Jarrett Maupin, Congressional Candidate, Takes Partial Credit for Shanesha Taylor's Plea Deal

Image: maupinforcongress.com
Jarrett Maupin
Jarrett Maupin, an Arizona Congressional candidate, reverend and community advocate, is taking some of the credit for Shanesha Taylor's money-for-freedom deal with prosecutors.

A controversial figure, Maupin -- president of the Phoenix-based Progressive Christian Coalition -- nevertheless was seen to be working closely in the highly publicized criminal case of the underemployed mom who left her kids in a car while at a job interview. While admitting Taylor made a mistake, Maupin says he's pleased at how well things turned out.

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Daniel Gray Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Leaving Kid in Hot Car While High

Daniel Gray, the Phoenix dad who left his 3-month-old baby to die in a hot car last year, received a four-year prison sentence.

On August 28, Gray drove with little James in the car to the sports bar where he worked. A manager, Gray had the day off that Wednesday but wanted to check on things.

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Israel Lomeli Receives Probation in 1998 Phoenix Cold-Case Slaying of Pete Cadriel

By Yumi Kimura [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Israel Lomeli, arrested last year for the 1998 slaying of a Phoenix teenager, has received probation and will be released from jail in March.

Lomeli's high-publicity March 2013 arrest marked the end of tragic saga for the family of victim Pete Cadriel, who disappeared without a trace in 1998. The missing-persons case was solved partially in 2009 after police matched DNA from an unidentified body to Cadriel, and a new criminal investigation began that later led to Lomeli.

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Florence Cops Failed a Victim of Alleged Rape While Ohio Pursues Justice in Similar Case

Illustrations by Brian Stauffer
Florence Exposed: Our three-part series on law enforcement, or the lack thereof, in the Pinal County prison town.

Imagine the horrific scenario.

Members of a football team in a small community are involved in the alleged rape of a 16-year-old high school girl at an alcohol-drenched party.

The intoxicated victim can't remember anything, but her attack is captured on video by other students with cell phones.

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Mesa Mormon-Scammers Duane Slade, Brent Williams and Guy Williams Sentenced to Prison

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Duane Slade
A trio of top-tier scam artists from Mesa who preyed on wealthy Mormons will spend a large part of their lives in prison.

Duane Hamblin Slade and his pal Guy Andrew Williams, both in their mid-40s, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary on September 30th to 15 and 12.5 years, respectively. Williams' father, Brent Williams, received a 7.5-year sentence.

While these are relatively hefty prison terms for white-collar criminals, the damage they did was tremendous: Most of the $160 million investors trusted with these high-rolling confidence men has disappeared.

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Richard Chrisman Guilty of Aggravated Assault, but Jury Can't Decide on Murder

In another incident (shown above), Officer Richard Chrisman (the one wielding a club) planted a crack pipe on that woman.

A jury found former Phoenix Police Officer Richard Chrisman guilty of aggravated assault, but the jurors couldn't decide on two other charges, including second-degree murder.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says he has not ruled out a retrial on charges of murdering Phoenix resident Daniel Rodriguez in 2010, and killing his dog in the process.

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Brian Fortner and Graham Drewes Cases Highlight Sentencing Disparities in Child-Porn Cases

Arizona AG's Office
Contents of Brian Fortner's duffel bag.
Brian Fortner, a Peoria man whose duffel bag with child porn and his wallet was found in a dumpster last year, was sentenced last week to 14 years in prison.

Meanwhile, a plea agreement guarantees that another Valley resident, Graham Roberts Drewes, will serve only two-to-four years in prison for what amounts to the exact same crime.

The difference is that Fortner was caught and tried by the state, while Drewes lucked out, you could say, because his case was handled by federal authorities.

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Corrupt Pima Sheriff's Deputy Sentenced for Aiding Smugglers

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Pima County Sheriff's Department

A judge sentenced a former Pima County Sheriff's deputy for his role in ripping off drug smugglers, attempting to distribute marijuana, and aiding a drug trafficking organization. 

Francisco Jimenez pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison for conspiring to commit offenses against the United States: stealing government money and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, all done because of an agreement with a drug trafficking organization to protect drug loads and steal money from rival organizations. 

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Jodi Arias Vs. Gavin Macfarlane: Tale of Two Death Penalty Cases

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Even the police mug shots of Jodi Arias and Gavin Macfarlane seems to show the difference in the accused murderers' respective mental states.
Something's wrong with Jodi Arias, that much anyone can tell.

Her lack of emotion combined with the brutality of her crime -- stabbing, slashing and shooting her victim -- have led some to call her a sociopath, or psychopath. Not that most people could give a medical definition of the terms. But by legal definitions, she's as sane as the judge and prosecutor she now stands before.

Gavin Macfarlane also caused deep pain and suffering in the Phoenix metro area; he shot and killed two people and severely wounded a third at a local strip club, the Great Alaskan Bush Company. Like Arias, he is accused of premeditated murder. But Macfarlane's no longer facing the possibility of execution.

A couple of weeks ago, Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney, quietly withdrew the death penalty notice against Macfarlane. The office has not returned phone calls about the matter. In a February 25 guest column in the Arizona Republic by Montgomery about the death penalty, the elected prosecutor states that such decisions are his responsibility.

See also: Gavin Macfarlane, Strip-Club Shooter, Won't Get Death Penalty Because He's Insane; Bond Raised After Tearful Plea by Victim's Family

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Naz Derboghossian Gets 12 Months in Jail for Fraud in "Fast Cars and Rap Stars" Case; New Defendant Arrested

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Image: Courtesy of Jodi Upton
Mario de la Fuente Manriquez and Naz Derboghossian, in an undated photo.

Naz Derboghossian, a key player in an alleged "crime ring" that owned Valley nightclubs and exotic car dealerships, has been sentenced to probation and a year in jail.

We covered this complex and fascinating case in a July 12 feature article. Derboghossian, a smooth-talking car expert and scamster who ran the Coyote Bay Night Club (CBNC) in Scottsdale and is friends with rap star Swizz Beatz, was one of several interesting characters in the case, as our previous story detailed. The millions of dollars he invested in the businesses belonged to a well-known Mexican businessman (who's also a U.S. citizen with homes in Arizona) named Mario de la Fuente Manriquez.

See also- Fast Cars and Rap Stars: How a Sugar Daddy's Empire Crumbled on Everyone Involved

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