Courthouse Update: Cop on Trial, a Plea Deal for a Minuteman, and a Frat Boy Smells Freedom
Welcome to Courthouse Update, a weekly rundown of goings-on at the Maricopa County Superior Court.
This week, the state rested its murder case against former Phoenix cop Richard Chrisman, Chris Simcox may be offered a plea deal, a frat boy may get off the hook in a flaming Everclear incident, and more:
- The state rested its case in State v. Richard Chrisman
The state rested its case against former Phoenix Police Officer Richard Chrisman. Chrisman is charged in the 2010 death of Phoenix resident Daniel Rodriguez. Chrisman responded to a 911 call from Rodriguez's mother, who asked that police remove her son from the trailer where they lived together. Another officer told investigators that Chrisman ended up shooting Rodriguez and his dog -- killing them both -- for no apparent reason. The defense will begin its case at 10:30 a.m. on Monday
- Bookkeeper Michelle Hice pleads guilty
Hice was fired from an accounting firm in October, after the IRS informed the Buckeye Veterinarian Clinic -- where Hice had been daily accounting, payroll, and bills for the past year -- that it didn't pony up for taxes. The clinic turned over the books to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, which discovered that Hice wrote checks to herself for $130,000. Hice had also deposited more than $25,000 in checks from a church in Goodyear, where she had also been hired to do some accounting. She pleaded guilty to fraudulent schemes and artifices and misconduct involving weapons. Her sentencing is set for October 3 before Judge Robert Gottsfield.
- Howard Rudolph pleads not guilty to murder
Rudolph, a 78-year-old man who lives in the retirement community of Sun City, is accused of fatally shooting his wife. Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies initially proposed that it could have been a "mercy killing" of a terminally ill spouse, but that does not appear to be the case. A note he left behind said "something to the effect" of "she is so hateful, I can't stand her any longer," according to a probable-cause statement.
- Minuteman Chris Simcox may get a plea deal
Former Minuteman and alleged child molester Chris Simcox may be offered a plea deal. Simcox, a former kindergarten teacher in California, was accused of misconduct with three kindergarten-aged girls, including his own daughter. Charges involving one of the girls have since been dropped. The next court date for Christopher Simcox is October 3 at 8:30 a.m., in front of Judge William Brotherton.
- Andrew Kent may get off in flaming Everclear case
Judge Rosa Mroz granted the defense's motion to remand in State v. Andrew Kent. According to a court spokesman, If a new indictment or charges are not issued, the case will be dismissed. Kent, a fraternity brother, is accused of tossing a bottle of Everclear into a fire at a party. That bottle exploded and burned two females -- one of whom was 17 years old.
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