Probation for Abusers of Disabled Boy, Phoenix Cop Gets Date for Murder Retrial, and More
Welcome to Courthouse Update, a weekly rundown of goings on at the Maricopa County Superior Court.
This week, murder retrial for a former Phoenix cop is scheduled, three people guilty of child abuse and/or sex crimes get probation, and more:
- Retrial set on murder charge for former Phoenix cop
In September, a jury found former Phoenix Police Officer Richard Chrisman guilty of aggravated assault in the 2010 death of Phoenix resident Daniel Rodriguez, but the jurors couldn't decide on two other charges, including second-degree murder. Prosecutors will try Chrisman again on the other charges. His sentencing on the conviction is scheduled for December 20, and the retrial is scheduled to start on January 27.
- Lee Lubonne gets probation for child-abuse and sex charges.
Lee Lubonne was sentenced to six years of probation thanks to a plea deal. Lubonne initially faced more than a dozen charges, most of them either sexual assault or sexual abuse, but ended up pleading guilty to charges of child abuse and child prostitution. Lubonne was accused of sexually assaulting a woman and a teenage girl he met on the Internet.
- Teenager pleads not-guilty to murdering mom
Michael Helms, 16, pleaded not guilty to beating his own mother to death. Helms and his alleged accomplice, 17-year-old Christian Lee Blakely, were both charged as adults. Blakely, who's accused of watching his friend kill Tina Helms Spencer, then helping clean up the blood and dispose of her body in a backyard shed, also pleaded not guilty.
- Man pleads not-guilty to choking foster child
Pedro Manzo, of Goodyear, is accused of seriously choking his 1 1/2-year-old foster daughter. He pleaded not guilty. According to court records, Manzo had recently told his wife that it was too much for him to be caring for four foster kids under the age of 4.
- Parents guilty of abusing disabled son get probation
Chandler couple Vu Tran and Siobhan Grogan told police they often kept their 8-year-old son -- who has mental and physical disabilities -- locked in a bathroom. Police questioned them a year ago because they left the boy there, and the maintenance manager from their apartment complex found the boy locked in the bathroom, naked and standing in two inches of water, while the toilet was overflowing, while he was investigating a leak. They pleaded guilty to attempted child abuse. They were sentenced to five years of probation.