UPDATE: Dismissed Lisa Randall Murder Case Never To Be Refiled

Categories: News

We continue to hear from readers about our story, "Phantom Murder," about a Peoria day-care operator who was charged with first-degree murder in the tragic 2007 death of a four-month-old boy.


lisa randall.jpg
​People want to know three things:

Do we think that Lisa Randall "got away with it?" How's she doing now? And, could prosecutors refile the case down the road?

As for the first question, hell no, she didn't get away with anything. This was not, repeat not, a case of a "legal technicality" freeing a child murderer.

Two, we haven't spoken with Randall since shortly after her case abruptly ended, but have a notion that she's doing okay, especially with the support of her wonderful family (great kids).  

We'll get to the third question--about the possibility of a refiling--in a sec.


The piece described how Randall, a mother of five (and grandmother of seven) with no criminal record, for a time faced the death penalty in the death of little DIllon Uutela, who slipped into unconsciousness at Randall's home about an hour after his mother dropped him off there.

The official cause of death listed by the Office of the Maricopa County Medical Examiner was "blunt-force trauma of the neck and head," and deemed it a homicide.

All that turned turned out to be wrong.

Randall would spend months in jail before a county judge allowed her to post bond (with electronic monitoring). She lost her home, and her marriage broke up along the way.

In April 2010, County Attorney Andrew Thomas resigned to run for Arizona Attorney General (he lost to Tom Horne in a closely contested primary).

His interim successor, Rick Romley, soon decided to drop the death penalty.

Then, on July 20, prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss all charges against Randall, but they asked Judge Mike Kemp to allow them to have the option of refiling the case at a later date.

That leads to the answer to the third question listed above:

Judge Kemp dismissed the murder case in such a way that it cannot be refiled--ever,

End of case.

And so it ended like this--with justice for Lisa Randall, and an enduring mystery of how and why the little baby died (read the story if you want to know more).


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Terry B.
Terry B.

This case has certainly opened my eyes...it should open everyone’s eyes! As a friend of the family, I was a close observer of the events of this case. But actually, Lisa was arrested twice in this matter. The first case was dismissed because the prosecutors (read Andrew Thomas) couldn’t get a Grand Jury indictment without presenting what Judge Gary Donohoe called “tainted” evidence.

Since a “loss” was too much for the State to accept, they circumnavigated the Grand Jury process by getting a Direct Complaint. And they used the same dubious evidence they first used. So they arrested Lisa again.

With the evidence the state had, no charges should have been made in the first place, just like Rick Romley stated when he dismissed the final case. But after the defense’s experts testified about the likely causes of Dillon’s death, the state should have dropped the charges. If only they had been caring and compassionate human beings, and were concerned about “doing the right thing”. Instead, they let the case linger for over two years more.

There are many more unpublished facts in this case that cause one to doubt the integrity of the Maricopa County prosecutorial process. It is process that is entrenched with political, professional, and personal selfishness. Truth is never as important as winning the case…at any cost; even going so far as taking an innocent person’s life. As Lisa said after her case was dismissed, she was presumed guilty until she could pay to prove her innocence. And remember, they wasted YOUR tax dollars doing it. How would you like to pay for your own persecution?

Thanks to Paul Rubin for not blindly believing the state’s case, and for caring enough about other people to seek out, and speak the truth.


If former County Attorney Andrew Thomas bragged about his 200,000 convictions during the Republican primary for state AG, then an outside independent investigation needs to be done. He politicized the justice system. If a conservative estimate of 10% are innocent, that's 20,000 wrongful convictions. It's time to call in Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project, New York, just as he investigated Dallas County when DA Craig Watkins took over.

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