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Paxton v. Walters

Supreme Court of Arizona

May 21, 1951

PAXTON
v.
WALTERS

Order quashing writ set aside and petitioner ordered discharged.

Marshall W. Haislip, of Phoenix, for appellant.

Fred O. Wilson, Atty. Gen., Phil J. Munch, Asst. Atty. Gen., for respondent-appellee.

Phelps, Justice. Udall, C. J., and Stanford, De Concini and La Prade, JJ., concurring.

OPINION

Phelps, Justice.

[72 Ariz. 121] This is an appeal from an order of the superior court of Pinal County denying the discharge of appellant James P. Paxton on a writ of habeas corpus and remanding him to the custody of the warden of the state prison at Florence.

The facts are that on November 24th, 1950, appellant entered a plea of guilty in the superior court of Yavapai County to a purported charge of perjury and was thereupon sentenced by said court to serve a term of not less than one nor more than three years therefor in the state penitentiary.

Appellant was not represented by counsel either before the committing magistrate or the superior court and according to the records before us it appears that not more than 30 minutes elapsed between the time of filing the complaint in the justice court and the pronouncement of judgment and sentence upon appellant in the superior court.

Thereafter on March 10, 1951, an application was made to this court on behalf of appellant for a writ of habeas corpus upon the ground that the information in

Page 459

the case did not state a public offense and [72 Ariz. 122] that the superior court of Yavapai County was therefore without jurisdiction to pronounce judgment and sentence upon appellant and that such judgment and sentence was null and void.

The writ was issued on the 20th day of March, 1951, and made returnable before the Honorable W. C. Truman, Judge of the Superior Court of Pinal County who on April 5, 1951, quashed said writ and remanded appellant to custody.

Appellant has presented three separate assignments of error all of which are directed to the insufficiency of the information to state an offense against the State. We will therefore consider them together. It will be necessary to examine the information in the light of our statutes relating to pleading in criminal cases and the decisions of the courts ...


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