Recently, a court of appeals in an Arizona criminal case affirmed the defendant’s conviction for aggravated assault. The defendant was first charged after an altercation between himself and a man standing at a bus top – the incident became violent, and the defendant shot the man once in the stomach. A jury found the defendant guilty of assaulting the man, and he promptly appealed. Reviewing the record of the case, the higher court found that the conviction was proper, denying the defendant’s appeal.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant was at a convenience store close to a bus stop on the evening in question. A man was standing at the bus stop, and the defendant approached him. The two men looked as if they were about to fight, but before anything happened, the defendant pulled out a gun and shot the man one time in the stomach. The man was treated for several serious physical injuries.
The State charged the defendant with two counts of aggravated assault. The case went to trial, and the defendant was found guilty. The court then sentenced the defendant to 15 years in prison.
On appeal, the defendant argued that the jury should have taken into consideration that he was acting in self-defense when he shot the man. The defendant claimed that the man had brass knuckles, and that the man brought them out before the defendant took a shot. Therefore, said the defendant, the jury should have reviewed the evidence in light of the possibility that he was acting in self-defense. If the jury had found that the man was the primary aggressor, the defendant would have been less likely to be convicted and sentenced as harshly as he was.
The court of appeals reviewed the record. During trial, the defendant had not presented any evidence that the man had brass knuckles on his person. There was no video or witness evidence to support this highly contested fact. The man himself, while testifying, specifically stated he did not have brass knuckles during the altercation.
Therefore, without any evidence to support the claim that the man had brass knuckles, the trial court properly avoided instructing the jury to consider the defendant’s self-defense motives during the altercation. With that, the higher court denied the defendant’s appeal and affirmed his 15-year conviction.
Have You or a Loved One Been Criminally Charged in Arizona?
If you are in the midst of fighting allegations of a violent crime in the state of Arizona, give us a call at the Law Office of James E. Novak, where we are committed to defending the accused. We fight relentlessly to protect our clients’ constitutional rights, their future, and their freedom. For a free and confidential consultation with a member of our team, call our office today at 480-413-1499. You can also fill out our online form to have someone reach back out to you as soon as possible.