the car as Mr. C.’s car came up and struck and killed him.  Although no impairment was observed, the police ordered a blood draw from Mr. C., which revealed the presence of marijuana.  We filed a Motion to Suppress the blood draw, which was granted and the DUI drugs charge was dismissed.  We also were able to convince the prosecutors not to file charges for manslaughter as Mr. C. was not at fault for striking the motorcyclist.  No charges for manslaughter were ever brought.

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