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It would be hard to find another entertainer in recent memory that has paid more dues than singer Darlene Love.
Lawyers for Jodi Arias will begin making their case Thursday that the convicted murderer should be spared the death penalty for the brutal 2008 killing of her former boyfriend.
PHOENIX (AP) — Siblings of the man murdered by Jodi Arias tearfully told a jury Thursday how they are still traumatized by his killing six years ago, recounting a litany of nightmares, ulcers and family troubles brought on by the loss of their beloved family member.
The family members spoke to the jury that is deciding whether the 34-year-old Arias should get the death penalty or a life sentence in the 2008 killing of Travis Alexander. He was shot and stabbed in his shower by Arias in what prosecutors described as a jealous rage after he wanted to break off their relationship and see other people. Arias says it was self-defense.
Steven Alexander described nightmares, ulcers and constant trauma from losing his brother, including locking the doors when he showers. Tanisha Sorenson called it a "living hell."
"When I lay down at night, all I can think about is my brother's murder," Steven Alexander said as other family members could be heard crying in the gallery.
A jury last year convicted Arias of murder but deadlocked on whether she should be sentenced to life in prison or death. A new jury was seated to decide the punishment again. The defense is expected to begin its case later Thursday.
The family statements came after several days of prosecution testimony, primarily by the Mesa detective who investigated the case and interrogated Arias. Jurors also saw gruesome crime-scene photos and heard an X-rated phone call between Arias and the victim in the weeks before the killing.
Much of the testimony and evidence was a repeat from the original trial, which attracted a global following as it was televised live. The retrial is not being broadcast live, however.
PHOENIX (AP) — An independent investigation of the nearly two-hour execution of an Arizona death row inmate is expected to be completed in the next two weeks, attorneys representing the state said Wednesday.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Binford, who is representing the state in a lawsuit involving the execution of Joseph Wood, said during a court status conference that a report is expected by mid-November.
Binford said the findings will go to Gov. Jan Brewer and to Arizona Department of Corrections director Charles Ryan, who may change the drug protocol for executions based on the report's recommendations.
Attorneys representing several prisoners and the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona are seeking information about lethal injection methods used by the state.
U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake asked both sides for input about the need for litigation before the report comes out.
Mark Haddad, a lawyer representing the coalition, said litigation would ensure that evidence such as key witness interviews and electronic and phone communications would be preserved. Haddad further argued that even if the execution drug protocol changes, the state could essentially experiment on inmates without having to be completely transparent or accountable.
"They are free to go back to them even 18 hours before the execution or the day of the execution — as we learned from Mr. Wood," Haddad said.
It took nearly two hours and 15 doses of injection drugs before Joseph Wood died on July 23.
PHOENIX (AP) — A 51-year-old Phoenix police officer has been arrested and is accused of pointing a gun at people in another vehicle during a traffic altercation.
Sgt. Trent Crump says Officer Jeremy Sweet was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of aggravated assault in connection with the Monday afternoon incident.
Crump says the incident occurred while Sweet was on duty and operating an unmarked police vehicle transporting prisoners.
Online court records don't show whether Sweet has an attorney.
A van with multiple bullet holes and a prisoner uniform lying on the ground is shown at the scene of an officer-involved shooting Tuesday in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
PHOENIX (AP) — A sheriff's detention officer shot and killed a jail inmate in Phoenix who slipped out of his restraints, ran away and struggled with another officer over a gun Tuesday, authorities said.
Angel Frescas, 22, died hours after being shot in the head by another detention officer who responded to the scene.
Frescas took off running after being taken to a hospital, Maricopa County Sheriff's officials said. A detention officer caught up with him, and they struggled over the officer's gun.
Another detention officer at the hospital responded to a call for help and fired several shots at Frescas, hitting him twice, said Deputy Joaquin Enriquez, a sheriff's spokesman.
Frescas had been arrested Oct. 14 on suspicion of aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest in a Sept. 18 case, authorities said.
The shooting occurred on a street near the county hospital in central Phoenix, and news video showed a parked black van with bullet holes in its windshield. Residents said they heard several gunshots.
The inmate fled after somehow unfastening handcuffs and leg restraints while he and two other prisoners were unloaded from the van at the hospital, Enriquez said.
While one officer gave chase, a second detention officer helping transport the prisoners took the other two into the hospital and placed them in a holding cell.
Investigators believe Frescas had planned the escape in advance, Enriquez said.
A sheriff's inmate escaped from the same hospital earlier this month as he was taken in for a medical appointment. That inmate ditched his crutches and drove off in a vehicle that a deliveryman had left running. The inmate and stolen car were found elsewhere in Phoenix later that day.
A suspected rapist in Gilbert whose conviction was reversed four years ago now is facing child pornography charges.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Several news organizations have filed a lawsuit against Arizona that says the public has a First Amendment right to information about its execution protocols.
The suit, filed Thursday, stems from the July 23 execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood that lasted nearly two hours and required 15 doses of the sedative midazolam and a painkiller. Wood, convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her father, took deep gasps for more than 90 minutes before he died.
The news organizations filing the lawsuit include The Associated Press, the Arizona Republic, the Arizona Daily Star, Phoenix TV stations KPNX and KPHO, and Guardian News and Media.
Wood's defense attorney, Dale Baich, called it a botched execution, a claim Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan adamantly denies. Baich has also filed a lawsuit on behalf of Wood and other death row inmates seeking details about execution protocols and citing the First Amendment.
"No proper basis exists for (the Department of Corrections) to abridge the public's constitutional right of access to this information and to the execution," the AP lawsuit states.
Information about Arizona's lethal injection drugs had been public until 2010, a few months before the state had to find new drugs and a manufacturer after an Illinois-based pharmaceutical company stopped making the drug that had been used for several years.
Since then, officials have refused to disclose the source, composition and quality of the drugs despite public and media requests. The issue has come up in other states as prison officials have refused to release information about execution protocols.
"By protecting the identity of its commercial drug suppliers, the ADC is intentionally thwarting the right of interested parties to engage in constitutionally protected activity, as well as the First Amendment right of plaintiffs to report on the identity and qualifications of drug suppliers, to report on the quality and efficacy of the drugs used, or to report on deviations from the intended protocol," the lawsuit states.
Department of Corrections spokesman Bill Lamoreaux said Monday that the department does not comment on pending litigation. Arizona has less than three weeks to respond to the lawsuit in court.
The lawsuit discusses the long history of executions in Arizona and across the nation, including hangings, the gas chamber and the current method of lethal injection. In those executions, the suit says, states established a precedent over the years to keep the public informed of the methods, such as disclosing the maker of poisons used in gas chambers.
The AP and other media organizations are asking a federal judge to require the state to reveal the details. Magistrate Judge Bridget S. Bade has been assigned to the case.
That faint noise you hear is the sound of pint-sized spooks, banshees, and vampires gathering on your lawn. They will soon be knocking at the door plastic pumpkins outstretched. Spare yourself the tricks and go ahead and give up the treats - the unhealthy, sweet, nougat-filled goodies in your cupboard.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A series of colorful, eerie faces painted on rocks in some of the West's most famously picturesque landscapes has sparked an investigation by the National Park Service and a furor online.
Agents so far have confirmed the images in Yosemite and four other national parks in California, Utah and Oregon. Park Service spokesman Jeffrey Olson said the vandalism could lead to felony charges for the person responsible.
The images appear to come from a New York state woman traveling across the West this summer and documenting her work on Instagram and Tumblr, said Casey Schreiner of modernhiker.com, whose blog post tipped off authorities.
The investigation is the subject of well-trafficked threads on the website Reddit, where people railed against the drawings as the defacing of irreplaceable natural landscapes.
"You're seeing this emotional response of people who feel like they've been kicked in the gut," Schreiner said.
It's not the first time vandalism in parks has been documented on social media. Last year in Utah, two Boy Scout leaders caused an online uproar when they recorded themselves toppling an ancient rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park and posted it on YouTube.
But in this case, the woman appears to consider the work an artistic expression, Schreiner said.
One photograph online showed a painting of a woman's face on a rock outcropping against the panoramic sweep of Oregon's Crater Lake National Park. In another, a backpack-size line drawing of a woman smoking a cigarette appears on red rock in Utah's Zion.
The images appear to have been painted with acrylic paint or drawn with marker, Schreiner said.
He took screen shots Tuesday of seven images that appeared on Instagram and Tumblr accounts under the handle "creepytings." The accounts later were made private or taken down.
The Associated Press is not naming the woman associated with the accounts because she hasn't been charged with a crime. Efforts to reach her Thursday were not successful.
Artists who work in natural environments typically consider who owns the land and get permission to work there, said Monty Paret, an associate professor of art history at the University of Utah. The earthwork "Spiral Jetty" sculpture on the shore of the Great Salt Lake, for example, is on land leased from the state.
The images that surfaced this week look more like graffiti, Paret said.
"As opposed to tagging in a back alley, it's like tagging an iconic building," he said. "It's going to get a lot more attention."
National parks agents have confirmed the vandalism in Yosemite and Death Valley National Parks in California, Canyonlands and Zion in Utah, and Crater Lake in Oregon.
Investigators also are looking for vandalism in other places the woman's social media trail indicates she visited: Joshua Tree, Sequoia and Kings Canyon in California; Rocky Mountain in Colorado; Bryce Canyon in Utah; and Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Crater Lake superintendent Craig Ackerman said bad weather has kept staff from going to the painting there, which is at an elevation of about 9,000 feet. Though rangers typically remove graffiti to discourage others, sometimes cleaning it causes even more damage, he said.
Vandalism is a small but persistent problem for the Park Service, which welcomes about 280 million visitors a year, Olson said.
It typically is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and a year in prison. But vandalism in national parks can be a felony if the damage is extensive or in specially protected places, he said.
Associated Press writer Jeff Barnard in Grants Pass, Oregon, contributed to this report.
Got something in your house you don't want the cops to find? Then don't leave it to your fiancée or roommate to deal with the problem.
PHOENIX -- Got something in your house you don't want the cops to find?
Then don't leave it to your fiancee or roommate to deal with the problem.
In a unanimous ruling Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments from an Arizona man that federal agents had illegally searched his home. His attorney argued that because he was there but never consented to the entry, that makes the drugs they found inside inadmissible.
Judge Barry Silverman, writing for the court, acknowledged that the refusal of the occupant of a residence to consent generally makes a warrantless search illegal. And the judge said that applies even if someone else living there gave police the go-ahead.
But Silverman said what happened here is that Marlon Moore had the opportunity to object when the officers came knocking on his door. Instead, he refused to respond "and simply acquiesced in letting his fiancee deal with the police.''
Court records say the Department of Homeland Security had been tracking Moore for months as a suspect in a marijuana distribution ring. That eventually led to surveillance on his Laveen home based on a tip that a large quantity of the drug had been delivered there.
A knock on the door went unanswered. So an officer called a phone number on the taxi parked in front of the house and told the woman who answered the house was under surveillance for possible drug trafficking, and he was "in the middle of writing a search warrant.''
The woman, later identified as Moore's fiancee, came to the house and, after speaking with the officer, signed a consent to search.
She and some officers then went to the door, phoning Moore and her sister, also inside, but neither answered their respective phones. And she could not unlock the door because it had been bolted. The fiancee then called out to Moore and her sister that the police where there. When no one answered, officers sought -- and she granted -- permission to use a battering ram.
They found marijuana inside. Moore was convicted of possession with intent to distribute and sentenced to 46 months in prison.
Silverman said that for a warrantless search to be declared illegal two things have to happen.
First, the occupant must be physically present. That clearly was the case here. But Silverman said the person must "expressly refuse consent.''
"The facts at best show that Moore implicitly refused to allow the police to search the residence,'' the judge wrote.
He said it would have been one thing had Moore, after speaking the police, slammed the door and locked the deadbolt.
"Moore simply remained in the house while (his fiancee) worked with the police to gain entry to the house,'' Silverman wrote.
The Chandler Police Department has released information about a sex offender who recently moved to the city.
Jurors at the sentencing retrial of convicted murderer Jodi Arias saw a series of gruesome photos that showed her ex-boyfriend's dead body crammed into a shower at his house — his throat slit.
One thing I’ve noticed the Republicans and particularly the far right, scorched earth, take no prisoners Tea Party types are really good at is projection. Whatever dirty tricks they are up to, they accuse their opponents of doing. A perfect example of this is the Oct. 15 letter from Rick Cunnington wherin he accuses Jo Holt of being inflexible and beholden to some completely made up Democratic “prime directive”. Captain Kirk on Star Treck had a prime directive. No evidence exists that the Democrats do. The Republicans on the other hand have given us the most unproductive Congress in history, the most Senate filibusters in history and a lege in Phoenix that only seems capable of passing bills that are clearly unconstitutional so the tax payers can spend millions defending them in court.
BUCKEYE, Ariz. (AP) — Three Arizona Department of Corrections employees going to work were critically injured and four others also were hurt when their van overturned in a traffic accident in Buckeye.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves says the DOC van rolled on its side when struck by a pickup truck which ran a stop sign at an intersection Monday night.
Graves says three of the workers were reported in critical or extremely critical conditions while injuries to the other four were less serious. The Department of Corrections says those four were released after treatment.
The pickup's driver wasn't hurt, and Graves says there's no indication she was impaired.
The accident occurred on State Route 85 as the DOC workers were going to work at the Lewis prison complex in Buckeye.
PHOENIX (AP) — A prosecutor at the sentencing retrial of convicted murderer Jodi Arias showed jurors two photos Tuesday of her ex-boyfriend and victim Travis Alexander.
One was an unremarkable picture of his face taken some time before his death. The other was a crime-scene photo showing his slit throat.
"She loved him so much that this is what she did to him," prosecutor Juan Martinez said in his opening statement, describing the gruesome suffering Arias inflicted on Alexander before his death in 2008.
"There are no mitigating circumstances in this case. None," Martinez said. "The only just punishment for this crime is death."
Arias has acknowledged killing Alexander but claimed it was self-defense after he attacked her. Prosecutors said it was premeditated murder carried out in a jealous rage after the victim wanted to end their affair and planned a trip to Mexico with another woman.
Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi said Tuesday that Arias was the victim of profound sexual humiliation by Alexander, and that she is mentally ill and a victim of child abuse.
He urged jurors to sentence her to life in prison, saying she is remorseful about killing the man who never acknowledged to others that she was his girlfriend.
"Jodi Arias was always the girl behind the closed door in the bedroom," Nurmi told jurors.
He suggested his client would testify during the proceedings expected to last until December.
"She will tell you how horrified she is that she killed the man she loved," Nurmi said.
Arias, sporting shoulder-length hair and wearing a beige blouse, often looked at the jury while her lawyer laid out his case. She turned away, however, as the prosecutor detailed the crime that included shooting Alexander in the head and stabbing him nearly 30 times.
Members of the Alexander and Arias families looked on from the front rows of the courtroom during the opening statements.
Jurors were shown naked photographs that Alexander and Arias took of each other shortly before Alexander was killed. Alexander's sister turned away from the images and wept as the photos were being shown.
Arias, a 34-year-old former waitress, was convicted of murder last year in the killing of Alexander at his suburban Phoenix home, Authorities said she slit his throat so deeply that she nearly decapitated him and left his body in his shower where friends found him after about five days.
Jurors couldn't agree on a sentence then. Prosecutors have one more chance with a new jury to secure the death penalty, If the jury fails to reach a unanimous decision, the judge will then sentence Arias to spend the rest of her life behind bars or to be eligible for release after 25 years.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens told the new jury that they had to accept the guilty verdict on the murder charge.
The start of the sentencing retrial was less of a spectacle than the initial case in early 2013, when onlookers from around the country traveled to Phoenix and lined up outside court for the trial that became a tabloid TV sensation. Still, some of the people who regularly attended the first trial were back in court Tuesday.
The tumultuous relationship of Arias and Alexander became a major part of the obsession with the case as intimate details of their time together were revealed in the courtroom.
The first trial was broadcast live, but Judge Stephens imposed restrictions on the sentencing retrial. Cameras are allowed at the retrial, but no footage can be broadcast until it's finished.
A prosecutor at the sentencing retrial of convicted murderer Jodi Arias showed jurors two photos Tuesday of her ex-boyfriend and victim Travis Alexander.
Attorneys for the state are asking a federal judge to throw out a challenge to the state's new “revenge porn” law.
PHOENIX (AP) — The Jodi Arias sentencing retrial began Tuesday with lawyers alternately portraying her as a vicious killer and a hard-luck case deserving a second chance.
As he delivered his opening statement, prosecutor Juan Martinez displayed a photo of the slit throat of Arias' boyfriend and victim Travis Alexander, who also was shot and suffered about 30 stab wounds in his Mesa home more than six years ago.
Prosecutors say Arias killed Alexander in a fit of jealousy and rage after he broke off their relationship and wanted to see other women.
Defense lawyer Kirk Nurmi countered Tuesday by citing Arias' clean criminal record until the killing as one of the reasons she deserves a life sentence, not death. He also said she suffers from mental illness and was a victim of child abuse.
"It's up to you to write the final chapter to this story," Nurmi told the new jurors deciding whether Arias should live or die.
The 34-year-old Arias was convicted of murder last year, but that jury deadlocked on whether to give her the death penalty or life in prison.
The start of the sentencing retrial was less of a spectacle than the initial case in early 2013, when onlookers from around the country traveled to Phoenix and lined up outside court for the trial that became a tabloid TV sensation.
The tumultuous relationship of Arias and Alexander became a major part of the obsession over the case as intimate details of their time together were revealed in the courtroom.
The first trial was broadcast live, but Judge Sherry Stephens imposed restrictions this time. Cameras are allowed at the retrial, but none of the footage can be broadcast until after it's finished.
Jurors in Phoenix will once again be asked to decide whether Jodi Arias should be executed for the gruesome murder of her former boyfriend.
A Maricopa County grand jury decided to indict four people in the deaths of more than 20 dogs at a boarding facility in Gilbert in one of the largest animal cruelty cases the county has seen.
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Secretary of State's office has closed a complaint filed by the Democratic Party into whether Republican attorney general candidate Mark Brnovich failed to register as a lobbyist in 2006.
The secretary of state said Thursday that Brnovich's lawyer provided information showing he was exempt from registration requirements.
Brnovich signed in at a state Senate committee as opposing a proposed law that would have barred private prison companies from accepting violent offenders from outside Arizona. Brnovich was working for private prison company Corrections Corporation of America at the time.
The Democrats wanted the secretary of state's office to investigate and send the case to the attorney general if it finds wrongdoing.
Brnovich is facing Democrat Felecia Rotellini in next month's general election.