Arizona Defendant Loses Appeal in Attempted Murder Case, Despite Court’s Extensive Review of Record

Recently, an Arizona court of appeals sided with the State in an appeal revolving around a defendant’s conviction for attempted murder. The defendant was first charged after an incident in which he grabbed hold of a woman, assaulted her, and attempted to kill her. His case went to trial, and the jury found him guilty. On appeal, the court of appeals reviewed the trial court’s record and ultimately decided that the defendant’s conviction should remain in place.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was staying in a home for individuals who were having difficulty securing housing. A nonprofit organization had helped him secure the housing, and after a few days of staying in the home, the nonprofit’s director came by to see how everything was going. The director, along with two of her coworkers, began walking from room to room in the house.

When the director came to the defendant’s room, she informed him that he would be moving from the unit in which he had been residing. The defendant immediately pulled out a knife and tried to shut the door to slam the director in the room with him. He then attacked her and stabbed her in the neck. The director’s coworkers came to her rescue, but the defendant continued to lunge at her and attempt to hurt her.

Officers arrived at the scene, and the defendant admitted to the officers that he had attempted to take the director’s life.

The Decision

The State charged the defendant with several crimes, including kidnapping, attempt to commit second-degree murder, and aggravated assault. The case went to trial, but before trial, the court made sure a mental health professional examined the defendant to make sure he was mentally competent enough to stand trial. The expert determined that the defendant was in a healthy mental state, and the trial moved forward. The jury found the defendant guilty.

On appeal, the defendant asked the court of appeals to review the trial court’s record to ensure the court had not made any errors in allowing him to be found guilty. Extensively reviewing the record, the court determined that the trial court correctly determined the defendant was competent enough to stand trial. With no other errors on the record, the court affirmed the defendant’s guilty conviction as well as the sentences that came along with it.

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