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Category Archives: 100 Miscellaneous Crimes Victories

State v. Bagdad Hillside LLC (DMC No. 15240) – (3 Counts) Felony Discharge Elimination System Violation ($950,000 Violation) – Not Charged As To Our Client Mr. G /Former Owner of Bagdad Hillside – Maricopa County Superior Court (Case No. CR2017-002439).

Mr. G was a former owner of the Bagdad Hillside Mine. He had sold all ownership interest when a Complaint was brought forward by the Arizona Attorney General for Discharge Elimination System Violations. The Bagdad Hillside Mine was located adjacent to Boulder Creek. This part is of the Bill Williams River watershed and a tributary to Alamo Lake. It has been stipulated that the water is to be protected for human and animal use, including full body contact. The Hillside Mine which was adjacent to Boulder Creek had a large amount of mining tailings (which are the remains from digging out a mine). At some point in the past, the miners hit ground water and the mine started to fill up. The lowest level of the shaft was 900 ft. below and the miners put in a drainage shaft and called it an ADIT (a horizontal passage leading into a mine for the purposes of access or drainage). The drainage shaft would then continually drain water into Boulder Creek.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) continually tested the water over several years and found that the average levels of arsenic were 200 times higher than the allowed levels to be in discharged water. The Enforcement Officer for ADEQ, testified that she had contact with the Bagdad Chief Financial Officer on numerous times and tried to correct the problem with him. She sent Notice of Violations and they worked out a Consent Order. None of these Consent Orders were followed. Ultimately, 3 Counts of Felony Discharge of an Elimination System Violation were filed and a Bench Trial was held against the corporation. Through process of the Trial, both the Chief Financial Officer and Mr. G were mentioned by the ADEQ. Although the Corporation was found guilty and was issued a fine of $950,000, Mr. G was not individually convicted of anything, nor was he responsible to pay any of that fine.

FELONY TAMPERING with PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, FELONY CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT PERJURY, FELONY OBSTRUCTION of a CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION and FELONY FRAUDULENT SCHEMES REDUCED to PROBATION with ZERO DAYS in JAIL – State v. Mr. A (DMC No. 11855) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2013-000547):

Mr. A was cited with a Misdemeanor DUI in the City of Gilbert. He then retained the services of Mr. K (a high profile defense attorney in the Phoenix area) in order to defend him. He provided Mr. K with a cell phone video purporting to be video taken from the front of his vehicle as a “dash cam” at the time of the stop. On the video, it showed him properly exiting a bar parking lot and driving correctly without any traffic violations. He was also narrating while he was driving, and claimed that an Officer was pulling up behind him and stopping him. He then stopped the cell phone video.

Unbeknownst to Mr. K, Mr. A falsified the video. He then had a co-worker alter the date time stamped on the video. It was of such quality that Mr. K’s forensic expert analyzed the video and wrote a report finding the video was accurate and untampered with. All of that information was then submitted to the Gilbert City Prosecutor and the DUI charge was dismissed against Mr. A.

The co-worker who had altered the video for Mr. A subsequently had a falling out with him. He then contacted Police and reported Mr. A. Mr. A was subsequently charged with Fraudulent Schemes, Tampering with Evidence, Obstructing a Criminal Investigation and Conspiracy to Commit Perjury. We were then retained by Mr. A. Myself and my partner, Christine Whalin met and formulated the strategy to (1) legally attack some of the charges as not  being  factually  sufficient  as  to  the crime  actually  committed,  (2)  gather  all  mitigating evidence regarding Mr. A, (3) agree to full restitution as to the Gilbert Police Department’s estimation  (which  was  in  the thousands  of dollars),  and  (4) meet  with  the Prosecutor and Prosecutor’s Supervisor to try and achieve an offer which would not result in any prison or jail time.

As the case progressed, my partner, Certified Criminal Law Specialist Christine Whalin and myself met at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office with the Prosecutor and her Supervisor. Although we could not secure an offer which would allow for only a Class 6 Open/Misdemeanor, we did secure an offer which resulted in the dismissal of the Class 2 Fraudulent Schemes per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2310. Mr. A pled to Obstructing a Criminal Investigation per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2409, (a Class 5 Felony), an amended charge of Tampering with Physical Evidence per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2809, and Solicitation to Commit Perjury per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2704 and 13-1002,  (both Class 6 Open Felonies). There was also no agreement as to sentencing. After I conducted the mitigation hearing, the Judge sentenced Mr. A to supervised probation with no jail time. This was a very high profile case that was covered by the press throughout each and every step of the proceedings.

(2 Counts) CHILD NEGLECT DISMISSED – State v. Ms. T (DMC No. 5000) (Peoria City Court CR2004-000920): Ms. T was in a custody battle with her ex husband, and she was the primary care giver of her 10 year old, 4 year old, and 2 year old. She had to leave at 6:00 PM to go to a work function, and when she called in at 6:40 PM to see how the children were doing, the Police were present. Her ex-husband had spoken to the 10 year old son and called the Police claiming that Ms. T was neglectful for leaving the kids home alone. When Ms. T arrived at the household, the Police cited her with (2 Counts) of Child Neglect per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3619. We were able to explain to the Prosecutor that leaving a 2 year old and 4 year old in a 10 year old’s care for 40 minutes should not rise to the level of Child Neglect. The Prosecutor agreed to Dismiss All Charges if Ms. T remained law abiding for 6 months and attended a Parenting Class. She complied, and she has no conviction on her record.

NOT GUILTY/ COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at BENCH TRIAL| CONTRACTING WITHOUT a LICENSE (with a PRIOR CONVICTION) – State v. Mr. R (DMC No. 8395) (Phoenix City Court No. 3821911): Mr. R had previously been convicted of Contracting Without a License. He began dating a married woman who lent him money to pay off his previous fines and fees for that case. She asked if he would do her a favor and do some handyman work around her house since she had loaned him the money to pay off his previous fines and fees. He agreed to do so, even though he was going to pay back the loan. When the husband found out about the affair, he turned in Mr. R and Mr. R was charged with Contracting Without a License under Arizona Revised Statute ARS 32-1151.

At Bench Trial, we were able to show the Judge that the work he was performing on the house was of a handyman nature. We also showed that he was not paid for that work. Lastly, we showed that the woman’s husband was upset about the affair, and that’s why these claims were made in the first place. The Judge did not believe the State’s evidence, and Mr. R was found Not Guilty of all charges.

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.

PREVENTION of the USE of a TELEPHONE in CASE of EMERGENCY, ASSAULT and DISORDERLY CONDUCT DISMISSED at BENCH TRIAL – State v. Mr. C (DMC No. 8204) (Apache Junction Justice Court DV2007-0291): Mr. C and his girlfriend were engaged in an argument when he was accused of slapping her on her buttocks in a hard manner. His girlfriend called Police, and then the phone was grabbed out of her hand and hung up. When Police arrived, they arrested Mr. C and charged him with Prevention of the Use of a Telephone in a Case of Emergency pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2915 (A)(3). He was also charged with Assault and Disorderly Conduct. We argued that he was not the one who grabbed the phone and hung up, but in fact it was his girlfriend who hung up the phone. There were also issues about Mr. C defending himself against his girlfriend’s attacks. When it came time for the Bench Trial, the Prosecutor choose to dismiss all charges against Mr. C.

TERRORISM; AGGRAVATED ASSAULT DANGEROUS (with a knife); KIDNAPPING and MISCONDUCT with WEAPON (gun) all REDUCED to AGGRAVATED ASSAULT (Non Dangerous) and KIDNAPPING with 2.5 YEARS in PRISON – State v. Mr. C (DMC No. 8081) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2007-030014): This was a high profile case in which the domestic terrorism statute was used for the first time. The Maricopa County Attorney at the time – Andrew Thomas (who is now disbarred) used this charged to gain national media attention. We handled the case, and it was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Mr. C was a high school student who had been going through various depressive episodes and was on medication. One day while walking to school, he grabbed a girl from his class and held a knife to her throat and made threats. He then let her go and went home. When police arrived at his house, he was sitting in his house playing video games and he had a back pack next to him which had a gun.  He had told officers how he had been bullied and how he wanted to go to school and shoot everyone. Andrew Thomas then saw his opportunity to charge this as a Terrorism case against a 15 year old boy. Because Mr. C had committed an Aggravated Assault with a dangerous weapon, he was facing a mandatory minimum of 5 to 15 years in prison on that charge alone. The Kidnapping charge carried additional potential prison. Through numerous Settlement Conferences in which we presented evidence of Mr. C’s psychological state, and with added pressure from the citizens of Arizona, Andrew Thomas lowered his offer from 7.5 years in prison to 2.5 years in prison. With good behavior, Mr. C was out after 23 months. This case is a classic example of how a power hungry prosecutor can misuse the law for his own purposes to further his political career. In the end, Andrew Thomas was disbarred for other instances of his Abuse of Power.

PAROLE REINSTATED – State v. Mr. B (DMC No. 6925) (Arizona Board of Clemency-DOC No. 039589):  Mr. B had previously been convicted of Possession of Stolen Property per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2306 and Promoting Prison Contraband per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2505. He had been released on “community supervision” (Parole) and was subsequently taken into custody when he tested positive for methamphetamine. We were able to have Mr. B enrolled in the “Men In Recovery” program and we showed them that he was provided with unnecessary tools to deal with his drug addiction while outside of prison. Mr. B had originally spent 25 years in prison on a 47 year sentence, and he was now facing the possibility of serving the remaining 22 years in prison. Because of our efforts, he was reinstated on parole and released from prison. He is currently performing admirably and is employed.

FELONY PROMOTING PRISON CONTRABAND (with PRIOR CONVICTION while on PROBATION) REDUCED to PROBATION with 30 DAYS in Jail – State v. Mr. A (DMC No. 6830) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2006-008600): Mr. A had been convicted of Aggravated Assault and was serving a jail sentence with work release. He returned back to the jail with morphine pills in his pocket. He was subsequently charged with Promoting Prison Contraband (a Class 2 Felony) and was facing over 10 years of potential prison. Promoting Prison Contraband under Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2505 makes it a crime to “knowingly” bring contraband into a jail or prison. We were able to show the Prosecutor that Mr. A did “knowingly” have the pill in his pocket, but he had forgotten it was there when he came back to the jail. We were able to have the case reduced down to a simple probation disposition with 30 days in jail.

Mr. R had a daughter who he had been living with him and his life partner. The daughter had come to school with a black eye, and had reported that the father’s life partner had struck her. After CPS (now the Arizona Department of Child Safety/DCS) were called in, the life partner was turned over to Police authorities for investigation. Mr. R was accused of not reporting the incident and CPS took temporary custody of his daughter, and eventually “substantiated” the charge.

Mr. R hired us to Appeal the decision and we were able to demonstrate that he was not aware that this abuse incident had even taken place. Through working with DCS, they agreed to reverse their finding if Mr. R agreed to a “parenting plan” with CPS. Mr. R got his child back and his household was reunited.

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