from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No.
CR2015-118294-001 The Honorable Danielle J. Viola, Judge
Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Jillian
Francis Counsel for Appellee
Ballecer & Segal LLP, Phoenix By Natalee E. Segal Counsel
Randall M. Howe delivered the opinion of the Court, in which
Presiding Judge Paul J. McMurdie and Judge Michael J. Brown
Arthur Ray Meeds appeals his convictions and sentences for
stalking, a class 3 felony, and threatening or intimidating,
a class 6 felony. Meeds contends that A.R.S. §
13-1202(B)(2), which enhances the consequence for a criminal
street gang member who threatens or intimidates another
person, is unconstitutionally vague because it fails to give
a person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to
know what is prohibited and allows for arbitrary and
discriminatory enforcement. He also argues that the statute
is unconstitutionally overbroad because it impinges on First
Amendment rights. We hold that A.R.S. § 13-1202(B)(2) is
neither unconstitutionally vague nor overbroad.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Over a period of two days, Meeds sent a series of threatening
text messages to his then-girlfriend, N.F., who was trying to
end their 15-year relationship. After Meeds threatened to
"blow [her] face off, " he showed up at her
workplace to make sure that she was there. After Meeds
texted, "im here, " N.F. responded, "you have
threatened my life too many times. Just leave[.]" When
Meeds did not leave and told N.F. to come talk with him, N.F.
texted "I can't do face to face with you, you've
threatened my life one too many times and I just don't
understand why[.]" Meeds responded that N.F.'s words
and actions were "going [to] get [her] hurt[.]"
Meeds drove off when police arrived at N.F.'s workplace
and resumed sending threatening texts to her that night. In
one, he sent N.F. a photograph of her nephew's house,
where she lived with her son, and threatened to shoot up the
house or set it on fire. He continued, "im here, "
and warned her, "do i need [to] go to the door or send
them in[, ] your choice because when i pull off the next car
is going [to] light that bitch up[.]" In another, he
threatened her nephew's wife by stating that she
"will . . . enjoy my firework show, " which N.F.
interpreted as "he was threatening her life." He
continued, "i told you before i dont got [to] be around
to make it hot[.]" He followed up by texting N.F. that
she and her nephew had 24 hours to get out of the city or he
would "gun [them] down!!!!!"
An Arizona Department of Public Safety detective interviewed
N.F. two days later. The detective reviewed reports from the
officers that responded to N.F.'s place of work,
collected the security footage, and gathered the text
messages Meeds sent to N.F. After the interview with N.F.,
the detective described N.F. as "scared shitless."
The detective subsequently arrested Meeds and the State
charged him with (1) stalking and (2) threatening or
intimidating, which included an allegation that Meeds was a
criminal street gang member.
During trial, N.F. testified to the text messages exchanged
during that two-day period. N.F. also testified that she
believed Meeds was a gang member, had seen him with other
gang members, and had heard him reference the
"Crips" gang. She stated, however, that she was not
sure about whether Meeds was a gang member. She further
testified that Meeds's violent conduct and threats had
previously escalated before this incident and
"[t]hat's why I started fearing for my life, because
it escalated." During N.F.'s testimony, Meeds moved
to represent himself. The court granted Meeds's motion
and Meeds's former counsel remained as advisory counsel.
A Phoenix police detective, an expert in criminal street
gangs, testified that Meeds met at least four criteria
identifying him as a member of the Lindo Park Crips criminal
street gang. The gang expert testified that he had contact
with Meeds two years earlier when Meeds was at Lindo Park
with about ten documented Lindo Park Crips. Because of this
contact, the gang expert had filled out a "gang member
information card" ("GMIC") on Meeds; a card
that officers use to report when potential gang members meet
one or more of the gang criteria listed. The gang expert also
testified that he had discussed Meeds with senior detectives
and discovered several police reports that documented Meeds
as a Lindo Park Crip and noted that Meeds often wore baby
blue- Lindo Park Crips colors. Meeds objected to the gang
expert's testimony about discussions with the senior
detectives and about the prior police reports reviewed, which
the trial court denied. The gang expert stated that
Meeds's text messages to N.F. satisfied the "written
or electronic correspondence" element of GMIC. The gang
expert opined that based on what he heard during trial, Meeds
had extensive knowledge of documented gang members, locations
within the neighborhood, and gang colors. Thus, the gang
expert concluded that "from the time that I've
contacted him in 2014 to this trial, " Meeds satisfied
"at least four" of the seven GMIC criteria.
Meeds objected during his cross-examination of the gang
expert that the State had violated its disclosure obligations
by failing to produce copies of the pre-2014 police reports
that the expert referred to for past documentation of
Meeds's gang membership. Meeds's advisory counsel
informed the court that the gang expert had disclosed the
prior police reports in an interview with her before trial.
Counsel told the court she had not requested copies of the
reports at the time because "it[ was] not an area [she]
would have wanted reports or needed them." She also
noted that she had given Meeds her notes of the
detective's interview, which included the "years and
reports and dates of information" the detective relayed
to her. The court found that the State had not violated its
disclosure obligations, but ordered the prosecutor to redact
copies of the cited police reports and furnish them to Meeds.
Meeds, however, refused to accept the reports and instead
moved for dismissal, mistrial, or to strike the expert's
testimony. The court treated the motion as seeking
reconsideration of the prior ruling and denied it.
The jury convicted Meeds of the charged crimes of stalking
and threatening or intimidating, and found that he was a gang
member on the dates of the latter offense. The court found
that Meeds had been convicted of eight prior felony
convictions and sentenced him to concurrent terms totaling
11.25 years' imprisonment. Meeds timely appealed.