Archive for criminal

Jan
01

State of Arizona v. Lovejoy

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This not guilty verdict was including among a number of high profile cases entrusted to now disgraced former prosecutor Lisa Aubuchon.  Judge Neil Wake recounts in his recent ruling denying the Defendant’s motion for summary judgement:

Lovejoy’s case went to a bench trial in front of a Justice of the Peace on August 15, 2008. After Aubuchon presented the State’s case, Lovejoy’s defense attorney moved for a directed verdict: Judge, the statute as we’ve been talking about all morning requires the culpable mental state of recklessly. And for the State to prove that, they have to show that Sergeant Lovejoy was aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk, i.e., the dog was in the car, and that if he left him in there, he would die or become injured. . . . They have shown that he left the car “ the dog in the car. No one is disputing that. They haven’t shown . . . that he knew the dog was back there, but disregarded the risk that he might die. (Doc. 93-1 at 56.) In response, Aubuchon argued, We don’t have to show that he knowingly left the dog in the car. . . . *** We are not arguing that he knew he left the dog in the car, because we would have charged it that way. We’re arguing that he’s reckless. And it is his very conduct and the choices he made that shows he substantially disregarded that risk. Everybody knows that in August in Arizona it is hot in a car. And a trained K-9 officer should be on heightened awareness about what will happen if he forgets the dog in the car. (Doc. 93-1 at 57.) At the close of argument, the Court announced without elaboration, “At this time I’m going to deny the directed verdict.” (Doc. 93-1 at 62.) Lovejoy then put on his defense, after which the Court stated: “All of these so-called distractions [presented by the State as evidence of recklessness] . . . don’t equal “ it doesn’t equal to me to be recklessness. State did not meet their “ their burden here and I find [Lovejoy] not guilty.”

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