Maricopa County prosecutors have re-indicted Jeffrey Martinson, whose conviction in the 2004 murder of his young son was overturned a few months ago.
For strategic reasons, the June 5 grand jury indictment added a new count of child abuse and, this time, prosecutors will be able to argue
premeditated and felony murder theories instead of just the latter as they did in the first trial.
(The felony murder rule states that any death that occurs during the commission of specified crimes such as arson, rape, and child abuse can be treated legally exactly as if it were a premeditated killing.)
Judge Sally Duncan overturned last year's guilty verdicts of first-degree murder and child abuse against the 47-year-old Ahwatukee man, who has been incarcerated in a county jail since shortly after the August 2004 death of his 5-year-old son Josh.
The state's theory has been that Martinson provided little Josh with a fatal dose of a sleeping pill because he was deeply upset with his visitation schedule and because he detested the boy's mother (the pair never married).
Judge Duncan overturned the first guilty verdicts against Martinson after a highly unusual post-conviction hearing at which she heard testimony from each of the jurors.
One of the main reasons: Juror misconduct.
We wrote about that hearing and the controversial case in general in a March 8 cover story, which is available by link here.
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A July 16 trial date has been scrapped, and no proposed new date is noted in the court file.
Also, prosecutors haven't said whether they plan to seek the death penalty again. The jurors in the first trial could not reach a unanimous consensus on whether to impose death.