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State v. Coven

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

January 8, 2015

STATE OF ARIZONA, Appellee,
v.
DANIEL S. COVEN, Appellant

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County. No. CR2011-133433-001. The Honorable Susanna C. Pineda, Judge.

Page 1102

For Appellee: Colby Mills, Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix.

For Appellant: Thomas Jacobs, Law Offices of Thomas Jacobs, Tucson.

Judge Kenton D. Jones delivered the Opinion of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Peter B. Swann and Judge Michael J. Brown joined.

OPINION

Page 1103

[236 Ariz. 395] Kenton D. Jones, Judge:

[¶1] Daniel S. Coven appeals his convictions for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, each a class one misdemeanor. Coven argues the trial court erred in permitting his fourth privately retained attorney to withdraw from his representation following the attorney's avowal of an ethical conflict, without thereafter providing Coven court-appointed counsel for trial. He further argues error in the admission of evidence obtained from his iPod during the search incident to arrest. We find the trial court did not abuse its discretion in permitting Coven's attorney to withdraw as a result of an ethical conflict, and that he was not an indigent person entitled to court-appointed counsel. Additionally, although admission of the iPod evidence was error, there was no prejudice. Therefore, we affirm Coven's convictions and probation.

FACTS[1] AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[¶2] On June 30, 2011, in contravention of notices posted throughout the Maricopa County Superior Court Southeast Facility in Mesa, Arizona, prohibiting photography or videotaping within the courthouse, Coven took a digital image of a superior court clerk with his iPod. Coven refused to comply with requests from the clerk, the superior court security officer, and law enforcement to delete the photograph. Instead he became increasingly loud and refused to move from the line of customers waiting to file paperwork with the clerk's office. When advised he was being placed under arrest for his disruptive behavior, Coven forced his hands apart, pinned one arm underneath himself, and kicked at the officers in an attempt to prevent them from applying handcuffs. When Coven was finally secure, he was physically escorted from the scene.

[¶3] Following a three-day jury trial in May 2013, Coven was found guilty of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. At the sentencing phase, the trial court suspended imposition of sentence and placed Coven on probation for one year on each count to be served concurrently. Coven timely appealed. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) sections 12-120.21(A)(1),[2] 13-4031 and -4033(A)(1).

Page 1104

[236 Ariz. 396] DISCUSSION

I. Withdrawal and Appointment of ...


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