06-02-2016, 05:38 PM #1
Appeal Updates and Information *NO DISCUSSION*
EVERYTHING DESIGNATED “SEALED” IN COA COURT RECORDS FOR CMJA
SEALED, list #1, in manila envelopes for Hearing Dates: 11/19/2012, 10/04/2013, 12/06/2013, 12/13/2013 and 9/22/2014
SEALED, Hearing Date: 11/21/2014 (List 1, 2, 3, 4, 6)
SEALED, Hearing Date: 12/10/2012: list 1-13, 412, 631, 882, 883, 961 (962 “list” items on this date), and a Confidential Criminal History Addendum in Sealed Manila Envelope.
12/07/2012 jury selection?)
Feb 4, 2013 (day 13, testimony by Lonnie Dworkin, Neumeister and CMJA)
Feb. 13, 2013 ( day 18. hearing, Sky H, Gus Searcy, Motion for Mistrial, CMJA testimony)
March 13, 2013 (day 30, jury questions for CMJA, JM cross of follow up, additional questions, follow uo)
May 3, 2013 (day 56, Nurmi closing, state rebuttal close, final jury selected, deliberations begin)
May 16, 2013 (penalty phase begins, openings, VIS’s, closed meeting in chambers, Brewer and Womack don’t testify, trial held over until May 20).
BETWEEN TRIALS/ PRETRIAL
November 26, 2013
March 17, 2014 April 11, 2014
May 20, 2014
August 4, 2014
2014-2015 PENALTY PHASE RETRIAL (Jury selection September 29—October 8, 2014)
October 16, 2014. (Hearing vacated).
November 25, 2014. ((Court of Appeals considering media’s request for stay. First day of Dr. MF’s testimony).
Dec. 11, 2014. (day 3 of hearing on motion to dismiss, deleted computer images
February 3, 2015. (day 30, testimony by Dr. DeMarte- direct)
February 4, 2015. (day 31, testimony by Dr. DeMarte- direct)
February 9, 2015 (day 33, jury questions for Dr. DM)
February 11, 2015 (day 34, testimony by Robert Brown, Perry Smith, Mesa PD)
Last edited by Coldpizza; 06-06-2016 at 07:35 AM.
06-05-2016, 06:53 PM #2
REFERENCES FOR CMJA’S APPEALS
Link to CMJA case history, Maricopa Superior Court
Link to CMJA Minute Entries, Maricopa Superior Court
Link to POS Court of Appeals docket: http://apps.supremecourt.az.gov/aacc...partyindex.htm
Superior Court Trial Judges:
Sally Duncan: September 19, 2008 - June 28, 2011
Sherry Stephens: July 12, 2011- end
Judge Stephens (Superior Court judge, 8/2001-present).
Stephens rotated back to Criminal Court in June, 2010, after serving for 3 years in Family Court; she’d worked a criminal bench for 3 years prior to the family court assignment.
Superior Court Presiding Judge: Gary Donahoe. 2008-March 2009.
Former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor:
appointed Special Master by the Arizona Supreme Court on December 23, 2009, to administer all matters arising from the Maricopa political and legal controversies of 2008-2010 (see below).
Maria Schaffer (first chair) September 2008- August 10, 2009
Gregory Parzych September 2008- August 10, 2009
Victoria Washington (first chair) August 10, 2009-December 22, 2011
L. Nurmi (assumes first chair in late 2009) August 10, 2009---end
J. Wilmott January 3, 2012---end
Maricopa County Attorneys
Andy Thomas. 2008---Left April 6, 2010
Rick Romley. April 2010-November 2010. appointed interim
Bill Montgomery November 2010. Special election.
Last edited by Hope4More; 06-05-2016 at 07:30 PM.
06-05-2016, 06:59 PM #3
Background Info for CMJA’s case: 2009 and 2010 .
Maricopa County DP case overload and reform & Political warfare -fallout from the tenure of Andy Thomas, Maricopa County Attorney (Bill Montgomery’s predecessor), 2004-2010.
DP Case Overload
The decision to charge CMJA with capital murder was made by Maricopa County Attorney Andy Thomas in October 2008. Thomas was elected MCA in 2004. By 2007, Thomas’s zealousness in seeking the DP, coupled with the fact DP cases in AZ were increasingly taking longer to bring to trial (in part due to lengthier mitigation investigations) had increased the number of pending DP cases in Maricopa County significantly enough for the AZC to consider the trial backlog a system-wide Court crisis.
An Oversight Committee was formed in 2007 to analyze the problem and to suggest reforms. Some components the Committee) and outside sources identified as contributing to the backlog included a shortage of DP- qualified judges and an overly lenient granting of trial continuances.
Oversight committee reports:
Outside observers noted that private practice defense attorneys benefitted from the backlog. Desperate to prevent trial postponements from becoming so lengthy as to become an issue for appeals, the Superior Court not infrequently resorted to private defense attorneys to try capital cases, paying the attorneys up to 3x more per hour than their public counterparts.
Reform. On March 5, 2009, Presiding Superior Court Judge Donahoe announced reforms intended to help with the backlog of capital cases. Reforms included: enforcing the rule of 18 months from arraignment to trial (changed to 24 months in 2010); certifying all 26 MCSC judges as DP qualified, requiring DP defendants to undergo IQ and competnecy screenings (to prevent mitigation-related overturns on appeal); and requiring continuances to be heard by the presiding judge.
((Capital case Mitigation Masters were instituted by adminstrative order in 2007 to help streamline capital case pre-trial. Ex parte hearings with DT were standard. This system ceased in early 2009, and all MM’s were relieved of their duties, as it was found to be too costly, ineffective, and problematic because the ex-parte hearings conflicted with AZ’s victim rights statutes.
Presiding MCSC Judge Gary Donahoe ordered CMJA’s trial date reset in November, 2009, just days after Judge Duncan had denied the DT’s request for a continuance.
One month later, in December, 2009, Judge Donahoe was targeted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Thomas in a federal civil racketeering suit. One of the attorneys involved in that matter also accused Judge D. of bribery and obstruction of justice.
The charges against Donahoe were bogus. In February, 2010, a Pima County Judge appointed by Special Master McGregor ruled that Thomas had acted unethically, and had undertaken prosecutions for political gain and retaliation.
As a result of that ruling, in March 2010 the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, at the request of the State Bar of Arizona, appointed a special investigator to look into accusations of misconduct against Thomas.
A disciplinary panel of the Arizona courts ruled that Mr. Thomas and an assistant prosecutor broke criminal intimidation and perjury laws in knowingly bringing false bribery charges. The panel ruled that the evidence suggested that Sheriff Arpaio and one of his aides conspired with the two prosecutors. Thomas and his sidekick assistant prosecutor were disbarred in 2012.
Even though he had essentially been fully exonerated, Judge Donahoe stepped down as presiding Superior Court Judge in early April, 2010.
A full book length account of it all in the AZ Supreme Court rulings against Thomas:
Pending DP Trial Backlog, Maricopa Superior Court, 2007-2012.
December 2007 40 pending.
January 2009 131 pending.
December 2010 79 pending.
December 2012 committee says Court crisis is over.
Average number of new DP cases, Maricopa County, between 2004-2012: 32.
Number of new DP cases between October 2008 and September 2009: 18. The lowest number of new cases in any year between 2004-2015.
(CMJA’s DP notice was filed Oct. 31, 2008).
Average length of time between arraignment and sentence, DP cases October 2008-September 2015: 4.08 years.
CMJA’s, between arraignment and sentencing: 6.3 years
Guilt Trial: Jury selection began December 10, 2012
Trial: January 2, 2013—May 8, 2013 (Guilty); May 23 (sentencing Mistrial).
Guilt phase: 65 trial days
55 days guilt phase, 4 days deliberations (total 15 hours)
1 day aggravating phase: testimony and deliberation
3 days penalty phase trial days, 3 days deliberations
PP2: Jury selection Sept. 29-October 8, 2014.
Trial: October 21, 2014 -March 5, 2015 (Mistrial)
40 days of trial, 5 days deliberations
06-05-2016, 07:06 PM #4
Reference for Appeals.
Pre-Trial Chronology: 2008-2010
June 4, 2008. CMJA murders Travis Alexander.
June 9, 2008: Friends find Alexander's body in his shower.
July 9, 2008: Grand jury indicts for first-degree murder.
July 15, 2008: Arrested
Sept. 5, 2008: Extradited to Arizona
Sept. 11, 2008: Pleads not guilty. Bond set at $2M. Judge Duncan assigned case.
September 2008: Jailhouse interview with Inside Edition, “No jury is going to convict me.”
October 22, 2008. Maria Schaffer counsel of record.
October 28, 2008 First trial management conference.
Oct. 31, 2008. Prosecutors file a notice of intent to seek the death penalty
December 18, 2008. Status conference. Court notes that a special master of mitigation discovery not yet appointed
First trial date is set on March 25: Trial to begin February 2, 2010; last day in March, 2010.
Trial is reset on November 18, by Presiding Judge Donahoe: Trial to begin August 18, 2010, last day August 31. Justification: change of DT counsel.
Most significant case-specific developments: the withdrawal of counsel and Chronis arguments.
Most significant general developments: Court reforms to reduce the huge trial backlogs are put into effect in March.
January 7. Judge Donahoe appointed as Mitigation Master, ordered (by himself, lol) to meet with DT and mitigation specialist within 30 days.
January 12. Donahoe sets February 18th as date for ex parte conference with DT and their mitigation specialist, expects a “detailed progress report” of their mitigation investigations.
February 10. Capital Case Management Conference. 8:48-8:53.
JM isn’t there, another atty sits in for him. CMJA is there, but DT makes an oral request that she not attend the next conference, scheduled for March 25. Duncan denies the request, tells DT to put waiver requests in writing. Says next conference will be about setting disclosure and trial dates.
Duncan tells counsel that she expects progress reports 2 days before each CCMC, to include a list of witnesses interviewed and to be interviewed and any pending trial issues.
February 18. Ex parte Mitigation Master meeting: Donahoe, DT and specialist Gwen Fehnel. 8:55-9:17.
Report on mitig investigation progress. Donahoe orders that the meeting not be transcribed without further court order. Sets next status conference for April 10.
March 5. Minute Entry. Donahoe relieved of duties because of “expressed concern” that ex parte conferences are a violation of victims’ rights. Assigned trial judge is responsible for oversight and management of mitigation issues. Counsel desiring an ex parte meeting with judge about mitigation or any other issue are directed to 15.9 (b) AZ Rules of Criminal Procedure.
March 25, 2009. Cap Case Mgmt./Trial Mgmt. Conference/Trial Orders
All parties present. 8:40-8:47AM. Duncan sets deadlines and provides for all matters pre-trial and a trial start date.
Trial set for February 2, 2010. Estimated length of trial: 4 months.
Granted-Def. Motion for Specific Discovery-to disclose within 10 days. Discovery deadlines—guilt & aggravation phase discovery—on or before June 30, 2009, Mitigation discovery by Nov 30, 2009.
Sets January 29, 2010 for Final Trial Management Conference (FTM), allots 3 hours for the conference.
Orders counsel to provide a Joint Pretrial Statement five days before the FTM, to include: a jointly completed time and witness estimate list-- judge will use these times to predict length of trial for the jury, and to direct Counsel to follow the trial time limits established; jointly agreed upon prelim and final jury instructions.
Next CCMC is set for May 1.
April 22. State requests and is granted continuance of May 1 CCMC until May 22.
May 18. Minute Entry. Duncan reviewed records, doesn’t see CMJA has had IQ testing or competency screening, orders that she have both, and that DT inform her next CCMC if the tests are necessary.
May 22. Management Conference. 10:32-10:48. All parties present.
++++DT presents Defendant’s pro per Motion to Change Counsel.
Discussion. Ordered: Schaffer to meet with defendant to discuss the issues raised in motion. The pro per motion is sealed. Court notes defense objection to IQ and competency testing. Next CCMC set for July 17 (later reset for July 15, then to Aug 7).
June 16. Minute Entry. Noting Court has received Defendant’s Request for Determination of Probable Cause on Alleged Aggravating Factor.
July 10. Minute Entry. Reschedules Evidentiary Hearing (Chronis, on probable cause) set for July 15 to August 7, allots one hour.
August 7. Evidentiary hearing-re probable cause (Chronis). 3:40-4:43. 27 exhibits are marked for ID before the hearing. JM requests handwriting samples, no objection by DT, granted.
Chronis hearing follows. Flores testifies (including that he believed Horn said shot first). Recess at 4:22, argument heard beginning at 4:28. Duncan indicates she’ll take matter taken under advisement, sets next CCMC for Sept 25.
August 10. Judge Roland Steinle. Withdrawal of Counsel. Court finds there is sufficient cause to allow counsel to withdraw. Sealed minute entry will follow. Indicates the scheduled date for start of trial- 2/2/2010 allows time enough for new counsel to prepare for trial.
August 18. Judge Roland Steinle. Appointment of Counsel. Washington and Nurmi. CCMC still set for Sept. 25.
August 18. Judge Duncan. Chronis Ruling. (detailed, and well worth reading in entirety).
When filed for DP (October 2008), the State alleged one aggravating circumstance-esp. cruel, heinous or depraved, but wanted to add another prong in addition to cruel (gratuitous violence, mutilation, senseless).
Court considered each, laid out reason for denying all but cruel. Gratuitous violence was rejected specifically based on gunshot first, might have otherwise been applied. State says shot first, then stabbed 27 times. The murder was especially cruel because the victim felt pain and mental anguish.
Chronis finding: State has proven there is probable cause to believe the offense was especially cruel, has failed to prove any other prong.
September 17. Minute Entry. Court received DT motion to prevent State from accessing defendant’s jailhouse visitation records. Oral argument set for September 25 conference.
September 25. CCMC. 11:38-11:48. Nurmi is 1st chair, Washington doesn’t attend. Discussion about DNA related discovery. The State has requested additional evidence which must be disclosed to the DT by October 16. Discussion about DT’s motion to extend the deadline of latest trial date (March 3, 2010). Forwarded to Judge Donahoe for review.
The State is denied access to defendant’s jailhouse visitation records, if wants access, “must submit them for in camera review.”
Affirmed FTC, and trial date of February 2, 2010. Next CCMC set for November 13.
September 29. Minute Entry. (Judge McMurdie, standing in for Judge Donahue).
Reviewed motion to delay start of trial, ruled the argument on motion is unnecessary. Motion denied. (Reasoning for denial at link, in short, no extraordinary reasons to delay, given the progress of previous counsel):
October 14. Minute Entry. Acknowledging DT’s request for additional discovery relating to all forensic examinations of electronic media. Oral argument to be heard on November 13 at next CCMC.
October 27. Minute Entry. Court has received State’s objection to DT’s request for additional electronic media discovery. Oral argument to be heard Nov. 13.
October 27. Minute Entry. 9:33-9:36. Telephone conference held at request of State, regarding depositions by California LE.
Depos scheduled in CA, to be recorded, on October 27 and 28th for: Blaney, Mendez, Hilsenberg, Rees, Buker, Potter and crime scene investigator Dave Young (all for 30 minutes).
November 6. List of witnesses/exhibits/evidence provided to Court.
November 9. DT files Motion to Strike the DP… because lethal injection will result in a cruel and unusual punishment.
November 13. CCMC, Judge Duncan presiding. All parties present. 8:35-8:51.
Argument heard on DT motion for additional discovery, any and all electronic media. State is ordered to provide the DT a mirror image of “the HD” and the memory card from TA’s cellphone by Nov 20.
Also ordered—that the State’s paralegal work with defense counsel to “locate” text messages on the CD the State already provided to the DT.
That the State file a response, then the DT a reply, to the DT’s motion to strike the DP because lethal injection will result in a cruel and unusual punishment.
The final trial management conference set for Jan 29 2010 is vacated due to conflict on Court calendar. Discussion about denied motion for continuance (delay trial start date); Nurmi indicates he will file another motion for continuance.
The Court affirms standing trial start date of 2/2/2010, next CCMC set for December 11.
November 17. Subpoena and affidavit of service
November 18. Judge Donahoe. Vacates 2/2/2010 start date for trial, grants the DT a continuance. The latest start date is moved from March 2010 to August 31, 2010. Justification—that the new DT didn’t receive the case until August 18, 2009.
Judge Duncan authorized to set a new trial date by next CCMC, on December 11, 2009, and to adjust existing discovery and disclosure deadlines.
November 24. Minute Entry. Duncan. Setting status conference for
November 30. CCMC/Trial Date set. 8:46-8:48. All parties present.
Court has received the Order from COA indicating that “the matter was taken under advisement.” (Referring to the DT’s Chronis objection). DT’s discovery requests discussed. Trial is reset to August 16, 2010 (August 31 at latest), December 11 CCMC is moved to January 12, 2010.
The year begins with Trial set to begin on August 16, 2010, August 31 last day.
Trial is reset on June 18, 2010: to begin August 2, 2011, November 2 last day.
Most significant case-specific development: forged pedo letters received by Nurmi in April and the transition to an affirmative defense.
Most significant general developments: The Court system’s huge trial backlog is only beginning to be resolved. Superior Court Presiding Judge Donahoe is (in effect) forced to resign.
Defense attorneys use the political & legal chaos created by Thomas and Arpaio to try to disqualify Maricopa’s (DA) from trying any criminal cases in Maricopa Superior Court. By year’s end the Maricopa County Attorney’s office will have had 3 serving (DA’s): Andy Thomas, Rick Romley(interim), and Bill Montgomery, the latter elected in a special election held in November.
January 4. Minute Entry.
Oral argument set for January 12: DT renewed request for discovery all electronic media (renewed from 12/22/09), Motion to exclude fingerprint evidence filed on same date, DT’s request for a hearing on the admissibility of 48 Hours interview, filed on January 4, 2010 (same day).
January 6. Minute Entry. Court acknowledges DT’s request for out-of-state summons, filed 1/5/2010. January 12 confirmed as next CCMC.
January 7. Minute Entry. Court acknowledges DT’s Motion that lethal injection be considered as mitigating factor. Oral argument to be heard on January 12.
January 12. CCMC. 9:01-9:35. JM & Nurmi there, POS isn’t. Court notes DT didn’t file waiver for POS as previously ordered. Discussion about case management plan received on 1/8.
Melendez testifies, based on his testimony renewed motion for electronic media is denied, finger exclusion is denied, Lethal injection because cruel and unusual is denied, admissibility of 48 hours interview and lethal injection as mitigator to be discussed at evidentiary hearing on March 12 (date for next CCMC).
January 19. Nurmi files Motion to Dismiss Allegations of DP; Conflict of Interest. He joined in with other defense attorneys (on 23 cases) seeking to prohibit the Maricopa DA’s office from litigating any criminal cases in Superior Court.
January 20. Minute Entry, Judge Duncan. Acknowledges receipt of motion to dismiss, defers jurisdiction to a Special Master, will take no action on motion unless instructed to do so by the Special Master.
January 21. Ruling by Special Master Ruth McGregor. Assigns consideration of defense motion for dismissal to Judge Wallace Hoggatt, Superior Court judge, Conchise County.
February 2. Appeals letter of transmittal
February 2. On Motion to Dismiss. Hoggatt orders counsel to each file a pre-hearing statement before February 12 hearing to include info on witnesses; he’ll decide whether or not to grant evidentiary hearings or oral arguments.
February 5. Transcript of proceedings
February 26. Hoggatt’s Ruling on Motion to Dismiss. Says he was assigned by Special Master solely to deal with motions relating to motions to disqualify MCAO. Can’t and won’t consider Nurmi’s Motion to dismiss the DP. Nurmi had also submitted a request for a management conference (expected delays from conflict of interest motions).
Hoggart rules request is moot—same as the other 22 conflict of interest cases, there will be no delays because “there is no real connection between the continuing turmoil in Maricopa County and the prosecution of this defendant.”
Nurmi’s request for an evidentiary hearing and oral arguments-denied (he State didn’t even bother to submit a reply). Motion to disqualify MCAO --denied.
March 4. Minute Entry. Emergency Status Hearing, requested by defense. JM present, defendant is not, Nurmi by telephone. 10:22-10:34.
Received Defendants Certificate of Requesting Judge. Granted, with a modification that “materials identified in paragraph III be produced for an in camera inspection no later than 12pm on March 10. Status conference set for March 11, evidentiary hearing set for March 12.
March 10. Order to seal documents
March 10. Motion for reconsideration
March 11. CCMC. 10:05-10:17. All parties present. Received and reviewed DT’s Request for Greater Specificity as the Alternative Charge of Felony Murder.
The defendant wants to know what is the “underlying felony on which the predicate burglary is based.” JM argues against the request, saying it will lock the State in to a particular theory of the case. Duncan rejects that argument, saying the State can amend theory before trial, with proper notice to the DT.
(discussion of related case law is included in the Minute Entry http://www.courtminutes.maricopa.gov...0/m4139370.pdf)
The Motion is granted. The State must make disclosure by April 1. Defense is to submit “a Protective Order on CBS Agreement.” Next CCMC set for April 16.
A firm trial date of August 16, 2010, last date Aug 31, is affirmed.
March 11. Order to seal documents
March 31. State files Notice of Underlying Felony.
April 6. Judge Hoggatt. Order Denying Requests (to reconsider disqualification of MCAO, join in other defense cases seeking same, and for an evidentiary hearing/oral arguments on same.
April 6. Duncan. Oral Argument Set, on DT’s Motion to Compel Texts and Emails from cell phone or from any and all other email accounts, received on April 5. Argument set for April 16 at the next CCMC.
April 7. State files response to DT’s Motion to Compel Texts and Emails from cell phone or from any and all other email accounts.
((April 11. Nurmi receives 10 forged pedo letters from “Bob White” via email.))
April 15. Motion to Dismiss the Alternative Charge of Felony Murder
April 16. CCMC. 10:40-11:05. All parties present. Argument heard on Motion Compel Texts and Emails from cell phone or from any and all other email accounts. Ordered: that the DT provide State with a list of requested email accounts by April 20.
Evidentiary hearing set for June 18, 2 hours allotted, during the next CCMC. Felony murder motion to be argued on that date as well; State to file a response and the DT, a reply.
State informs Duncan of Hoggatt’s denial on February 26, discussion follows. Duncan rules that “because of Hoggatt’s ruling and this discussion,” on June 18 she will hear oral arguments on the DT’s Motion to Dismiss Conflict of Interest. (note: huh? Hoggatt said NO).
Last date for trial stands: August 31.
April 22. Duncan writes orders allowing CMJA to be transported (within 30 days) to a vision center in Phoenix to have her eyes examined.
April 26. List of witnesses/exh/evidence; Motion to dismiss
May 20. Motion to Dismiss
May 26. DT files Motion (for a trial continuance)
June 3. DT files Motion to Allow Expert Examination of Evidence
June 8. Oral Argument set for June 18, during CCMC, to hear Motion (for a trial continuance) and Motion to Allow Expert Examination of Evidence.
June 9. Subpoena and affidavit of service
June 10. State files Motion to Preclude Letters Purportedly Written to CMJA.
June 14. Minute Entry. Duncan adds argument on the State’s Motion Preclude Letters Purportedly Written to CMJA to the agenda of June 18 CCMC.
June 14. DT requests and receives an extension of time to respond to Motion to exclude letters.
June 18. CCMC. 10:03- 10:48. All parties present. Defense invokes rule of exclusion of witnesses.
Recess, then reconvenes 10:59-12:25. DT tells Duncan that the Victim’s Representative (Samantha) was “discussing issues with the witnesses” in the hallway during recess.
Court tells Samantha about rules of exclusion. Oral argument is heard on Defendants Motion to Dismiss Charges or in the Alternative Motion to Dismiss Death due to Brady Violation.
Defendant case: Flores and Melendez testify. Sky testifies and is ordered to be deposed; she is ordered to turn over TA’s journals to Flores after she has been deposed. Chris Hughes testifies and is ordered deposed. Detective Glabysh testifies.
Discussion held about discovery relating to texts and emails. Court says review of cell phone records, TA’s journal, and Chris H’s depo will determine if further discovery is needed. The Motion to Dismiss based on Brady Violations is taken under advisement. The DT is granted an extension to respond to State’s Motion to Exclude letters. Next evidentiary hearing set for September 14 (Court clerk retains exhibits 1-12 until then). Next CCMA to be held on August 5.
Trial Date reset to August 2, 2011, last date September 2, 2011.
June 22. DT’s Notice of Defenses. (CMJA officially drops ninja lie and files an affirmative defense self-defense).
June 22. Ruling. Defendant’s motion to dismiss alternative charge of felony murder is denied. Duncan’s discussion of the Supreme Court rulings underlying her denial:
July 1, 2010. State provided DT all text msgs on TA’s cell phone.
July 2, 2010. CCCA. Nurmi absent. 1:36-1:46.
Defendant requests and is denied a Protective Order. DT requests additional discovery relating to the State’s handwriting analysts—Duncan says the request “isn’t ripe at this time.” Upon review of State’s notice about TA’s texts, Duncan rules against the DT: no Brady violations. Defendant’s motion to dismiss charges, or in the alternative, motion to dismiss Death due to Brady Violation-denied.
Duncan indicates she has looked at the forged pedo letters. Next CMC set for August 5.
July 15. Minute Entry. Duncan has received defendant’s response to JM’s motion to preclude letters. At defendant’s request, the reply to motion will be sealed and not opened without prior order of the Court.
August 5. CCMC. All parties present. 8:45-9:17. Pending motions by State: to preclude letters; for the original letters to be produced; an oral motion for discovery.
Discussion about discovery. DT requests an ex parte hearing about the original letters. The State objects. Matter will be handled at next CCMC.
Discussion about e-mail discovery. Orders DT to identify date ranges and exact accounts. DT makes request that Deanna Reid submit to a depo, she is ordered to submit, the DT to pay for involved expenses and notify the Court of the date and time of depo.
August 11. CCMC. All parties present. 8:58- 9:07. Court has received DT’s Renewed Notice of Requested Emails. Discussion. Defendant’s request for ex parte hearing is denied.
Orders the DT to disclose the original pedo letters or the source of the emails. DT agrees to disclose the source of the emails. Discussion held on the State’s motion to preclude the forged letters. Last trial day of September 2 is affirmed.
September 14. CCMC. All parties present. 8:59—9:20.
Discussion of email disclosure; not all emails from TA’s main email account have been disclosed. The “arresting agency” will submit an appropriate search warrant for TA’s Myspace, Facebook, LDS LinkUp, and Photobucket accounts, “if it exists.”
The State has an additional 30 days to finalize that discovery and file a status report listing all known email accounts and status of discovery.
DT makes an oral request to have a handwriting expert inspect TA’s journals. Duncan notes that the State may have a conflict with currently scheduled trial date, but retains the date of August 2.
Next CCMC scheduled for October 26.
October 12. State’s expert Rosemary Urbanski examines pedo letters.
October 26. CCMC. All parties and Flores are present. 8:42-9:20.
State advises list of email account discovery that has been disclosed (4 TA accounts, 1 CMJA account). JM says no info had been found on LDS Linkup, Myspace, or PhotoBucket accounts; is still investigating Bob White account, discussion is had about Urbanski’s findings.
The Court tells counsel to cooperate on other SM accounts. Discussion. DT says they will provide info to State on LDS Linkup, Myspace, and PhotoBucket accounts.
JM makes oral request to speed up trial date. Discussion. JM makes oral request for disclosure of additional mitigation. Discussion. Duncan tells DT to disclose discovery from DT’s handwriting experts when it is available. Next CCMC set for Nov. 18.
November 18. CCMC. All parties present. 8:28- 8:49 Discussion held about DT’s independent DNA testing (DT didn’t file Motion, instructed to do so). DT requests additional discovery relating to State’s examination of her journals, JM produces documents, DT examines, request for discovery is dropped.
Discussion is held about State’s Objection to Request for Additional Discovery Relating to Assertion Letters Are Forged. Ordered that any additional info about letters be disclosed.
Discussion about emails. Counsels indicate they will need to review a volume of approx. 82,000 emails.
Next CCMA set for January 2011. Pending: State’s Motion to Preclude emails. Last day remains November 2, 2011.
November 23. Minute Entry. Granting DT to conduct independent DNA testing.
December 1. Minute Entry. Court has received DT’s Motion for Specific Discovery.
December 3. ORDER, Commissioner Lisa Roberts. AZ Rules of Criminal Procedure amended, last day of capital cases changed from 18 months after arraignment to 24 months after the State files notice to seek DP.
(According to this rule, the last day for start of CMJA’s trial should have been October 31, 2010. At year’s end 2010, CMJA’s trial last day had already been set a full year overdue).
Last edited by Hope4More; 06-05-2016 at 07:16 PM.
06-06-2016, 01:29 PM #5
PRETRIAL, 2011 (Part 1)
CCMC= Capital Case Management Conference
FTMC= Final Trial Management Conference
PD = Public Defender
Most significant case-specific developments: Nurmi tries to withdraw (late February-March) but can’t; Judge Duncan refuses to allow any trial continuances, chastises JM for requesting one, and is adamant that trial will commence in August 2011; Duncan is replaced by Judge Stephens on June 10; CMJA goes Pro Per in August; JSS grants trial continuance, trial is reset to March 24, 2012; Victoria Washington withdraws as second chair on December 22.
January 6. Minute Entry. Hearing set for January 20 on DT’s Motions in Limine for singing competition and pre-trial media interviews (DT wants to exclude as too prejudicial).
January 13. Duncan orders that the DT’s supplement to their response to State’s motion to exclude pedo letters (filed on December 22) be sealed, not to be opened without a Court order. At DT’s request. Grants DT request to allow expert examination of evidence.
February 20. CCMC. All parties present. 8:33 -9:07. The first time the DT argues a motion to have the DT dismissed because of prosecutorial misconduct (Brady violations, relating to “recently discovered Brady material,” refers to TA’s SM disclosure)
The State has replied, the DT asks for additional time to reply to the State’s reply. Oral argument set for February 25.
2nd topic: Limine motion on singing, state’s reply. Duncan grants the DT’s request to not allow singing competition into evidence during the guilt phase of trial. Also to be kept out: the defendant’s statement she won’t spend any time in prison, and her request to put makeup on for her mug shot. Defendant’s motion to exclude statement-no jury will convict me is denied.
3rd: defendant motion for specific discovery. Granted, but limited to Elizabeth Northcutt’s forensic examination (handwriting expert,iirc).
Next CCMC- February 25. Trial date of August 2, 2011 is affirmed, final trial management conference is scheduled for July 22, 2011.
+++January 27. Minute Entry. Pending: Defendant’s Motion for Order that a Complete Copy of the State’s File Be Made and Turned Over to the Court for Review and to be Sealed for Appellate Review and Defendant Motion for State’s Impeachment Evidence Pursuant to Brady v. Maryland. Oral argument February 25.
February 25. CCMC. All parties present. 2:24-3:20.
Granted: Defendant Motion for State’s Impeachment Evidence Pursuant to Brady v. Maryland.
Denied: Defendant’s Motion for Order that a Complete Copy of the State’s File Be Made and Turned Over to the Court for Review and to be Sealed for Appellate Review (for reasons stated on the record).
Denied: to have the DT dismissed because of prosecutorial misconduct (Brady violations, relating to “recently discovered Brady material). Basis: no prejudice to defendant.
Exhibits 1-4 put into evidence for appellate purposes. Still pending: State’s motion to exclude pedo letters. State is still waiting for expert report. Court spoke to expert on phone, report will be completed by March 18.
Nurmi informed Duncan he is leaving Public Defender’s office; she asks if that impacts his serving as 1st chair.
Dates set: next CCMC on March 21, Evidentiary Hearing on June 10, allotted time-1 day (note: longest allotted time so far, by far). Affirms trial date of August 2.
March 2. Minute Entry. Status Conference ordered for March 8, 2011, all attorneys ordered to be present. (note- Duncan is cracking down about that trial start date).
March 8. Minute Entry. 9:10-9:25. All parties are present for a discussion of Nurmi’s withdrawing from PD’s office. Reps are there from the PD office and from Office of PD Services.
March 9. Defense requests oral argument on Nurmi’s motion to withdraw, scheduled for March 21.
March 11. Minute Entry. Duncan unilaterally appoints 2 counsel (Harrison and Hammond) to represent the defendant during the hearing on Nurmi’s motion to withdraw.
March 16. Minute Entry. Pending: State’s motion to continue trial, will be argued on March 21.
++March 21. CCMC. 8:46 -9:13. All parties present, 2 attys for CMJA. Nurmi objects to the Court appointing counsel for defendant. So noted. Harrison and Hammond address the Court. Nurmi’s motion to withdraw is denied. Ordered: PD Peterson unacceptable as second chair because he already has a scheduled trial.
State’s motion to continue trial is denied. Status conference set for April 4, trial affirmed for August 2.
JM requests a stay. Denied. Nurmi requests a stay. Denied. Worth reading: Duncan laying down the law to JM about a continuance:
(Summary: The Aug 2, 2010 trial date was continued because Nurmi had another scheduled trial. He requested a March 2011 date, JM requested the August 2, 2011 date. JM is requesting a continuance now because he has another trial set for Aug. 1, 2011, but he’s known that date since August 2010. Court has advised JM over past month to seek the assistance of other MCAO attorneys when he noted trial date conflicts.
Duncan notes but rejects JM’s argument that he has established rapport with TA’s family, they don’t want him replaced, and favor a continuance. JM should have lined up a substitute in August 2010. Duncan also rejects JM’s assertion the DT hasn’t objected to the continuance; the DT in fact did object to the State’s motion for continuance, indicating readiness for the set date of August 2011).
Duncan: “The interest of justice weigh heavily in favor of denying (the) request.”
March 22. Minute Entry. Nurmi tries again, a renewed motion to withdraw. Nurmi informs Duncan that following the March 21 hearing the Office of Public Defender had removed the DT’s team mitigation specialist, investigator and paralegal, because they didn’t want a non-employee to be directing staff. Duncan orders the team be restored forthwith, saying the OPD doesn’t have the authority to withdraw staff, and has a professional obligation not to impede the DT’s work.
Then, she denies Nurmi’s motion to withdraw, and reaffirms the status conference date of April 4, 2011.
April 4. CCMC. All parties and CMJA’s 2 attorneys are present. 8:45-9:02. All about Nurmi.
Duncan rules Nurmi has an ethical obligation to continue representation of his client. Orders Nurmi be paid 225 per hour to “represent the defendant conflict-free.” He won’t be able to build private practice and adequately try a capital case with an “Imminent, firm and final trial setting.” (note: lol on that imminent thing).
State has requested a copy of Rosemarie Kopanski, DT to turn over same day. Affirms evidentiary hearing June 10, final trial conference date of July 22. April 11 set for next CCMC.
April 11. CCMC. VWashington’s presence is waived, all other parties present. 8:57-9:14.
Trial dates affirmed. 9:07-9:14—discussion about Facebook issues and evidentiary hearing.
April 21. Duncan notes receipt of DT’s motion to preclude witnesses not interviewed by June 30, 2011. Will be argued on June 10.
April 26. Notes receipt of DT’s case management plan, and motion to limit disclosure, oral argument set for May 3.
May 3. CCMC. All parties present. 8:54-9:08. Duncan rules witnesses won’t be excluded because there is plenty of time available to for all interviews to be conducted. Duncan instructs both counsel on specific arrangements regarding experts, reaffirms all standing dates.
May 6. Minute Entry. Noting motions over disclosure (state to compel, DT to limit). Hearing set for June 10.
May 9. Motion to compel the notes of Detective Flores. Oral argument May 25.
May 24. DT’s motion to compel any and all material relating to the “attempted interrogation with Matt McCartney,” Oral argument May 25.
May 25. 9:28-9:40. All parties, Flores is present.
Motion to obtain Flores’ notes: Denied. The DT is “advised to arrange an interview” with Flores. MM material to the DT: granted. Trial dates affirmed.
June 8. 3:38-3:53. DT asks for continuance for June 10 evidentiary hearing. Counsel is ordered to provide Duncan with lists of pending motions, etc. ; any obstacles to trial commencing on schedule. Next CCMC set for June 10.
June 8. Received: DT motion for courtroom decorum. Trial dates affirmed.
June 10. Case reassigned to JSS, “upon agreement from presiding judge and court.”
Standing trial date of August 2, 2011 is affirmed, but also “last day remains April 29, 2012.” (eh?)
Council for State and Defense are to appear before JSS on June 20.
June 28. Duncan. Settlement Conference is set, “upon stipulation by parties,” July 15, before Judge Duncan. (Protocol is for a judge other than the trial judge to oversee settlement conference. The conference isn’t held if either party objects).
July 12. JSS. Grants local CBS request to photograph: not of victims, defendant may be photographed.
July 15. Duncan. Settlement Conference. 9:08-9:50. Rules the “assigned prosecutor” doesn’t have the authority to offer or to agree to a plea by defendant.
9:52-9:59. Requests Bob Shutts from MCAO appear in afternoon for further discussion of settlement.
3:44-4:19. An attorney from the Federal Public Defender’s Office appears with Shutts in afternoon. Settlement “continues at this time with no result.”
Judge Duncan affirms trial date of August 2, 2011. Evidentiary hearings before JSS on July 26 and 27.
(This is Duncan’s final ruling in case: all JSS after this date).
Last edited by Hope4More; 06-06-2016 at 01:38 PM.
06-07-2016, 01:25 PM #6
PRETRIAL, 2011. PART 2.
++JM wrote in his book that he interviewed Matt McCartney (MM) in Seaside, CA in July 2011; the DT’s motion on May 25 refers to a prior “attempted interrogation.” According to Shanna Hogan, MM attended some of CMJA’s pretrial hearings.
++Beth Karas on Crime has a transcript of the full May 25, 2011 DT interview of Detective Flores; JM was present. Among other areas of interest, both Nurmi and Washington ask Flores about the gunshot first; Flores confirms that is still his belief. The term “secret” relationship between Travis and his murderer is used, Flores downplays TA’s friends’ statements that CMJA had stalked Travis.
July 20. 8:37-8:39. Defendant not present. JM and Nurmi meet JSS. July 26 evidentiary hearing vacated, status conference set for July 29.
July 22 DT motions: reconsider media access, requests a trial continuance.
July 25. Hearing on Trial Continuance. All parties present. 1:57-2:28.
Samantha, by phone, speaks for the family in opposition to granting the DT’s motion for a continuance.
JSS grants continuance, on the basis of a DT expert witness not being available to testify at trial due to a “medical condition.” (note- referring to Dr. Sheryl Karp?)
Moves trial from August 29 to September 27, 2011; new last day is November 18, 2011; status conference August 31.
July 27. State objects to trial continuance
July 29. Status hearing. 9:12-9:15. Evidentiary hearing set for August 8 and 9, oral arguments August 10, trial date of August 2 vacated.
August 3. DT supplements Motion for a trial continuance.
August 4. JM intercepts coded magazines (dated July 25, 2011 & August 2011).
He’d gone to Estrella to follow up on the postcards and index cards seized as contraband from CMJA, which he had first learned about and viewed several weeks earlier. One of the cards had forged TA’s writing. JM gave this card to his handwriting expert Alan Kreitl, asking him to compare the handwriting on the card with that on the forged pedo letters. (JM- Conviction: p. 156).
Coded message: “You ****ed up. What you told my attorney next day contradicts what I’ve been saying for over a year. Get down here asap and see me before you talk with them again and before you testify so we can fix this. “
(Note: CMJA didn’t seem to be anticipating going pro per when she wrote that message).
JM writes that he disclosed the existence of the magazines to the DT "several days" before the August 8th hearing, as well as Kreitl’s analysis of the forged index card. FWIW, JM’s conclusion is that CMJA forged the pedo letters herself. (p 160-161).
August 8. 11:02-4:07. Evidentiary hearing on forged pedo letters. All parties present.
11:02-11:33. Defendant makes oral request to go pro per. JSS gives her a waiver to review. Nurmi and VW are appointed advisory counsel, VW is to be considered “first counsel.”
11:54. JSS tells CMJA to defendant to interview 2 defense witnesses by phone to ascertain if they needed to appear.
(Note: Only one defense witness testified at these hearings, a fellow Estrella inmate. Who was the second witness JSS referred to? IMO, Matt McCartney, who was supposed to testify that CMJA had shown him originals of the pedo letters. Pro per would have allowed CMJA to call MM without being monitored).
1:33. CMJA requests pretrial hearings be closed. Denied.
CMJA invokes rule of exclusion. (targeting Deanna).
CMJA asks for a continuance—to delay this hearing. Denied.
CMJA makes oral motion for a stay. Denied.
State case: Deanna Reed, Christine Lopez (Estrella guard) testify.
2:35. Lopez again, Alan Kreitl. CMJA objects to exhibits 4 and 5.
The State rests.
4:06. One exhibit marked into evidence, to be cont next day.
((JM writes that he planned on calling additional witnesses, including the guard who had intercepted the magazines, to link forged letters and coded magazines and to argue CMJA was trying to tamper with a witness)).
August 8 (same day, after the evid. hearing) Judge Douglas Rayes. 4:24-4:43.
Status conference on ex parte motion to determine counsel. Nurmi invokes exclusion of witnesses, witnesses leave. Ex parte conference is held over the State’s objections. Ex parte meeting between 4:27-4:43. Discussion about Nurmi and Washington’s role as advisory counsel and her ex parte motion to determine counsel is sealed.
August 9. State replies to DT’s supplemental motion to have trial continued.
August 9. 11:43-12:14. Pedo letter Evidentiary hearing, continued. CMJA’s turn.
Her tactic—to have fellow inmate Heather Nitteraueur testify that she had written the codes in the magazines. Heather testifies, can’t get many of the details right, JM eviscerates CMJA and Heather. Short hearing. Evidentiary hearing on pedo letters to be continued on August 15.
August 10. 10:44- 3:57. Evidentiary hearing on motions relating to in Session video coverage of trial--The State in favor, the DT opposed, and DT’s motion for a trial continuance. CMJA is still pro per.
In Session coverage is Granted. Recess, 11:09-1:30.
Nurmi and Washington address the court on their role as advisory counsel, JSS expresses her concern about CMJA continuing pro per, CMJA reads a prepared statement to the Court.
JSS agrees to allow Nurmi and VW to argue pending motions:
++For specific discovery, courtroom decorum (resolved); for motion in Limine regarding nude photos (filed June 26, state responded July 6), to not allow June 4 nudes to be shown in court: Motion denied.
++DT motion in Limine on Testimonial Statements—Court is “reluctant to script what a witness should say.” Denied.
++Washington asks court to hold off ruling on the State Motion in Limine to Preclude Certain Testimony from Defendant’s Expert to Preclude Hearsay Statements of Victim (filed June 27), to be ruled on at trial before such experts testify. Granted- to preclude any mention at trial of Nurmi trying to withdraw.
Discussion about continuance. JSS says a “brief continuance is warranted.” Interviews of witnesses incompete, State expert hasn’t finished a report (Dr. DeMarte). The start date of trial is contingent upon DeMarte completing her report, will set date when report is completed.
JSS indicate “what the Court would like,” that voir dire of jurors begin September 19, 2011. New last day: October 20, 2011 (just under 3 years past filing of DP notice).
Victoria Washington “addresses possible issues with witness Matthew McCartney".
Evidentiary hearing on pedo letters affirmed for August 15.
August 15. 11:03-3:17. Hearing. All parties present. CMJA drops Pro Per after the DT’s handwriting expert testifies.
The DT drops their objection to the State’s motion to preclude the forged pedo letters. The State’s Motion to Preclude is granted. No pedo letters.
Voir dire to begin September 6.
++DT’s motion to sequester jury: Denied.
++DT motion for individual voir dire: Denied. (but will allow as necessary).
++State’s motion to not allow potential jurors to be asked case-specific questions: objections will be made on a question by question basis.
++State’s motion to not allow defense expert witnesses to testify about premeditation: granted.
++State’s motion to not allow defense expert witnesses from testifying about “victim’s sexual indiscretion”: granted.
++State’s motion to not allow lingering doubt to be used as mitigating factor-granted.
++DT motion to preclude mention of CMJA ‘s Pro Per status—granted.
++Taken under advisement: State’s Motion in Limine regarding Argument Relating to Weight of Mitigation.
Status conference of August 25 affirmed.
August 31. Status Conference. 10:39-10:47. Firm Trial date of September 27. Next Status conference --September 16.
September 9. Trial continuance granted.
Basis: DT’s expert witness will not be able to testify due to medical condition, and must be replaced. New expert will need time to prepare and that a “continuance of 5 months is necessary for this to occur.”
New trial date: February 1, 2012.
September 16. CCMC. All parties present. 1:44- 150.
Affirms firm trial date of February 1, 2012. New last day: March 24, 2012.
November 4. Trial Reset. 1:28 DT argues for another continuance; trial is reset to February 21. State wants to preclude the introduction of hearsay statements (google mail and IM’s). Ordered: no mention of either during opening statements.
November 16. Status Conference on defendant’s motion for protective order. Nurmi, defendant, and substitute for JM present; no JM, so reset to November 21. JSS grants protective order on a temp basis.
Affirms February 1, 2012. New last day: March 24, 2012.
((Definition of PO: an order that prevents the disclosure of sensitive information except to certain individuals under certain conditions. Any order issued by a court which is meant to protect a person from harm or harassment))
Nov 21. 12:10. Re protective order. Need rep from Estrella (and from In Session) present, so moves hearing to Dec 2 (then 6). Affirms trial date of February 1, 2012. New last day: March 24, 2012.
December 6. 824-855. Hearing on protective order, reps from Estrella and In Session testify. JSS takes under advisement.
Later in the day: Ruling on Protective Order.
JSS: Defendant failed to identify any statement or act that would support the need for a PO, no statement made or any risk of statements being made that would deprive her of the right to a fair trial. The Court finds no basis for CMJA’s accusation that rules and ethical standards in place to protect her right to a fair trial are being violated.
The DT’s assertion that pretrial publicity will taint the jury pool is “too remote” to warrant a PO. Ordered: denial of request for PO.
December 9. Receipt of DT’s Motions to exclude witnesses from the courtroom, and for Travis Victor Alexander to not be referred to as a victim during trial. Oral argument set for January 4, 2012.
December 14. DT-motion to reconsider denial of protective order filed.
December 15. Ruling. Denied: DT’s motion to reconsider denial of protective order.
December 19. Motion to Withdraw by Victoria Washington. Status conference on December 22.
December 19. Receipt of DT’s Motion to Compel Evidence Seized Pursuant to Subpoena filed on November 4, 2011. Oral argument Jan 4.
December 22. Victoria Washington withdraws following a discussion in sealed proceeding. JSS orders office of PD Services to appoint an entirely new team: a 2nd chair, new mitigation specialist, paralegal, and investigator.
At year end 2011, Trial is set for February 21, 2012; last day (for trial to begin) of March 24.
Last edited by Hope4More; 06-07-2016 at 01:41 PM.
06-07-2016, 07:02 PM #7
Pretrial 2012 (through jury selection, December 20, 2012).
+++2012 begins with a trial date of February 21, 2012, last day of March 24, 2012.
+++December 29, 2011: DT filed Motion to Dismiss State’s Notice of DP, Speedy Trial and Effective Assistance of Counsel.
January 3. 8:31-8:44. Trial Continuance. Nurmi, JM, the defendant present, and 1st appearance by Jennifer Wilmott.
JSS grants oral request for a continuance. Basis: New counsel needs time to prepare. Trial is set for October 17, 2012; new last day: January 13, 2013. All pending motions to be heard on February 9 (doesn’t happen until March 9).
January 13. State files response to DT’s Motion to Dismiss State’s Notice of DP, Speedy Trial and Effective Assistance of Counsel.
March 9. Status. 11:02-11:08. All present. Oral argument on whether or not Travis Victor Alexander may be referred to as a victim. JSS takes the matter under advisement.
Argument on DT’s Motion to Dismiss State’s Notice of DP, Speedy Trial and Effective Assistance of Counsel.
March 12. Minute Entry. JSS rulings on whether or not Travis may be called a victim, and on the DT’s Motion to Dismiss State’s Notice of DP, Speedy Trial and Effective Assistance of Counsel.
Speedy trial: JSS notes VW withdrew because of a conflict of interest, DT asked and was granted a continuance on Jan 3, 2012; the defendant agreed to the continuance and to the exclusion of time (For each continuance JSS granted she also ordered that the days of the continuance be excluded, as in, not counted as time elapsed between the State’s filing of the DP and the start of trial).
JSS: defendant now asserts DP should be dismissed because in order to assure she had effective representation by counsel, she had to agree to the continuance of trial to October 12.
JSS: The right to competent and prepared counsel trumps the right of the defendant to have a speedy trial.
Motion denied. Legal citations:
Motion to not allow the victim to be called a victim: Denied. No prejudice to the defendant in calling the victim a victim, even if CMJA claims she killed the victim in self-defense. JSS will give a preliminary jury instruction providing a definition of “victim.”
May 18. Minute Entry. 10:55. All parties present. Defense advises that they will call Alyce LaViolette for mitigation portion of trial.
JM requests a complete copy of her file: Nurmi replies the DT will hand over a copy of her notes; the JM reiterates he wants the whole file.
Court has received DT motion for independent testing of computer evidence. Granted. State is to provide DT with materials mentioned in motion by June 1, 2012. CCMC on July 12.
June 19. Received: Order to Assist Mitigation Investigation, filed by DT. Granted the request, in accordance with formal written order signed by the court on June 13. Request and Order are filed under seal, not to be opened without further order of the court.
July 12. Minute Entry. 8:41-8:52. All present. DT wants to supplement motion to allow polygraph results into evidence.
Has received DT’s motion for a disclosure deadline, state’s forensic testing of (TA’s computer, presumably). JM wants to respond with oral argument. He does so, motion denied.
Has received DT’s motion for another continuance. JM objects, wants to state his objection in writing. Oral argument to continue trial to be held on August 2.
July 12. Minute Entry Ruling: The DT’s motion to have a Spanish interpreter for jurors who don’t speak English is denied, as it does not deprive her of her Constitutional rights to have an English speaking jury.
July 12. Minute Entry Ruling. The request to use polygraph results during the sentencing phase of trial is denied.
JSS: “Although the defendant does not explain exactly what the evidence will purport to show, (presumably it will be to) express her innocence of the crime. Such evidence is irrelevant in the sentencing phase of a capital case.”
August 2. CCMC. All parties present. 8:44-9:03. DT requests another continuance. The State objects.
Trial is reset for November 19, 2012. Last day remains January 6, 2013.
August 27. Receipt of DT’s Motion to Preclude State from arguing Lack of Remorse During any Potential Penalty Phase. The State didn’t file a reply.
JSS notes that the ASC has ruled it permissible for the State to argue lack of remorse in closing, in rebuttal to a defendant’s allocution. Also, that the Court rejected remorse as mitigation if defendant pled self-defense and continued to deny responsibility in the penalty phase.
JSS, however, defers ruling on the Motion until the penalty phase, “if any occurs.”
September 6. CCMC. All parties present. 10:05-10:17.
Ordered: Setting oral argument for State’s request for unredacted expert’s notes—September 24.
September 24. Minute Entry. State’s request for unredacted expert’s notes—taken under advisement.
Trial date of November 19 and last day of January 6, 2013 affirmed.
September 10. The DT files a Motion for Reconsideration of DT’s Motion to Preclude State from arguing Lack of Remorse During any Potential Penalty Phase.
September 25. Minute Entry. JSS denies the DT’s Motion for Reconsideration of DT’s Motion to Preclude State from arguing Lack of Remorse During any Potential Penalty Phase.
JSS notes the DT’s argument that the defendant will assert her innocence at all phases of the trial, whether or not convicted. The DT cites two Arizona cases for which AZ appellate courts ruled asserting lack of remorse by a defendant who maintains her innocence violates her 5th Amendment rights. JM’s reply asserts the same case law originally cited by JSS.
JSS reiterates that she is deferring ruling until a penalty trial, if there is one.
September 25. Ruling. The DT motion to seal DT Billing Logs because they might reveal defense strategy is denied.
September 27. Status Conference. All parties present. 8:32-8:44. Discussion of State’s Motion for unredacted expert witness report. Ruling: the DT is to provide a copy of redacted report and an unredacted copy of the report; all portions of what was redacted are to be highlighted in the unredacted report. The unredacted report is to be provided to the Court by October 22, and will be filed under seal.
October 16. CCMC, all parties present. 8:43-8:55. Flores appears by phone, is questioned about outstanding computer discovery.
Firm trial date November 19 and last day of January 6, 2013 are affirmed.
October 18. CCMC. All parties and Detective Flores present.
Regarding computer discovery. Flores responds to questions. JSS orders TLSI to turn over records of all work on TA’s HD, including incomplete work, to both State and the DT no later than October 23. Flores is ordered to release the HD to the DT, parties to arrange date and time.
Firm trial date November 19 and last day of January 6, 2013 are affirmed.
October 25. Ruling on State’s Request for Unredacted notes.
More back and forth Motions subsequent to JSS ordering the DT to produce an unredacted copy of the expert’s report. The expert is revealed to be Alyce LaVa, and that she will testify during the guilt phase.
The DT argued that the redacted portions are work product (not subject to discovery) and privileged, that turning them over will allow State to preview DT arguments, and reveal the weaknesses of its own case.
JSS once again grants JM access to Alyce’s full report.
Extended legal rationale for her ruling:
October 30. (1 day shy of the 4th anniversary of the State filing DP Notice). CCMC. All parties present. 9:20-9:41.
The DT asks for a continuance. The State objects. Motion will be argued on November 5, along with DT’s new motion regarding jury forms.
The record notes that the DT’s investigator is present and responds to questions.
Firm trial date November 19 and last day of January 6, 2013 are affirmed. (Note. LOL---sure).
November 7. Minute Entry. All parties present. 1:39-3:18. Lonnie Dworkin testifies. Richard Samuels testifies. Alyce testifies by phone. Oral argument to be continued November 13 (6 days before set trial date).
November 13. Minute Entry. All parties present. 10:43-11:16.
Ordered: Trial continued from November 19 to November 26, 2012.
Status conference is set for the vacated trial date of Nov 19. To be discussed: “outstanding issues relating to the hard drive, and………..the DT’s Motion to Continue the Trial.
November 19. Oral Argument.
State’s exhibit #1 is entered into evidence and sealed.
Ordered: Flores to take State’s hard drive to DT to review on November 20.
DT’s Motion to Continue the Trial is granted.
Jury selection to begin December 10. New last day: January 27, 2013.
DT’s Motion to Dismiss is denied.
December 4. Minute Entry. All parties present. 9:54-10:34. At 9:55 the DT requests and is granted an ex parte hearing regarding the computer hard drive.
Hearing is on the record, 9:57-10:03, after JM has left. Discussion is held “regarding Defendant’s concerns regarding data on the hard drive.” This portion is to be sealed, not to be opened or transcribed without a Court order.
DT makes (another) Motion to Continue the Trial. DENIED.
December 7. Minute Entry. All parties present. 2:46—3:58.
Many many motions: relating to jury forms, DeMarte’s conclusions, against the State arguing that she had a duty to retreat, to preclude evidence about CMJA’s Yreka gun theft.
The DT requests all info about hard drive be turned over, the State says it has turned everything over. Flores is ordered to appear on December 10 to “address the issue of the hard drive.”
The DT requests and is granted an ex parte hearing. 3:54-3:58, DT “presents statements to the Court.” This portion to be sealed, not transcribed, not opened without Court Order.
December 10. Trial Minute Entry. Day 1. First set of initial jury panel is present. Prospective jurors are sworn on voir dire.
December 11. Trial Minute Entry. Day 2. Voir Dire.
December 12. Trial Minute Entry. Day 3. Voir Dire. The DT requests additional hard drive data. JSS notes Flores testified on 12/10/12 that all data had been disclosed.
December 14. Trial Minute Entry. Day 4. Voir Dire. Discussion of trial issues.
December 17. Trial Minute Entry. Day 5. Voir Dire.
December 18. Trial Minute Entry. Day 6. Voir Dire.
December 19. Minute Entry. Oral Argument on Motions. All parties present. 11:05-11:50.
One juror voir dired.
11:34-11:50—DT’s argument on excluding media coverage and for a mistrial. Sealed, not to be transcribed or opened without a court order.
Mistrial denied. Courtroom cleared to hear argument on motion to exclude gun theft evidence.
Trial and jury selection affirmed for December 20, 2012.
December 19. Ruling. Denied: DT’s Motion to Preclude (gun theft evidence). Also denied: motion to preclude CMJA’s “prior interviews.”
Extended legal discussion by JSS:
December 20. Trial Minute Entry. Day 7. Voir Dire. Strikes and rulings. Filed: Jury list. Prelim instructions are read to the jury by Court.
At 2:48 the Court stands in recess until January 2, 2013 at 10AM, first day of trial.
06-07-2016, 07:34 PM #8
Jan 2, 2013. Opening arguments. Defendant’s motion for reconsideration denied. Mimi, Sterling Williams (Mesa PD).
Jan 3. Flores, Heather Connor.
Jan 8. Mtg in chambers. Trial continued from 1/3. Heather Conner. Dr. Kevin Horn, Elizabeth Northcutt for State.
Jan 9. Ryan Burns, Maureen Smith, Kevin Biggs, Heather Conner, Flores testify.
Jan 10. Day 4. C. Day 12. Mendes, Lisa Perry, Dect. Flores, Jodi Legg. Mtg in chambers. Discussion re security belt. DT objects to hearing in chambers, wants to hold it in court with media present. Granted.
Argument on motion for mistrial and motion for new probable cause hearing. Court finds not timely filed, but even if they were, the testimony by Flores wouldn’t have changed Judge Duncan’s 2009 ruling.
Considered: Aug 18, 2009 Minute Entry, Kevin Horn testimony of January 9, 2012; Flores-Jan 10, 2012; oral argument Jan 11, 2012. Original Flores testimony --Aug 7, 2009.
Sequence irrelevant, because Travis suffered. Flores testimony was thus harmless error. Denied.
Jan 14, 2013. Trial cont. from 1/10. DT—Motion for Stay. Denied. Kevin Friedman, Flores, Melendez, Flores testify. JM drops camera. Motion for Mistrial.- taken under advisement.
Jan. 15. Citizen, Gladysh (Mesa PD), Flores.
Jan 16. 2013. Day 8. C. Day 15. Flores. Michael Galieti . Raphael Colombo. Ex parte hearing in chambers. Further argument re Mistrial motion; JM makes oral motion to make Searcy available for interview-taken under advisement; ordered that subpoena for Lisa D. remain in effect.
January 17. 2013. Flores, Jeff Strohm (Sprint).. Leslie Udy, autopsy photo. State rests. DT moves for Rule 20 Order—under advisement.
Under advisement ruling: “The fact the text messages could have been photographed by police who viewed the messages in 2008 was known to the defendant in 2010 and was considered by the court in its July 2010 ruling. Defendant failed to establish prejudice to her case, no basis to support mistrial based on prosecutorial misconduct. 2nd motion for mistrial-denied.
Also considered: oral motion for judgment of acquittal under Rule 20. (acquittal on felony murder theory of First Degree Murder). Denied. “the court finds substantial evidence to support a convinction on a felony murder theory..also finds there is substantial evidence to warrant a conviction on both of the charged theories of First Degree murder based upon evidence presented at trial.
10 day hiatus.
Jan 28. Hearing. No jury. Minute Entry. Chambers mtg. off the record. Defense: Gus Searcy testifies. State: Chris Hughes. Abe Abdelhadi by phone. Evid Hearing. Cross postponed until next day
Jan 29. Day 17. Defense begins case. Gus Searcy. Daryl Brewer. Evid Hearing continues. Searcy says he may not provide info. Defend Exhibit 12 and 13 into evidence, sealed. Chris, Abe are crossed.
January 30. Day 18. Mtg in chambers—10:41, 1:29, 2:10, 3:07. Jurors individually voir dired.
DT re-urges Motion to Sequester the Jury—denied, for reasons on record.
Lisa on cross, autopsy photo. 2:10 and 3:07 in chambers—Lisa D is included. Oral motion for mistrial. Denied for reasons stated at bench. Desiree Freeman testifies. Daniel Friedman. Court addresses jury trial issues.
Jan 31. Day 19. Daniel Freeman. Mtg in chambers. 1:25-1:28 sealed, not transcribed. Jan 30: 2:10-2:23; 3:07-3:16, and part of evid hearing with Searcy—same. Lonnie Dworkin. JM objects to ex 393 and 394; voir dires the witness.
Feb 4, 2013. day 13 (day 20), testimony by Lonnie Dworkin. JM objects to multiple exhibits. Bryan Neumeister. 2:05PM--POS takes the stand. 2:59-recess. Mtg in chambers. Further testimony.
Feb 5. Day 14. Defendant.
Feb 6. Day 15. Defendant.. Mtg in chambers.
Feb 7. Evidentiary Hearing. Melendez and Flores testify. Alyce lava testifies by phone. State Motion in Limine denied.
Feb 11. Day 16. Day 23. Defendant.
Feb 12, 2013. Chambers. 10:37-10”47-hearing. 11:10-11-11:14. Again-this portion sealed. Court to recess until 1PM. Sex tape played. Defendant testifies.
Feb. 13, 2013. day 18. Subpoena. Evidentiary hearing, Defense: Sky H, Gus Searcy, Motion for Mistrial denied, POS testimony)
Feb 14. Defendant ill, no court.
Feb 19. Day 19. Defendant.
Feb 20, 2013. Hearing. Defendant, on June 4, the fog. End of direct.
Feb 21. Request for Hearing. Cross of Defendant begins.
Feb 25. Day 22. Cross of Defendant.
Feb 26 Cross of Defendant.
Feb 27 Cross of Defendant.
Feb 28, 2013. Cross of Defendant. End of cross.
March 4. Day 26. Redirect of Defendant.
March 5, 2013. Redirect of Defendant.
March 6. Review of jury questions. Defendant.
March 7. Day 29. Defendant. Nurmi follow up, JM begins cross.
March 13, 2013 (day 30, jury questions for Defendant, JM cross of follow up, additional questions, follow up)
March 14. Dr. Samuels.
March 15. Evidentiary Hearing
March 18. Evidentiary Hearing
March 18. Samuels
March 19. Samuels
March 20. Samuels
March 21. Samuels
March 25, 2013. Day 36. Samuels on cross, JM accuses him of having feelings for POS. LaViol begins testimony.
March 28, 2013. JM and autograph, jurors called in one by one asked if saw. Hearing. Order entered by court.
March 31. Objection/opposition.
April 1, 2013. Juror 5 dismissed (prejudicial comments in front of other jurors)
April 4, 2013. LaVA and the 7 dwarves, juror 5 returns to court
April 12, 2013. Another juror dismissed (illness)
April 18. Request for hearing
April 21. Request for jury instructions
April 22. Objection/opposition.
May 1, 2013. 3rd juror dismissed (DUI). Motion to Dismiss
May 2-3. Closing arguments, Jury begins deliberations
May 3, 2013. (day 56, Nurmi closing, state rebuttal close, final jury selected, deliberations begin)
May 7. Motion for discovery
May 8. Defendant found guilty of premeditated 1st degree murder.
May 15, 2013: Martinez argues during the "aggravation" phase defendant is eligible for the death penalty. Verdict.
May 16, 2013. Penalty phase begins, openings, VIS’s, closed meeting in chambers, Brewer and Womack don’t testify, trial held over until May 20).
May 20. Objection/opposition.
May 21. Jury instructions
May 23, 2013. Hung jury
Next: Between trials: May 23, 2013- September 29, 2014.
06-09-2016, 10:27 AM #9
APPEALS- BASIC INFO
1. The basis of an appeal must be a reversible error in the application of the law at the trial court level (i.e., based on the facts, the court clearly misapplied the law).
2. An appeal can target the conviction itself or just the sentencing portion of the decision without regard to the underlying conviction.
3. No new issues are presented and no witnesses called to testify.
4. The appellate court will only review the trial's transcript and evidence presented during the trial to determine whether there were errors in either procedure or application of the law.
5. Even if there were errors, if they are deemed minor - legally called "harmless error" - the judgment will not be overturned or a new trial granted.
6. The brief: details the alleged errors of law made by the trial court; the State will write a response.
7. The process: Once the appellate court receives both petitioner and respondent briefs, it will analyze the arguments and make a determination of whether:
a) there were errors of law made by the trial court, and
b) whether the errors rise to the level of "reversible error.”
((Definition of reversible error: a legal mistake at the trial court level which is so significant (resulted in an improper judgment) that the judgment must be reversed by the appellate court. A reversible error is distinguished from an error which is minor or did not contribute to the judgment at the trial. Harmless errors will be overlooked by the appellate court.
8. There may or may not be oral arguments presented by petitioner and respondent. (very unlikely for CMJA’s appeal).
9. The court will either: affirm the decision; order a new trial; modify the ruling in some way; throw out case entirely.
ERRORS & PRESERVING ERRORS FOR APPEAL
Appellate courts review the trial record for two types of error in procedure of the law made by the trial judge:
1. Errors that were preserved for appeal and are being argued in the brief by the defendant’s attorneys. (Will be ruled as either “harmless” or “reversible.”
2. Fundamental errors: “error that is reversible even though it was not properly preserved. It is error that is so egregious and pervasive and that so affects the fairness of the proceedings that no objection is required. “
Preserving errors for appeal:
“The appellate courts will almost never reverse unless the issue has been properly and timely presented to the trial judge, with a full explanation of the error and the law, and a request to correct the problem, in time for the trial judge to correct it.
The principal behind the requirement of preserving error is to bring it to the trial judge's attention, explain the issue to the judge, and give the judge an opportunity to correct it at a time when the trial judge has the ability to do so.
The essentials of an objection, motion or request are:
1. It must be timely
2. It must be specific
3. It must be ruled on
4. It must accurately appear in the record .”
06-09-2016, 10:38 AM #10
POSSIBLE ISSUES TO BE RAISED IN CMJA'S APPEAL
Judge Stephens' denial of the DT's request to dismiss DP (issued on January 14, 2015) lists many (perhaps most) of the issues Nurmi wanted to preserve for appeal: he'd raised the discovery issues and issues relating to Flores for several years before trial.
JSS's full ruling: http://media2.abc15.com/html/pdf/AriasJan14motion.pdf
JSS denied DT Motions relating to:
1. Potential mitigation witnesses won’t (didn’t) testify.
2. Text messages were not timely disclosed
3. Defendant’s rights were violated by Sheriff Joe
4. Detective Flores gave inconsistent testimony about shot first.
5. There was a delay in providing defendant with the mirror image of HD created June 11, 2008. (State originally turned over a mirror image of HD copied in 2009, after the DT had turned on TA’s computer, accidentally deleting files).
6. SM posting by Flores’s wife
7. Detective Flores commented to the press about dismissal of a juror.
8. Sheriff Joe made harassing comments about the defendant to the media.
9. Detective Flores woke up TA’s computer, destroying potential evidence.
10. Evidence was possibly destroyed when the computer was accessed on June 19, 2009.
11. Prior attorneys were ineffective (for accessing the computer).
12. Detective Melendez testified at guilt phase and PP2 that he found no pornography or viruses on the computer.
13. Comments at bench conference were insulting and unprofessional.
14. The prosecutor harassed a defense witness. (said Samuels liked CMJA).
15. The prosecutor signed an autograph in front of courthouse.
16. Reluctance of witnesses to testify a PP2.
17. Cumulative misconduct of prosecutor resulted in an unfair trial.
06-10-2016, 10:13 AM #11
Court of Appeals Case History, May 2015- June 7, 2016.
May 5, 2015. Case (appeal) filed
June 12, 2015. Additional Records for Appeal (requested by appellant, full list is on COA docket: http://apps.supremecourt.az.gov/aacc...partyindex.htm
July 31, 2015. Motion for Protective Order for Sealed Records (appellant requests that trial records stay sealed, to be opened only for appeal-related matters, then resealed).
August 13, 2015 Granted: Motion for Protective Order for Sealed Records
Her attorneys argue that the entire COA –all judges--should be disqualified for assumed lack of impartiality, because of an article written by one COA judge.
October 7, 2015. Motion to Disqualify Court of Appeals
October 14, 2015. Motion to Disqualify Court of Appeals. DENIED
October 15, 2015. Motion to Reconsider Disqualify Court of Appeals
(Paul Ahler heads up special investigations for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO). Ahler requested access to some of the sealed trial records for an investigation unrelated to CMJA’s appeals.
Her attorneys argued the State had no right to access the records because the Protective Order stated they were to be unsealed only for purposes of appeal; that the State was obligated to disclose why it wanted access and which records were of interest; and that the Superior Court didn’t have jurisdiction to order the items unsealed.
The COA didn’t agree with any of those points.
Next came motions relating to JM’s book, included in the motions an argument by her attorneys that they be allowed to read the manuscript before publication, to verify that JM didn’t access sealed records when writing the book. The COA didn't agree with those points either.
October 28, 2015. Motion to Enforce Protective Order Re: Superior Court Ordering Items Unsealed
November 3, 2015. Motion to Reconsider Re: Disqualify Court of Appeals. DENIED.
November 5, 2015. Motion to Enforce Protective Order Issued August 13, 2015. DENIED.
November 6, 2015. Notice of Special Appearance (Paul Ahler)
November 6, 2015. State’s Response to Motion to Enforce Protective Order Re: Superior Court Ordering Items Unsealed
November 6, 2015. State’s Motion to File Documents Under Seal
November 6, 2015. Document Filed Under Seal
November 17, 2015. Motion to Extend Time to Respond to State’s Pleadings -GRANTED (to November 20).
November 19, 2015. Reply to State’s Response to Motion to Enforce Protective order.
November 19, 2015. Response to State’s Motion to File Documents Under Seal
December 3, 2015. State’s Motion to File Documents Under Seal. DENIED.
December 3, 2015. Motion to Enforce Protective Order Re: Superior Court Ordering Items Unsealed
COMPLETION OF RECORD, OPENING BRIEFS
April 11, 2016. Motion to Provide Transcripts to Counsel.
April 18, 2016. Amended Motion to Provide Transcripts to Counsel. GRANTED.
May 11, 2016. Second Motion to Provide Transcripts to Counsel.
May 11, 2016. Request for Management Conference and Briefing Schedule
May 12, 2016. NOTICE OF COMPLETION OF (TRIAL) RECORD.
(All transcripts completed and a court clerk has prepared a trial record index). The clock starts now for the appeal proper, including the filing of opening briefs. In Arizona, appellants must file an opening brief within 40 days of the completion of record).
May 12, 2016. Second Motion to Provide Transcripts to Counsel. GRANTED. Transcripts due by counsel by May 26, 2016.
May 17, 2016. Request for Management Conference and Briefing Schedule: DENIED
May 19, 2016. Motion to Supplement the Record and Motion to Extend Time for Filing Opening Brief.
May 24, 2016. ORDERED: designating this case complex; parties have until November 30, 2016 to file any motions to supplement the record. Opening brief due date of June 26, 2016 is vacated. Briefing schedule will be set after a conference with counsel in due course.
May 27, 2016. Motion to Supplement the Record: GRANTED.
Transcripts due June 27, 2016. List of 22 transcripts sought:
May 31, 2016. Post-Management Conference-Motion to Supplement 1 and 2
June 3, 2016. Post-Management Conference-Motion to Supplement 3.
June 3, 2016. Amended Post-Management Conference-Motion to Supplement 3.
June 6, 2016. Post-Management Conference-Motion to Supplement 4.
June 7, 2016. Post-Management Conference-Motion to Supplement 1, 2, and 3-GRANTED. Transcripts due July 8, 2016.
Note: “Supplement” seem to refer to single items, transcripts, in this instance. Here are the 3 supplements to trial record the COA granted on June 7:
Supplement 1. Transcript: Trial, January 10, 2013. 3:48-4:23.
From Superior Court Minute Entries: Meeting held in chambers beginning at 3:48, regarding the security belt she was required to wear. DT objected to discussing this in chambers, requested “to argue in the Court room before the media.”
Court reconvened at 3:55. Argument presented on Defendant’s s Motion for a Mistrial and Motion for a new Probable Cause Hearing (due to Flores’ 2009 shot first testimony, basis for DP, etc.)
Court finds not timely filed, but even if they were, the testimony by Flores wouldn’t have changed Judge Duncan’s 2009 ruling.
Considered: Aug 18, 2009 Minute Entry, Kevin Horn testimony of January 9, 2012; Flores-Jan 10, 2012; oral argument Jan 11, 2012. Original Flores testimony --Aug 7, 2009.
Sequence irrelevant, because Travis suffered. Flores testimony was thus harmless error. Denied.
Court in recess at 4:23.
Supplement 2. Transcript: Cross examination, juror questions, January 30, 2013.
(Daniel and Desiree Freedman testified on the 30th, but jurors didn’t have any questions for them. The requested transcript must be for JM’s cross on juror questions asked of Lisa Diadone).
Supplement 3. Transcript for all redacted portions not transcribed on February 4, 2013.
(Lonnie Dworkin, Bryan Neumiester testify; many sidebars and JM objections to evidence being introduced during Dworkin’s testimony.
First day of CMJA on stand. Meeting in chambers after she’s been on the stand for about an hour. Meeting: 3:04-3:18).
Last edited by Hope4More; 06-10-2016 at 10:31 AM.
06-13-2016, 01:35 PM #12
IN BETWEEN TRIALS PART ONE: May -December, 2013.
The original PP2 retrial date was set for July 18, 2013. That date was vacated early on, but at year’s end 2013 hadn’t been reset.
May 23. MISTRIAL, PENALTY PHASE.
May 30. JSS orders that bench conferences and hearings, except ex parte hearings, be unsealed.
(Nurmi writes that he tried to visit CMJA once in early June, but she refused to see him. At some point in June CMJA requests Nurmi be replaced, and is denied).
June 12. Minute Entry. Defendant’s presence waived; DT and JM present. JSS reverses course, says unsealing records could taint future jury pool; ordered to reseal until further notice.
June 18. Minute Entry. JSS reviewed the prepared transcript of proceedings in chambers on February 6, 2013; orders that the transcript remain sealed.
June 20. Status Conference. All parties present. 9:41-9:42. (clerk typo).
After in chambers conference, JSS vacates trial date of July 18, 2013. Hearing on DT’s motion for continuance set for July 16, 2013.
(Guessing her request to have Nurmi replaced was brought up in chambers and discussed on this date).
June 21. DT Motion to Vacate Aggravation Phase Verdict Pursuant to Rule 24.2 AZ Criminal Procedure.
(Nurmi writes that he tried to speak with CMJA at court during a proceeding in July, but that she refused to speak with him).
July 8. State’s response to the Vacate Motion.
July 16. Minute Entry. 10:36-10:58. All parties present.
10:36- 10:53. JSS has an ex parte meeting with DT, defendant and mitigation specialist MDLR.
Discussion of PP2 issues. Status conference set for August 26, 2013. JSS gives the DT until August 5 to reply to the State’s response to DT’s Motion to Vacate Aggravation Phase Verdict Pursuant to Rule 24.2 AZ Criminal Procedure.
August 9. Ruling on the DT Motion to Vacate Aggravation Phase Verdict Pursuant to Rule 24.2 AZ Criminal Procedure: DENIED.
Lengthy legal explanation by JSS:
Summary: JSS says the issue is not yet ripe, as judgement has not yet entered, and won’t be until sentencing is imposed.
On the substantive argument by the DT, that the judicial definition of “especially cruel” violates the separation of powers, JSS says: “The ASC exercised its judicial power to effectuate the legislature’s intent.”
In other words, the DT argued that the Arizona Supreme Court overstepped its bounds when it narrowed the meaning of “especially cruel” after the USSC Ring decision to conform to the constitutional requirements that decision mandated.
JSS asserted that the ASC exercised its commonplace and legitimate judicial authority to interpret and uphold legislative intent; in this instance, laws passed by the AZ state legislature relating to capital cases and what constitutes “especially cruel.”
August 21. DT Motion for Individual Voir Dire.
August 26, 2013. CCMC. All parties present. 8:39-8:41.
JSS sets next CCMC for September 16, 2013, hearing to be held then on pending motions. Wants Joint Case Management Reports 2 days beforehand (case prep, witness interviews, pending issues to be resolved).
August 27. DT Motion for a Change in Venue.
August 29. DT Renewed Request to Sequester Jury.
September 11. State’s Objection to DT Motion for a Change in Venue.
September 12. State’s Objection to individual voir dire.
September 12. State’s Objection to the Motion to Preclude (doesn’t say what) to be sealed, not opened without further order by the Court. Was accidentally filed electronically on September 11—withdraw it from system, then seal.
September 13. 1047-10:55. All parties present. DT motion to continue next status conference from September 16 to October 4, 2013: GRANTED.
September 16. Minute Entry. All parties present. 9:53- 10:26. Ex parte meeting 9:54-10:21.
Ordered: all mitigation witness names are to be filed under seal, copy to be provided to the State; ex parte hearing not to be transcribed without a Court order.
September 25. Defendant’s Reply to State’s Objection to Change of venue, and reply to State’s objection to individual voir dire.
October 1. JSS orders that the October 4 and October 18 pre-trial hearings be closed to the public. Open Court would present a “clear and present danger” to the parties’ right to a fair penalty phase trial by an impartial jury.
There exists a substantial probability that matters raised during these hearings could taint the jury pool and impact “the parties’ ability to effectively present matters at trial.” Given the intense media coverage of this case, there is no less restrictive means than closure. (note: foreshadowing of her ruling on secret testimony).
October 7. State’s objection to having jury sequestered.
October 14. CMJA handwrites a Motion to Change Counsel, asking that Nurmi be fired. (filed same day, executed on October 17).
Summary: Says she hasn’t spoken to Nurmi since May 23, has a trial coming up, “or at least a settlement conference,” and that she isn’t as prepared as she needs to be.
Suggests that she expected her refusal to see Nurmi would force him to withdraw. That her refusal to see him hadn’t led to him trying to communicate with her via someone else on the DT, but that even if he had tried to do so, as she had “advised (JSS)about the ABA guidelines” such communication wouldn’t suffice, and would be a “dangerous form of phone tag.” (LOL).
Says ABA Guidelines state she is entitled to 2 attorneys, and she only has one, who she likes, but hers is JW’s first capital case, and it’s just unfair to have JW do all the work. Repeats: “under no uncertain terms I am entitled to two attorneys.”
Accuses Nurmi of not investigating mitigation witnesses, of not listening to her concerns (asks for an ex parte meeting with JSS “because of the nature” of the specific example she wants to relate about Nurmi failing to listen, respond or even properly advise me adversely affected my testimony at trial.” That he didn’t impeach 3 state witnesses, including Deanna
October 16. DT’s reply to State’s objection to having jury sequestered.
October 18. Minute Entry. Parties agree to close the settlement conference to the public and media, scheduled October 24, 2013.
Any agreement will be entered in open court. Transcript of the conference will be sealed.
JSS uses the same logic and language (“would present a “clear and present danger” to the parties’ right to a fair penalty phase trial by an impartial jury; there exists a substantial probability that matters raised during these hearings could taint the jury pool and impact “the parties’ ability to effectively present matters at trial”) and adds: “presence of media may inhibit the free flow of information, including statements by the victims and defendant. This is especially important here since the only issue for the jury will be penalty. “
And again—“Given the intense media coverage of this case, there is no less restrictive means than closure.”
October 24. ((No settlement reached, of course)).
Nov 1. 2013. Minute Entry. Time was set for a status conference, but instead CMJA’s Motion to Change Counsel is discussed in yet another ex parte closed hearing, from 1:40-4:30. Sealed, not to be opened, etc.
((According to later minute entry, change of venue and sequestration were also discussed, so presumably, matters relating to pre-trial publicity).
November 13. Minute Entry. Ruling on DT’s request for a change in venue-DENIED.
JSS: Pre-trial publicity was not so pervasive as to cause the proceedings to be fundamentally unfair. At least one of two conditions must be demonstrable: that publicity was so pervasive that prejudice could be assumed, OR, that the defendant can show “actual prejudice among members of the jury. “
JSS cites the ASC: “the quantity of publicity alone will not justify a presumption of prejudice.”
JSS rules that the DT hadn’t proven such pervasiveness, nor its assertion that media coverage was less in other counties had less coverage; that the Court can’t assume 1st trial publicity would prevent PP2 jurors from reaching fair verdict; and that there is no basis for finding that “publicity has been so outrageous that it will turn PP2 into a mockery of justice or mere formality.”
Extremely lengthy legal reasoning for her decision:
November 14. Sealed Minute Entry. Granted: DT’s motion to preclude live media coverage of PP2. Still photos permitted.
November 14. DT’s renewed motion to sequester jury: DENIED.
Defendant argues “plethora of media coverage…overwhelmed the first trial and poses a threat to the integrity of PP2.
JSS: Sequestration is at trial judge’s discretion, and “will not be disturbed” unless judge has abused her discretion AND that such abuse prejudiced the defendant. To prove error, the DT must demonstrate publicity AND that jurors did not abide by the admonition to avoid publicity during trial. The last jury sequestered in Maricopa County was in 1973.
Court-has excluded live coverage, expects coverage will be significantly less. “As noted by the State, much of the media coverage was generated by the defendant contacting media outlets. Defendant now complains she can’t get a fair trial because of media interest in her case.”
Last jury had no problem obeying the admonition for 5 months, JSS sees no reason why the PP2 will not also follow Court orders.
Included in her ruling is a statement that she expects retrial will last “at least two months.”
November 14. Minute Entry. Ruling on DT’s request for individual voir dire of ALL potential jurors: DENIED.
JSS: The Court acknowledges there are unique concerns that have arisen because of substantial publicity surrounding the case,” but…. same voir dire process as trial 1 will do, with a few minor tweaks. Lays them out, including a jury pool of 400.
November 19. 8:30-8:45. Minute Entry. All parties present. Holding in abeyance DT sealed motion until hearing until November 26. Discussion of PP2 exhibits.
November 26. Ruling on media’s request to unseal the transcript of the October 4 hearing related to excluding media from PP2. DT wants it kept sealed in its entirety, State says unseal the whole thing, JSS rules some parts may be unsealed, the rest should stay sealed for the reasons set out on October 1.
November 26. 8:48-8:58. All parties present. Set time for hearing on DT motion to compel juror twitter accounts and the State’s objection to same. JSS says she’s taken the motions under advisement, and sets another time to discuss them, on December 3.
FIRST SETTING OF TRIAL DATE: Last day: July 22, 2013. (clerk typo?)
December 3. Motion to Compel juror twitter accounts: DENIED.
DT wants the twitter account information to “allow the parties to monitor the jurors to assure there is no violation of the Court’s admonition.
JSS: No legal authority for this motion. Jurors might refuse to serve if so compelled, considering it a violation of their privacy rights. “The Court will not presume juror misconduct will occur. The Court will not require all jurors to provide their SM account information to the Court.”
(Note- how quintessentially Arias, to demand she be allowed to snoop others’ SM accounts).
December 1. DT’s motion to reconsider change of venue and individualized voir dire.
December 5, 2013. Minute Entry. JSS: Considered the DT’s motion to reconsider change of venue and individualized voir dire, due to ex-cellie “speaking poorly” of defendant, and telling the media CMJA wanted to take revenge on JM, Flores, and (Samantha).
Motion DENIED. Again.
Last edited by Hope4More; 06-13-2016 at 01:42 PM.
06-29-2016, 01:58 PM #13
CMJA's attorneys have made 4 requests to supplement the trial record, and the COA has granted each request.
The most recent seems to have been a request for a correction to an existing transcript that is already part of the trial record.
There are no pending motions at the moment, other than a request to extend the deadline for filing an opening brief. That motion is pending because the COA has already granted her attorneys until November 2016 to request additional supplements.
A deadline for briefs, then, won't be set until November or December at the earliest.
07-05-2016, 12:49 PM #14
A silly tabloid story is out about her appeals stalling "indefinitely" or some such nonsense.
Two court reporters missed the June 27 deadline for filing the first batch of supplemental transcripts (about 20 outstanding, Babicky owes a few more than Arnold). Big whoopidy.
A day after the transcripts were due, her attorneys filed a Motion to Compel; basically, a "hurry it up." The Motion was heard on by Dept M on July 1.
Nothing posted yet about the result, but missed deadlines are entirely routine. Too many transcripts, too few court reporters. Worse case-- the COA makes empty threats about sanctions if the transcripts aren't produced by X date....which is just another way of extending the deadline.
07-12-2016, 11:58 AM #15
No ruling filed yet about the Motion to Compel (overdue) transcripts. 23 transcripts are outstanding, all but 3 were due June 27.
What is new on the COA docket is a ruling that documents received from a "Gene Scott" on July 5 "will not be filed."
A guess-- a whacko fan/someone who wants attention sent the COA proof positive the butcheress is innocent or the like, and the COA swatted him away (guess is based on checking FB).
Last edited by Hope4More; 07-12-2016 at 12:03 PM.
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