Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 7:35 a.m.
We got an incredible e-mail a few hours ago from Alan Hedges, a Texas man whose 7-year-old granddaughter, Alexia, and her grandmother Mauricia Aviles (in the photo) were bludgeoned to death in 1999 by seriously mentally ill family member Rodney Aviles.
We wrote extensively about the case
. This is what Hedges wrote to us:
"They are giving Rodney a hearing...at State Hospital on weather or not to release the Murderer of my grandaughter Alexia Aviles. I read your articles and that is why I am contacting you. This is an Outrage and all your citizens should STAND UP."
Hedges added in a followup note a few minutes later, "I am really outraged that we are finding about this hearing less than 24 hours before it takes place and that they are even considering releasing him...We have no way of getting anyone from our side of the family to the hearing on time. This guy is a monster and they know it. I am shaking I am so upset."
We contacted Jeff Miller, a Phoenix attorney who successfully represented members of the Aviles family in a lawsuit against Maricopa County. He said he knew little about the goings-on, but soon forwarded an e-mail sent to him at 2:28 yesterday afternoon from Yvonne Ecker of the County Attorney's Office.
Ecker attached a letter dated January 11 -- eight days ago -- from the the Arizona Attorney General's Office.
The relevant part reads, "My understanding is the hearing is to determine if the defendant can be released into the community...Our office wanted to make sure we did everything we could to make sure the [victim's] family was notified of the hearing."
The January 11 letter, signed by assistant attorney general Joel Rudd, noted that the state's petition for continued court-ordered treatment of Rodney Aviles was set for January 20 at the Arizona State Hospital in downtown Phoenix.
Rudd wrote that if a judge says that Aviles still meets criteria for court-ordered treatment, it "will likely" order continued in-patient treatment at the state mental hospital.
"It is also possible that the court could order Mr. Aviles into out-patient treatment or order him to be discharged."
Discharged? Say what?
This guy has been deemed incompetent to stand trial and not-"restorable" (a legal term that means he's not going to get "better," as in well enough to stand trial for the murders.
The specter of his release from custody, even if it's just for a minute before County Attorney Andy Thomas, speaks to his bully pulpit and announces the sick little dude's re-arrest on murder charges, is frightening.
Yesterday, Mr. Hedges forwarded a letter he had just sent to assistant attorney general Rudd.
"I am the grandfather of Alexia Aviles," he wrote. "When Alex was Murdered along with her [grand]mother I had not even thought about what would happen to her Uncle that bludgeoned her to death. I thought `This is America, we have laws to deal with this,' and Rodney would get his just punishment.
"Your Laws in Arizona must be a little different than what I was thinking. Less than 24 hrs before a hearing to decide if he should be released into society we are notified. Thanks so much I have already notified Paul Rubin...and if Rodney is released you can bet FOX NEWS and Bill O'Reilly's team will know who signed off on this."
We don't recall having been mentioned in the same breath as O'Reilly and Fox News. Kind of creepy, no?
Rodney Aviles should never be released from the state mental hospital. Nor should this murderer ever be tried for his crimes---he is a very sick pup, always has been.
And that's the truth, no matter how politico Thomas and his minions inevitably will try to play this one in the press.