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Category Archives: 77 Misconduct Involving a Weapon Reduced

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.

RICO/ILLEGAL CONTROL of an ENTERPRISE; MONEY LAUNDERING, CONSPIRACY, MISCONDUCT INVOLVING WEAPONS, USE of an ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICE in a DRUG TRANSACTION, POSSESSION of MARIJUANA for SALE and POSSESSION of DRUG PARAPHERNALIA: ALL REDUCED to MISDEMEANOR HINDERING a PROSECUTION and MISDEMEANOR USE of a WIRE DEVICE to HINDER PROSECUTION with PROBATION and 8 DAYS in JAIL – State v. Ms. N (DMC No. 8333) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR 2007-007124): Ms. A. lived in a house that was occupied at various times by 7 other co-defendants. She owned the house, and inside of this house there was a large amount of Marijuana and guns. Police obtained a warrant in which they Wire Tapped all of the co-defendants, and then showed up with a physical search warrant. The Police recorded some co-defendants asking Ms. N to “lie to the Police” about who actually was using the residence. Ultimately, a 24 Count Indictment was issued by a Grand Jury Indicting all 7 co-defendants. We were able to demonstrate to the Prosecution that Ms. N. was the least culpable of all of the co-defendants. We eventually secured an offer 2 Misdemeanors which included Probation and 4 weekends of Jail. Originally, Ms. N. had been facing the prospect of over 10 years in Prison.

 

REDUCED | CULTIVATION of MARIJUANA, MISCONDUCT INVOLVING WEAPON and POSSESSION of DRUG PARAPHERNALIA REDUCED to ATTEMPT class 6 open/misdemeanor with PROBATION and ZERO DAYS in JAIL – State v. Mr. B. (DMC No. 8763) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2009-111214): Mr. B. and his two roommates were the victim of a burglary and armed robbery when police were called to investigate.  During a “welfare check” the police found a bedroom in the house which was a “grow room”, which included numerous marijuana plants.  Mr. B. was subsequently charged with Production of Marijuana, Misconduct Involving a Weapon and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  We argued that the “welfare check” was really a pretext to conduct a search, and that Mr. B.’s Miranda rights were violated.  We were able to secure an offer to an “Attempt” that eventually became a misdemeanor with zero days in jail.  Originally Mr. B. was facing years in prison.

 

MISCONDUCT INVOLVING WEAPON (gun involved in drug offense) REDUCED to class 6 open/Misdemeanor POSSESSION of DRUG PARAPHERNALIA with PROBATION and ZERO DAYS JAIL – State v. Mr. S. (DMC No. 6076) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2005-140667): Police were called regarding a subject passed out inside of his vehicle, and when they contacted Mr. S. they found dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle, along with a gun. There was also body armor inside of the vehicle. We were able to show the Prosecutor that Mr. S. was an Iraqi veteran who was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and that he only had the body armor and gun due to his mental state. In addition, he was attempting to self medicate with the dangerous drugs. They agreed to dismiss the Misconduct Involving a Weapon and plead the Possession of Dangerous Drugs down to a simple class 6 open/misdemeanor for the “Drug Paraphernalia”. At the conclusion of probation, the charge was designated a misdemeanor, and Mr. S. has no felony on his record.

AGGRAVATED ASSAULT with a GUN (dangerous)/POSSESSION of DANGEROUS DRUGS (meth/coke) and MISCONDUCT INVOLVING WEAPON REDUCED to ATTEMPT with 1.5 YEARS in PRISON – State v. Mr. I. (DMC No. 5655) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2005-109265): In the first incident, Mr. I. swerved at an elderly gentleman, then got out and got into an argument with him. He pulled his gun on the man, and told him to quit trying to “stare him down”. In the second incident Mr. I. was pulled over by police while high on cocaine and meth, and his vehicle was subsequently searched in which both drugs and a gun were found. We were able to combine both of these cases into a single count of “Attempt”, which included a 1.5 year prison sentence. Mr. I. already served 6 months in jail during the pendency of his case, and he was given credit for that time. Before we entered into the plea, Mr. I. was facing a 5 to 15 year sentence on the Aggravated Assault charge alone.

REDUCED | POSSESSION of DRUGS FOR SALE (1 pound marijuana; 17 grams of methamphetamine)/MONEY LAUNDERING/MISCONDUCT with WEAPONS and POSSESSION of DRUG PARAPHERNALIA REDUCED to SOLICITATION with PROBATION and ZERO DAYS in JAIL – State v. Mr. P. (DMC No. 5002) (Pinal County Superior City Court CR2004-01175): Detectives had been working with an undercover confidential informant who stated that Mr. P. had been selling drugs out of his house.  Police executed a search warrant, and then found 1 pound of marijuana, 17 grams of meth and a 9 mm handgun at Mr. P.’s location.  Mr. P. was questioned and made admissions, and then he was read his Miranda rights and made the same admissions again on tape.  Due to the improper questioning of Mr. P. pre Miranda, we were able to negotiate a plea agreement to a mere “solicitation to possess drugs”, which included probation with zero days in jail.  Originally Mr. P. was facing mandatory prison time for being above the threshold and having a gun on his possession while committing a drug crime.

 

MISCONDUCT INVOLVING a WEAPON (prohibited possessor) with 2 PRIORS REDUCED to PROBATION with ZERO DAY JAIL – State v. Mr. Z. (DMC No. 6472) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2005-139036): Mr. Z. had been contacted by police when a call came in that he was threatening to commit suicide. When police contacted him, he was found in a bedroom with several rifles and guns located against the wall. He was immediately taken into custody and invoked his right to counsel. He was subsequently charged with a class 4 “misconduct involving weapons” with 2 priors, which meant he was facing 6 to 15 years in prison. We were able to conduct mitigation and have the case reduced to probation with no allegation of prior convictions. At sentencing, we put on a Mitigation Hearing and the Judge agreed to give zero day’s jail to Mr. Z.

Mr. K was having an argument with his wife, when she picked up the phone to call 911. He then grabbed the phone, threw it down and damaged it. Police responded off the initial 911 “trigger”, and saw Mr. K in his garage. When he was instructed to exit the garage, he reached for a duffle bag on the ground and Officers immediately grabbed him and escorted him outside with a “control hold”. When they searched the duffel bag they found a weapon.

Mr. K was allegedly struggling when they placed him under arrest and when he was cuffed. He repeatedly stated that he had done nothing wrong and didn’t know why the Police were there. The Police then charged him with Obstruction of a Governmental Operation under Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2402 (A)(1), Failure to Obey a Police Officer under Mesa City Code 42-179; Prevention of the Use of a Telephone During an Emergency under Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2915 (A)(3); False Reporting to Law Enforcement Officers under Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2907.01 (A); Carrying a Concealed Weapon per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3102 (A)(1) and Criminal Damage under Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1602(A)(1). We were able to show the Prosecutor that the Statute does not qualify regarding Obstruction of a Governmental Operation while placing a defendant under arrest. Also, the False Reporting and Failure to Obey were fairly outrageous charges given the situation. As far as the Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Prevention of the Use of a Telephone, they agreed to dismiss both of those charges. Mr. K only pled to the Misdemeanor Criminal Damage due to the destruction of the telephone, and was given a minimal Jail sentence of 4 days in Jail. Originally, he could have been facing up to 2 and a half years in the County Jail.

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