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January 2012 Archives

Glendale Police GPS Tracked Jhessye Shockley's Mom?

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that police tracking of a suspect with GPS is a search, the Glendale Police Department has come under scrutiny for allegedly engaging in the practice.

The Glendale Police Department is accused of attaching GPS tracking devices to cars without a warrant in order to follow the movements of Jerice Hunter, the mother of missing 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley, according to ABC15 News.

Man Guilty of 18-Year Stalking During Stalking Awareness Month

A man accused of stalking a Tucson woman for nearly 18 years was found guilty of interstate stalking last week, reports The Arizona Republic.

Forty-seven-year-old Moses Antonio Shepard reportedly stalked the victim for nearly two decades through six states after a single date in New York City in 1992.

Under Arizona law, a person commits stalking if his or her actions cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety, and the victim is in fact afraid.

Should Arizona Keep Legislative Immunity for State Lawmakers?

Immediately after a February altercation on a Phoenix freeway, Aubry Ballard’s then-boyfriend, former state Senator Scott Bundgaard was able to avoid arrest because of a little-know principle called legislative immunity. Ballard, on the other hand, was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.

Examples like the situation with Bundgaard have led a state lawmaker to introduce legislation repealing legislative immunity, reports the Associated Press.

MMA Fighter "Iron Mike" Sentenced to Prison for Sexual Assault

Mixed martial arts fighter and Tucson resident Michael "Iron Mike" Whitehead was sentenced to prison for felony attempted sexual assault in Nevada, reports the Associated Press.

Whitehead originally faced charges of four counts of sex assault, attempted sex assault and lewdness, but he pleaded the equivalent of no contest last September in a deal with prosecutors in order to avoid trial, according to the Associated Press.

Typically, prosecutors will enter into a plea bargain with the defendant in order to assure a conviction. Conversely, defendants will agree to the deal in order to get a lighter sentence and possibly avoid trial.

James Ray Indigent? An Indigent's Right to an Appeal

When charged with a crime, every defendant has certain rights and allowances under the law. One of those allowances includes the right to an initial appeal of any criminal conviction and the representation of counsel, regardless of whether or not you can afford an attorney.

Take, for example, the case of “spiritual” leader James Ray, who was found guilty of negligent homicide for the deaths of three people during a sweat lodge ceremony.

Justice Dept. Expands Definition of Rape, Sexual Assault

With reportedly 425 cases of sexual abuse against children in Maricopa County in the past six months, the need for sexual assault education and prevention is apparent.

The Department of Justice believes revising the definition of sexual assault may help increase the accuracy of reporting sexual assault crimes, and increase understanding about the effects of sexual assault crimes on victims. It recently announced a significant expansion to its definition, which will now include several forms of sexual assault, such as oral penetration, and male rape, according to The Washington Post.

Phoenix Man Suspected of Molesting Two Girls, 10

A Phoenix man is facing serious charges after two ten-year-old girls claimed he sexually molested them, reports ABC 15.

Forty-six-year-old John Bain was arrested on Tuesday on charges of three counts of sexual assault, three counts of molestation of a child, two counts of child prostitution, and four counts of furnishing obscene material to a child.

Both victims were reportedly acquaintances of Bain. Police became aware of Bain’s actions when the first victim reported Bain’s lewd conduct to police in November 2011.

Trial Finally Begins for IL Twins Accused of Scottsdale Bombing

After years of delays in the case of the Scottsdale bombing of city official Don Logan, the federal trial for the Illinois twins accused of sending the explosive package finally began on Tuesday, reports the Associated Press.

A jury was chosen this week and opening statements were set to go on Thursday in the trial of suspected bombers Dennis and Daniel Mahon.

Unsweet Sixteen: Phoenix Teen Shot During Her Birthday Party

The sixteenth birthday party for a Phoenix teen turned out to be more bloody than sweet when someone shot her in the leg early Sunday morning, reports azfamily.com.

Phoenix police officers were called to the home at around midnight after receiving reports that shots had been fired in a Phoenix backyard. The teenage girl had suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. No one else was reported injured.

Officers arrived to find guests fleeing the home and detained a 1997 Pontiac and its passengers as it sped from the area. Although police questioned six "investigative leads," they were later released when officers could not determine if the weapon found in the car was related to the shooting, according to azfamily.com.

Radio Host Bill Heywood, Wife Die in Orchestrated Suicide?

Longtime radio personality and “legendary morning man” Bill Heywood and his wife, Susan, were found dead in a motel near Scottsdale with gunshot wounds to the head Tuesday night. Evidence before the incident and at the scene depict what may have been an orchestrated suicide pact between the couple, reports The Arizona Republic.

Family and friends reportedly found instructions for funeral arrangements and other details at the couple’s northeast Phoenix home, according to Scottsdale police. A housekeeper also reportedly found a suicide note on the door of their motel bedroom stating there were two suicides inside, Sgt. Mark Clark told The Republic. When police arrived, they found two handguns near the bodies.

Although police are calling the case a death investigation until the medical examiner’s preliminary report is released in a few days, Clark said it was “pretty clear something was planned.”

iCrime: Police Arrest 3 in Connection with Apple Store Robbery

Apple products are some of the most coveted personal electronics on the market right now. They’re so popular that six people may have risked their freedom to get their hands on them.

Scottsdale police arrested three residents on Monday in connection with the burglary of the Apple Store at the Scottsdale Quarter, reports The Arizona Republic. Three suspects are still on the loose.

Officers believe 19-year-old James Combs, 18-year-old Daniella Sierra and an unidentified 17-year-old were among a group of six who did a smash-and-grab of around $80,000 of Apple electronic and computer products. That’s a lot of iPads, iPhones and iPods.