Crime Victims Who Kill?

Prosecutors press gun charge despite thin evidence; now the accused is dead, allegedly at the hand of his "victims"

"I saw an object," Phillips told the judge under oath, "[but] it could have been his fist, could have been anything. I was too far away from him."

A Phoenix detective testified that Phillips had said something quite different shortly after the clash, and speculated about the wildly variant stories.

"He appeared to be in fear," detective David Otanez testified. "The fear would be based upon retaliation by the suspect."

Mundell asked why the other alleged victim, Stamps, wasn't present to testify.

"He did receive a subpoena," a prosecutor replied. "My belief is he probably has a warrant out for his arrest."

Despite the problems with the case, Judge Mundell bound over Lynn Ivory to Superior Court. Records show Ivory stayed behind bars for two months, then was released in May into the custody of a family member.

"Lynn was always polite and respectful to me," says his attorney, Kim O'Connor. "But what the Glendale police have told me is that Lynn was doing armed robberies with the, quote, victims of the aggravated assault...."

Last month, prosecutor Deborah Schumacher tendered her "final" plea offer: Ivory would plead guilty to one count each of aggravated assault. In return Schumacher wouldn't oppose the lightest sentence possible under law--about three years in prison.

O'Connor rejected that proposal in a February 28 letter: "Neither victim wants to prosecute, which puts the State in a difficult position."

Ivory's death has turned his alleged victims into alleged murderers.
"Mr. Ivory was beaten so badly that identification was difficult," says Glendale police officer Jim Toomey. "The investigation led us to the people we arrested."

Toomey didn't know that two of the murder suspects had once been crime "victims."

"I wasn't aware of the twist until now," he says. "This is a strange one.

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