Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio's Deputy Misled Grand Jury in Green Acre Dog Deaths, Says Flake Lawyer

Page 4 of 5

If his office challenges the remand, and the judge rules in the Flakes' favor, then hypothetically, the county attorney could decide against pursuing charges with a grand jury.

"A decision to grant a motion to remand doesn't automatically mean that we would then present it in front of the grand jury," he said. "Typically, we do. We'd have a short window in which to do that."

There were other problems with the prosecution's presentation, according to Wilenchik.

When the jurors asked for guidance on the statute involved, specifically the difference between "reckless" intent and a non-criminal accident, the prosecutor simply pointed jurors back to the statute.

The motion quotes from the grand jury transcript:

Finally, [the jurors] asked, "How about this? Would a synonym for recklessly be sort of like an accident? Would you be able to answer that?" And the prosecutor again answered, "Unfortunately we can't, no. I know. It's incredibly frustrating."

Of course, an "accident" is certainly not a synonym for "reckless" intent, and the only frustrating thing here is why this was not corrected on the spot in fairness to these two Defendants.

Thing is, as hard as it is for some dog fanatics to accept, this incident was an accident, and should never have gone to a grand jury.

At best, the whole thing belongs in civil court.

Fortunately, the remand and the other motions go a long way toward debunking many of the assumptions made by those screaming for the heads of the Flakes and the Hugheses.

The issue of a chewed-through electrical cord is a red herring, since, despite what many thought at the time, an exposed electrical cord had nothing to do with the AC failing.

And yet, the AC did fail. According to the defense's HVAC expert, "the air conditioning shut down that night because the Hugheses failed to maintain the air conditioning unit and to change the air filters."

Which is one argument in favor of severing the Flakes' case from the Hugheses' case.

See, the Flakes' expert's testimony will be antagonistic to the Hugheses, as the Hugheses were responsible for the AC's upkeep.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons