In a recent opinion in an Arizona negligent homicide case, the defendant’s request for a lesser sentence was denied. After having been found guilty of homicide in 2016, the defendant was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment. The defendant appealed this sentence, arguing that it was unfair for the court to take two of his previous convictions into account when calculating his sentence. The court disagreed, citing a law that allows courts to consider previous offenses when they have happened within five years of the present, relevant offense. The court thus affirmed the defendant’s sentence.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant went to the victim’s home on November 16, 2016. Upon finding the victim outside, the defendant used a cement block to severely injure him. Four days later, on November 20, 2016, the victim died from his injuries. At trial, the jury found the defendant guilty of negligent homicide.
After the jury found the defendant guilty, it was the court’s job to sentence the defendant. While embarking on this process, the court decided to use two of the defendant’s prior convictions – possession of narcotic drugs for sale and a drug paraphernalia violation – to decide the amount of time the defendant should be required to serve. Because of these prior convictions, the court viewed the defendant as having committed three offenses instead of just one offense. The court then sentenced the defendant to nine years’ imprisonment.