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February 2011 Archives

Maribeth Kona Arrested for Using Counterfeit Money at Garage Sale

It is certainly more difficult to get away with using counterfeit money these days compared to several decades ago. Yet people across the state of Arizona will still occasionally use invalid bills to make a purchase.

The Arizona Republic reports that Mesa police officers recently arrested 56-year-old Maribeth Kona after she allegedly used counterfeit bills to pay for items at local garage sales. The fake bills apparently did not contain the security features of a genuine bill, such as a security strip, watermark or security threads.

Just one reason it is not a good idea to hire a prostitute over the internet to perform sexual favors is that you never know who you're really dealing with. The "prostitute" could in fact be a cop and you could end up being caught in a sting.

The Arizona Republic reports that Phoenix police used to do most of their prostitution stings on the streets, but that authorities are now turning to the internet to keep up with modern times. Phoenix officers recently arrested eight people in a child prostitution sting, including 52-year-old Michael Gilliland.

Phoenix Police Called to Frankie Muniz's Home For Domestic Dispute

Did that sweet former child star Frankie Muniz really assault his girlfriend? The Arizona Republic reports that the 25-year-old man who was once the star of the popular television show Malcom in the Middle had police officers come to his Phoenix home last week after he and his girlfriend Elycia Turnbow got into an argument.

Turnbow told police that Muniz threw her into a wall and punched her in the back of the head, but officers said that they saw no noticeable injuries. Muniz, on the other hand, says that he and Turnbow got into an argument about past relationships and that she began to hit him when he wouldn't let her see his computer. He said that he was the one to call the cops because their fight was getting out of control.

HB 2523 Would Create Vehicular Manslaughter Charge in Arizona

An Arizona bill is proposing that people in the state with a suspended license be charged with a felony when they're found to be at fault for a car accident that results in serious injury or death. KGUN reports that under the state's current law, drivers will only be charged with a felony in an accident causing injury or death if they have caused the accident while driving under the influence or committing another crime.

Under the proposed HB 2523, a person would be charged with a class 4 felony or class 5 felony in Arizona if they're driving on a suspended license and cause an accident that results in serious injury or death. A driver would face a charge of vehicular manslaughter if a death resulted from the vehicle crash.

Melissa Pacheco Arrested For Abusing Vulnerable Adults

The owner of several assisted-living facilities is now in a great deal of legal trouble because an investigation has revealed that residents of these facilities have suffered from open sores, untreated broken bones, dehydration, and other serious medical conditions that have gone untreated. Residents that have suffered from negligent care could choose to file suit against the owner Melissa Pacheco, but at this point Pacheco is more likely concerned with the criminal charges that she could be facing.

According to The Phoenix New Times, Pacheco was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail in Phoenix on February 10 on suspicion of 69 counts of abusing vulnerable adults. The arrest stems from an investigation that started last July, where authorities found that nearly 70 people between the ages of 35 and 89 were victims of abuse.

Fight Between Security Guard and Student at Vista Grande High School

What started as what appears to be not too rough a fight between two students outside of Vista Grande High School turned into a somewhat more serious issue after a security guard may have overstepped his boundaries. ABC News reports that a parent in Casa Grande is now complaining that the school security guard unnecessarily hit his son with a walkie talkie.

Did the high school's security guard act too roughly or was the staff member simply doing his job? A video of the incident can be found at the ABC News website. Both the school and the Casa Grande Police Department are investigating evidence in the incident, including the video footage that was captured on a cell phone.

Teacher at St. Gregory's Accused of Having Sex With Student

Here's the latest sex scandal in Phoenix that is probably worrisome to many Catholic parents.

A physical education teacher at St. Gregory's Catholic School is now facing criminal charges for allegedly having sex with a female student who is now barely 14 years of age. According to The Phoenix New Times, the 32-year-old teacher Carl Mosher allegedly started a sexual relationship with the student in December 2010 when the student was just 13-years-old. The relationship allegedly continued until last week.

A 23-year-old man who was accused of killing a teenager from Tempe in a drunk driving collision pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge this week. According to The Arizona Republic, the defendant Steven Landrum initially pleaded not guilty to the count of manslaughter, but changed his plea on Thursday. Landum’s sentencing hearing has been has been scheduled for March 2 in Maricopa County Superior Court.

This case shows how a person who drives recklessly can be charged and convicted of serious criminal offenses, such as manslaughter, when the victim of a car crash dies. A person can also commit manslaughter through other means in the Grand Canyon state, such as by intentionally aiding another to commit suicide or by knowingly or recklessly causing death of an unborn child by any physical injury to the mother. The penalty for a manslaughter conviction in the state of Arizona always results in imprisonment and is considered a class 2 felony under ARS 13-1103.

Arizona Legislature Looks to Ban Chemicals in Synthetic Marijuana

Synthetic marijuana, also known as "spice" or K2, seems to be the hottest new drug among teenagers in the Phoenix community. The synthetic substance can provide a similar high to marijuana when it is smoked and it is currently legal under both federal and state law.

However, spice might not be legal in the state of Arizona for too much longer. The Phoenix New Times reports that House Bill 2167 is looking to expand the definition of dangerous drugs to include ten chemicals commonly used in synthetic marijuana. Last year, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration also announced that there would be a nationwide ban on five chemicals commonly used in spice as of December 24, 2010. Yet no such ban ever went into effect.

The Legal Consequences of Having Sex With a Minor in Arizona

The state of Arizona has some strict laws when it comes to sexual conduct with a minor, even if the sexual acts were consensual. The issue has been discussed in the media lately, as a freshman on the Arizona State University football team was recently suspended from the athletic team after he was arrested for sexual conduct with a minor.

ABC News reports that freshman football player Ramon Abreu was an 18-year-old senior in high school when he allegedly had consensual sex with a 14-year-old high school freshman. The incident was reported by the victim's mother, which led to criminal charges being filed by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.