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State v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department B

September 12, 2013

STATE OF ARIZONA, Appellee,
v.
GEORGE JONES, Appellant.

Not for Publication -Rule 111, Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. CR2011-007684-001 The Honorable Edward Bassett, Judge The Honorable Warren J. Granville, Judge.

Thomas C. Horne, Attorney General Phoenix by Joseph T. Maziarz, Acting Chief Counsel, Criminal Appeals/Capital Litigation Section Attorneys for Appellee.

Bruce Peterson, Maricopa County Legal Advocate Phoenix by Consuelo M. Ohanesian, Deputy Legal Advocate Attorneys for Appellant.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

MAURICE PORTLEY, Presiding Judge.

¶1. This is an appeal under Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967) and State v. Leon, 104 Ariz. 297, 451 P.2d 878 2 (1969). After searching the entire record, counsel for Defendant George Jones has advised us that she has been unable to discover any arguable questions of law and has filed a brief requesting us to conduct an Anders review of the record. Jones was given the opportunity to file a supplemental brief and filed a timely supplemental brief.

FACTS[1]

¶2 Two men entered the Westward Tavern late on the evening of July 18, 1978, ordered the patrons onto the floor and began to rob them and the tavern. One patron, the victim, had back problems and could only get to his knees. After he was threatened by a man with a gun, the victim reached for his beer and, as one witness testified, "all hell broke loose." The victim was physically assaulted and shot twice in the back. He died from the gunshot wounds.

¶3 The two men quickly left the tavern, possibly with others, and sped away in a gray station wagon. The police were called, responded, and as part of the investigation, impounded a Coors beer bottle. The police later found the station wagon. Fingerprints were taken from the beer bottle and car. The case went cold until April 2011 when the police discovered that the prints on the beer bottle matched Jones' prints.

¶4 Once the match was discovered, the police located Jones and a detective interviewed him in June 2011. Jones told the police that there was a robbery, a scuffle, then he was on the ground and someone got shot. He was adamant that he did not carry a gun that night and was not the shooter. He left the tavern with the men and later jumped out of the car as it was being followed by a helicopter.

¶5 Jones was indicted for first degree murder, a class one dangerous felony (felony-murder). Before trial, Jones unsuccessfully moved to remand the case to the grand jury. He also moved to suppress his statement to the police detective. The court determined that: (1) Jones was read his Miranda[2]warnings; (2) he never unequivocally requested counsel during the interview; and (3) his statements were voluntary and not the product of any promise. The case went to trial and the jury found Jones guilty as charged. He was subsequently sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after twenty-five years, and given 377 days of presentence incarceration credit.

¶6 We have jurisdiction over this appeal pursuant to Article 6, Section 9, of the Arizona Constitution, and Arizona Revised Statutes sections 12-120.21(A)(1), 13-4031, and -4033(A)(1) (West 2013).

DISCUSSION

¶7 The opening brief asks us to review the record for fundamental error. The supplemental brief argues the following issues: (1) Jones' rights were violated when the detective visited him in prison to get a buccal swab because the detective did not immediately serve him with the order authorizing the swab; (2) Jones was not given the proper Miranda warnings because the detective failed to tell him that he had a right to stop the questioning at any time; (3) a witness, J.W., gave inconsistent statements ...


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