In a recent opinion from an Arizona court in a kidnapping case, the defendant’s original conviction was sustained. The defendant argued that even though he had committed burglary and aggravated assault on the day in question, his crimes did not fit within the definition of “kidnapping.” The court disagreed, denying his appeal and affirming his convictions and sentences based on the kidnapping crime.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant stole a variety of weapons from another man, supposedly to use as collateral for a debt he owed. A few days after stealing the weapons, the defendant went back to the apartment where the man lived and broke into his residence. He found the man and the man’s daughter, then proceeded to threaten them with a baseball bat and a sword.
The man’s daughter barricaded herself, along with her boyfriend, in her bedroom. The pair immediately called 911, reporting the burglary and asking police to come as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the defendant used the bat to break a hole in the door, trapping both individuals in the bedroom. When police officers arrived, they arrested the defendant and his accomplice as they tried to run away. They also found a dagger and several other weapons in the defendant’s car.
The defendant was charged with burglary, aggravated assault, and kidnapping. A jury found him guilty on all counts. On appeal, the higher court decided it needed to determine whether or not there was enough evidence for the defendant to have been specifically convicted of kidnapping. Under criminal law in Arizona, a kidnapping conviction requires that the victim be “restrained.” The defendant argued that he did not restrain his victim – she went to her bedroom voluntarily, and he did not physically confine her at any moment. The court disagreed. Even though he was not making physical contact with the victim, he intimidated her with a baseball bat and made her feel as if the bedroom was the only place she could go. Thus, said the court, the kidnapping conviction was reasonable.
The defendant also asked that the higher court review all of the trial proceedings to find out if other procedural errors had been committed during the hearing. The defendant suspected that the trial court did not run the trial exactly as it should have, and he asked the appeals court to look over the entire record in hopes of finding any errors that would reverse his conviction. After reviewing the record, the appeals court found no issues and decided to affirm the defendant’s conviction.
Have You Been Charged with Burglary or Aggravated Assault in Arizona?
If you are ending 2021 with criminal charges in Arizona, 2022 is a perfect opportunity to get back on your feet. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we will look over your charges and present you with the best possible defense strategy to vigorously fight your case. Our lawyers are sharp, experienced, and dedicated to providing you with individualized representation based on your circumstances. For a free and confidential consultation, give us a call at 480-413-1499.