Articles Posted in Burglary Charges

Recently, an Arizona criminal defendant challenged a trial court’s decision to deny his request for DNA evidence. The defendant was originally charged with burglary, and after he pled not guilty, his case went to trial. A jury found the defendant guilty of two burglaries, and the trial court sentenced him to 12 years in prison as a result. On appeal, the defendant argued that the DNA evidence he asked for could have led to a completely different outcome in the case, and it was unreasonable that the court denied his request. The higher court ultimately disagreed, siding with the State and affirming the defendant’s guilty convictions.

Burglary Offenses in Question

The State originally charged the defendant with committing five burglaries and one theft of five commercial establishments. Two of the establishments took place inside a restaurant and a coffee shop, and investigators found the defendant’s fingerprints at both locations. There was also video surveillance linking the defendant to the two establishments. The prosecution submitted this evidence at trial, and the jury found the defendant guilty of burglary in both the restaurant and coffee shop. Regarding the additional burglaries, where the investigative team found no fingerprints, the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

Defendant’s Request for DNA Evidence

After trial, the defendant filed serval motions, including a request for DNA testing of the items that the perpetrator touched while burglarizing the restaurant and the coffee shop. According to the defendant, if this testing produced another individual’s DNA instead of his own, he likely would not have been convicted of either burglary, since the evidence showed the same person likely committed both offenses. When the trial court denied this motion, the defendant promptly appealed.

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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.

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Arizona Supreme Court rules suspect was not in custody for purposes of "Miranda"; Facts about Miranda Rights that Police will Likely Not Tell You.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court  Miranda v. Arizona, 1966.

Since that time, police have been required to read suspects their Miranda rights while in custody before they are interrogated.

The Miranda principle has faced many legal challenges, including when police are required to read the rights.

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