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March 2012 Archives

Phoenix police recently released a secretly recorded conversation between Fred Knadler, owner of Arizona Shower Door Inc., and one of Knadler's employees. In the recording, Knadler reportedly offers the employee a large sum of money to dispose of the body of Knadler's wife, Libby, ABC News reports.

The employee-made recording arguably helped save Kandler's wife, Libby, from a gruesome fate. But the recording begs one question: under Arizona law, is it legal to secretly record a conversation?

Jason Toth, a 25-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, could face charges for allegedly photographing his ex-girlfriend's breasts. The Chandler Police Department has submitted the case to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office with a recommendation to charge Toth with surreptitious photographing.

The photograph depicts the woman asleep on her couch with her shirt up and her breasts exposed, according to The Arizona Republic. While Toth claims that the woman had consented to being photographed while drunk, the woman said she had never consented and was asleep at the time.

Phoenix Police Department Names Daniel V. Garcia as Chief

The Phoenix Police Department has a new police chief. Daniel V. Garcia was named the new chief on Monday. Garcia is best known for his role at the Dallas Police Department, where he served as assistant chief. He is the first chief officer to be hired from outside the force in at least a generation, reports The Arizona Republic.

The appointment of Garcia comes after a year-long search. He was chosen over several internal candidates. According to City Manager David Cavazos, Garcia was picked because of his leadership philosophy and his track record of success.

Michael Lee Crane Appears at Hearing, Squawks Like Bird

In an extremely odd court appearance, a man who was appearing in court for a hearing on his mental capacity decided to prove his case through his actions.

Michael Lee Crane, who is suspected of killing a Phoenix man and a Paradise Valley couple, acted extremely bizarre at his court hearing on Thursday. According to the Associated Press, Crane refused to say his own name. He then squawked like a bird.

Sheriff Arpaio Protest Nets 6 Arrests, 4 Undocumented Immigrants

Sheriff Joe Arpaio isn't a hero for immigration advocates. Six demonstrators were arrested on Tuesday at a student-led rally protesting Sheriff Arpaio's immigration policies, reports Fox News.

Stand Your Ground Laws and the Curious Case of Trayvon Martin

In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s shooting death last month in Sanford, Fla., many are asking about Stand Your Ground laws and what they really mean. Phoenix criminal lawyers certainly are familiar with these laws, as Arizona has its own version of the controversial Florida law.

Let’s recap on recent events: A black, 17-year-old Florida boy was shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer for “looking suspicious.” The assailant, George Zimmerman, alleged that he was acting in self defense. Zimmerman saw the boy walking on the street, found him to be suspicious and got out of the car to confront the boy.

Scottsdale Crime Rates Up From 2010

Scottsdale crime statistics are in for the previous year. There’s good news and bad news relating to the crime rate in Scottsdale in 2011.

First, the bad news — there was a slight increase in crime from 2010. The good news? Crime rates in Scottsdale are still lower than they were ten years ago, reports The Arizona Republic.

Scottsdale enjoys a lower crime rate than the rest of Arizona and its crime rate is also lower than the national average, according to

Ex-Loan Officer Gets 15 Years in $38M Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Jaime Lee Lawler, a.k.a. Paige Kinney of Phoenix, has been sentenced by a federal court to 15 years in prison over a plethora of misdealings, reports The Arizona Republic.

According to a press release by the Department of Justice, Lawler was initially charged with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. She was sentenced on March 7, 2012, after pleading guilty to the charges. Under a separate indictment, she also pleaded guilty to charges of bankruptcy fraud.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Cracks Down on Cockfighting, Arrests 40 in Phoenix

Over forty people were arrested over the weekend as part of a Maricopa County cockfighting investigation, reports The Associated Press.

In addition to the arrests, thousands of dollars were seized and 16 dead or injured fowl were discovered at a Phoenix home on Saturday. There was also evidence of a backyard cockfight at the scene.

Capital Punishment: Arizona Has 2nd Execution in Two Weeks

Arizona executed Robert Towery on Thursday for the 1991 murder of Mark Jones, a Paradise Valley philanthropist, reports The Arizona Republic.

Towery was killed by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 11:26 a.m. His final words included an apology to the victim’s family as well as to his own family, while talking about the bad choices he’d made.

Court Allows Forced Medication for Tucson Shooter Loughner

A Federal court gave the green light on drugging Tucson shooter Jared Loughner earlier this week, reports Phoenix New Times.

No one will likely forget that Loughner was the gun-toting young man who went on a shooting rampage last year, killing a federal judge, a young girl and four others. His shooting spree also left 14 injured, including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Phoenix Man Kills Mom With Plastic Bag

A Phoenix man is in custody after turning himself in for the murder of his mother over the weekend.

Kevin Skinner, 22, allegedly suffocated his mother with a plastic bag, after she told him he had “psychological problems,” reports The Arizona Republic.

According to the Maricopa County Superior Court documents, Skinner was watching television at his apartment with his mom, Janet Skinner, at 5:45 p.m. on March 3, when they had a small argument. At that time, his mother told him that he had “psychological problems,” according to the Phoenix New Times.

Is it a Crime to Cheat on Your Wife?

Buried in a recent police log was a report that a Flagstaff woman had filed a criminal complaint against her husband for allegedly cheating on her. That's right, an Arizona adultery crime was reported.

Arizona is one of the few states which still makes it illegal to sleep around while married.

The woman claimed that her husband had been having an affair with another woman for several months and had gotten the other woman pregnant, reports the Arizona Daily Sun. The woman was told that prosecution could be difficult as it's hard to prove an affair, but the woman insisted on documenting the crime anyway.

So, what's the criminal law penalty for cheating on your wife?