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.