DEAD and GONE

DEAD is what Angela Maher is -- struck down in her prime by accused drunken driver Gloria Schulze. GONE is what Gloria Schulze is-- allowed to escape by a judicial system that might as well have booked her flight.

* The trial was postponed six times, at the defense attorney's request and without objection from prosecutors.

* After she was charged with manslaughter, Schulze was released without bond, despite that she has no close ties to the community. The judge ordered her to undergo drug testing.

* Perhaps most crucially, the court and the prosecutor never were notified when Schulze failed to show up for five mandatory drug tests. She might have been gone for two weeks before any authorities realized it.

Rose Marie Maher has had to pressure top elected officials to hunt for Schulze, to do something more than simply issuing a bench warrant for her arrest.

Maher hired attorneys Dan Maynard and Mike Curran to represent her in her civil suit against Schulze. She fretted about thecriminal case, but Maynard recalls he told her, "Take it easy. This has all been in the papers. [Maricopa County Attorney Richard] Romley is a real political animal. They're gonna take care of this."

Looking back, Maynard says, "I was wrong."

The day after she buried her daughter, RoseMarie Maher met with deputy Maricopa County attorney Michelle O'Hair-Schattenberg and her supervisor, Terry Jennings.

"I told them why I was there," Maher recalls. "I said, 'I don't want any mistakes. And I don't want you to sweep this under the carpet.'"

The prosecutors were indignant at the suggestion that they might blow the case.

Maher, as it turned out, had good reason to worry.
She didn't know it at the time, but O'Hair-Schattenberg was the prosecutor in one of the biggest screw-ups in the history of drunken-driving prosecutions in Maricopa County.

In February 1988, Frank Marquess ran a red light, causing an accident in which another motorist, Jim Hilliard, died. Marquess' blood-alcohol level was .19. He was charged with manslaughter. But Judge Rebecca Albrecht dismissed the case after O'Hair-Schattenberg announced she couldn't locate the lone witness to the accident.

At the time, the prosecutor was quoted as saying, "I had an investigator looking for her for a month, and we couldn't find her. Without a witness, all I had was two cars colliding at an intersection."

However, months after the dismissal, Jon Colvin, a private investigator hired by the Hilliard family, located the missing witness by calling a number listed on the original police report.

Officially, the snafu occurred when Tom Collins was Maricopa County attorney. But the story broke after Rick Romley had taken office, and Romley launched an investigation into the matter. He refiled charges against Marquess; but they were tossed out of Superior Court, and later dismissed by the Arizona Court of Appeals.

In an impassioned letter to the editor of a local daily, Romley wrote of the Marquess debacle: "This case is an excellent example of the network of relationships that may affect the outcome of a crime. We recognize that there are problems with the justice system and these need to be addressed at all levels, inside and outside my office.

"As Maricopa County Attorney, I accept the responsibility of vigorously prosecuting persons who have broken the law. It is my firm belief that the criminal justice system must protect all, equally, otherwise none are protected."

But five years later, the problems that allowed Frank Marquess to walk haven't been fixed.

The Mahers' attorneys, Dan Maynard and Mike Curran, hired private investigator Colvin to work on the Schulze case. Colvin was shocked to discover that O'Hair-Schattenberg was the prosecutor in the Schulze case. Maynard convinced the County Attorney's Office to assign another prosecutor to the case.

In October 1994, deputy county attorney Mitch Rand replaced O'Hair-Schattenberg, who months later resigned to become a Tempe city judge.

O'Hair-Schattenberg wasn't on the Schulze case long, but she left her mark on it.

Paramedics and cops smelled alcohol on Gloria Schulze's breath after the wreck. She told police she had had three or four beers. Officer William Monahan, a trained drug-recognition technician, performed an evaluation on Schulze, and determined there was probable cause to take blood and urine samples for testing.

Scottsdale Police Detective Shawn Twitchell later said in deposition that there was ample reason to arrest Schulze that night, but he deferred that decision to the on-call county attorney--Michelle O'Hair-Schattenberg.

In his report, Twitchell wrote, "I asked Schattenberg if she desired us to take custody of Schulze immediately and Schattenberg declined, stating it would be better to complete the investigation and then submit a formal complaint."

Schulze retained attorney Larry Kazan, who had represented Marquess and is renowned for his skill in DUI cases.

Schulze cooperated with the investigation, voluntarily going to the Scottsdale police station on August 8--ten days after the accident--to be booked.

According to court papers filed by Kazan, O'Hair-Schattenberg then granted Schulze permission to travel to California to visit her family. Kazan offered to provide the address and phone number where Schulze could be reached, but says O'Hair-Schattenberg declined his offer. O'Hair-Schattenberg did not respond to New Times' request for an interview.

Schulze was indicted by a county grand jury on August 23 on one count of manslaughter and three counts of endangerment.

She was not charged with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence. Prosecutors explain that they often pass on the opportunity because there is the risk that a jury will convict on the lesser charge. (If Schulze had been charged with DUI, she would have immediately lost her driving privileges for 90 days.)

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