Thomas to defend wiretaps in Serial Shooter case - East Valley Tribune: News

Thomas to defend wiretaps in Serial Shooter case

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Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2008 12:21 pm | Updated: 3:45 pm, Wed Jun 19, 2013.

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas is expected to testify today about his decision to approve wiretaps and electronic surveillance of two men suspected in a spree of random shootings that has come to be known as the Serial Shooters case.

Thomas has tried to avoid testifying, saying doing so could jeopardize the case against Dale Hausner, who is charged with eight counts of first-degree murder.

Hausner's co-defendant, Samuel Dieteman, pleaded guilty April 8 to two counts of first-degree murder and agreed to testify against Hausner. Both men are from Mesa.

The hearing focuses on whether the electronic eavesdropping will be admissible at trial.

It would usually be up to a judge to authorize bugs and wiretaps, but county attorneys and attorneys general are allowed to proceed when "death or serious physical injury may be averted."

The prosecutors then have to apply for a judge's approval within 48 hours.

Hausner's defense attorneys allege in court documents that the decision to eavesdrop amounted to nothing more than a fishing expedition.

The shooting spree lasted from May 2005 to August 2006. Besides the deaths, numerous people were wounded and animals also were shot.

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