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In a recent appeals court opinion in an Arizona child sex crimes case, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed his convictions and sentences for ten counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, class two felonies, and dangerous crimes against children. In the appeal, the defendant argued that his motions to suppress evidence were improperly denied by the trial court. The appeals court affirmed the trial court decision, finding that the files searched by law enforcement did not need to be limited to the certain files named by the defendant and that there was probable cause for the search of the defendant’s desktop computer. Subsequently, the appeals court ruled that the defendant did not show that the denial of his motion to suppress was not an abuse of discretion.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, in February of 2015, the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce (ICAC) obtained some downloads of child pornography from an internet protocol (“IP”) address that used a peer-to-peer network program called Torrent. After further investigation, a detective of the ICAC learned that the IP address was assigned to a residence in Mesa, AZ. The detective then obtained a search warrant for the home in question.

A search of the home did not produce evidence of illegal activity, but when officers asked the homeowner whether anyone else had access to his home’s secured Wi-Fi connection, he explained that his cousin, the defendant, had stayed with him in February of 2015. The detective then orchestrated a call between the homeowner and the defendant. On the call, the defendant claimed that a virus on his computer had downloaded the illegal images and he had not deleted them as he should have.

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In a recent case coming out of an Arizona court, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed his convictions and sentences for child molestation. In his argument, the defendant focused on the expert testimony that the prosecution used during his trial, alleging that this testimony was overly broad and prejudicial towards the jury. In considering the appeal, the court declared that the expert testimony was appropriate given the circumstances of the case, thus denying the defendant’s appeal.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant in this case was a family friend of the victim, who was born in 2003. The victim had known the defendant to be like an uncle to her, and between the years of 2013 and 2015, the victim saw the defendant regularly.

During those years, the defendant molested the victim several times. He forced the child to perform oral sex on him; he threatened the victim by saying that if she told anyone about the abuse, he would hurt her grandmother; and he forced himself on the victim by inappropriately touching her on multiple occasions. When the victim moved in with her father in 2015, the abuse stopped. A few years later, however, the victim texted the defendant saying that she was still negatively affected by the abuse she had undergone.

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In a recent appeal coming out of an Arizona court, the defendant argued that his conviction for aggravated assault should be reversed. According to the defendant, the trial judge had improperly denied him the right to present an expert witness and thus that his defense was incomplete. The higher court examined the trial record and disagreed with the defendant, affirming his original conviction.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the alleged assault that precipitated this case occurred at an auto repair shop in 2019. The victim drove to pick up his truck from the shop after having received standard services on his vehicle. After paying for the services, the victim went to his car to drive away but realized there was another vehicle blocking his car that prevented him from moving.

The victim returned to the shop and asked if anyone knew who’s car was directly behind his. One of the repair shop workers replied that it was his car and said that he would move the car after he had finished eating his lunch. The victim, unhappy about this statement, went to the parking lot to begin moving his car anyway.

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In a recent case coming out of an Arizona court, the defendant appealed his conviction for resisting arrest. Even though the defendant did not contest that he had physically resisted the officers when they tried to arrest him, he argued on appeal that the entire case should have been dismissed because of the illegal acts committed by the arresting agency. The court denied the defendant’s appeal, and his conviction was affirmed.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, officers had an arrest warrant on the defendant based on suspicion of drug trafficking. The officers located the defendant and followed him into a parking lot, surrounding his vehicle. The defendant immediately locked himself in the car and ignored the officers’ orders to exit. After a few moments, the defendant picked up an ax and struck the K-9 dog that officers sent in to try and remove him from the vehicle.

When the defendant eventually exited the car, he ignored orders from the officers and put his hands underneath him to avoid giving officers control of his arms or hands. The officers used a taser on the defendant, and they eventually put him in handcuffs. After the arrest, the officers found bags of methamphetamine on his person.

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In a recent opinion coming out of an Arizona court, the defendant argued that the trial court made an error in determining the scope of her original convictions and sentences. Originally, the defendant was charged and convicted of several drug-related charges after a police officer found methamphetamine on her person in a routine traffic stop. Four of the convictions revolved specifically around the defendant’s possession of drug paraphernalia. On appeal, the defendant argued that these convictions for drug paraphernalia should have been merged into a single conviction, and she should not have been tried for four separate crimes. The court of appeals ended up agreeing with the defendant, and it modified the trial court’s decision to reflect only one conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was pulled over one evening in 2018 for a traffic violation. The police officer conducting the traffic stop quickly suspected that the defendant had been drinking, and he arrested and searched her to confirm his suspicions. During the search, the officer found methamphetamine in the defendant’s clothing.

Once the defendant arrived at the station, she told officers that she routinely dealt drugs and that she had drugs at her residence. Officers searched her home and found marijuana, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and a gun. She was charged with several crimes, including two counts of possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana for sale. She was subsequently found guilty at trial.

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In a recent case coming out of an Arizona court, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed his convictions for aggravated assault, kidnapping, and robbery. Originally, the defendant was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to 82 years in prison. Despite arguing on appeal that the trial court should have suppressed the victim’s method of identifying him as the primary suspect in the case, the defendant was unsuccessful in his attempts and the convictions were affirmed.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the victim in this case was at home with family members when the defendant arrived at her house. The defendant forced his way into the home and immediately asked where the victim kept her drugs. He threatened to kill the victim’s father, who was in the house if no one told him where he could find marijuana. The defendant held the victim and her father at gunpoint while his accomplice searched the house.

After a few minutes, the defendant stole some items from the victim, including the victim’s cell phone, and went out to put the items in his car. At that point, the victim shut and locked the front door, preventing the defendant from re-entering. The defendant left the scene, and police officers located and charged him after using a tracking device to find the victim’s cell phone.

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Recently, the city of Mesa, Arizona announced that it will be opening a new domestic violence court focused specifically on the most serious domestic violence cases that come through the city’s court system. According to the city government, the new court is opening in response to a rise in domestic violence homicides between 2020 and 2021, and it will aim to offer services to both victims and defendants so that the rate of domestic violence in the city can begin to decrease. While the impacts of the new court, which opens July 7, are yet to be seen, the city’s announcement does provide important information for defendants facing domestic violence charges.

New Strategies

The court will employ a variety of tactics that are not currently in use by the city court system as it stands. For example, when imposing sentences, the court will use not only prison time but also counseling and rehabilitation so that defendants can work through any issues that the court thinks they might be facing. These sanctions will include frequent check-ins between defendants and the domestic violence court, meaning defendants will have to report on their progress in counseling and other rehabilitative programs as often as the court deems necessary.

The court will also impose deferred jail sentences for defendants who are found guilty of domestic violence. These sentences require defendants to go through certain programs before they have to report to prison, and if the defendants fail to comply with the terms that the court has imposed on them, they can be imprisoned as a result.

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In a recent Arizona drug case, the court was tasked with deciding whether or not juries are required to unanimously agree on what type of drug a defendant used when issuing a guilty verdict for certain drug crimes. After considering the arguments on both sides, the court decided that a jury must unanimously identify the specific kind of drug when convicting a defendant for possession of drug paraphernalia or sale of narcotic drugs.

Facts of the Case

In this case, three different defendants were charged with drug crimes, and because their cases were all substantially similar, the court combined their three cases into one. The defendants were all U.S. residents who had come from Mexico, and they all had legal status in the States. One of the defendants was convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia, and the remaining defendants were convicted of possession of a narcotic drug for sale.

Because the defendants were not originally from the U.S., their charges had different consequences than they would if they were all born in the States. For some criminal offenses, judges can impose immigration consequences on defendants as a form of punishment. In this case, the immigration court ordered that the three men be removed from the country, telling them that they had to return to Mexico because of their drug convictions. The defendants appealed.

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In a recent child molestation case coming out of Arizona, the court vacated the defendant’s convictions and sentences, remanding the case for a new trial. Originally, the defendant had been found guilty of molesting a minor, and he made multiple arguments in his attempt to appeal the guilty conviction. While the court rejected the majority of the defendant’s arguments, it accepted his assertion that the trial court had unfairly admitted hearsay into the evidence for the jury to consider. Agreeing with the defendant on this point, the court vacated the guilty conviction.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the child involved in this case lived with her mother and her stepfather when she was four years old. At that time, the child’s stepfather, the defendant, began touching the child sexually at least once a week. This behavior continued for many years, through the family’s move to Sierra Vista when the child turned eleven.

The defendant told the child not to tell anyone about the sexual activity. Eventually, the defendant and the child’s mother separated and moved away from each other. In November of that same year, the child’s gym teacher noticed that she was not acting like “her usual self.” When the gym teacher asked the child what was happening, the girl admitted that her stepfather had been molesting her. The gym teacher and the school counselor promptly reported these statements to the police.

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In a recent case coming out of an Arizona court, the defendant appealed his convictions for first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, and aggravated assault. The defendant challenged the trial court’s decisions, and the higher court concluded that the defendant was rightfully found guilty. There was another issue, though, that the court wanted to address: because it was not clear whether or not the prosecution had excluded a potential jury member based on her race, the court remanded the case to the lower court.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was in a romantic relationship for several years, eventually living with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s grandmother for a period of time. In late 2016, the defendant and his girlfriend got in a fight, and the girlfriend asked him to move out. The defendant kept one house key to himself and began living in his truck.

A few weeks later, the defendant used his key to let himself into the house. While he was there, the defendant’s ex-girlfriend and another man entered the house. The defendant fought with both individuals and retrieved a metal bar that he then used to threaten them. He eventually exchanged the metal bar for knives from the kitchen, which he put in both of his hands and brought into his ex-girlfriend’s bedroom. At that point, the defendant attacked the man that his girlfriend had supposedly been seeing. He stabbed the man seventeen times and also cut his ex-girlfriend’s arm when she attempted to intervene.

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