PHOENIX— The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has filed a direct complaint charging Michael Paul Adams with First Degree Murder in connection to the murder of a 17-year-old victim on July 4, 2019. Prosecutors intend to prove that the defendant used a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, intending or knowing that his actions would cause the death of this innocent victim. A criminal charge is not evidence of a crime. The defendant is presumed to be not guilty unless and until prosecutors have proven each element of each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is still under investigation and prosecutors are committed to pursuing the appropriate charges in this case to secure justice for the victim and his family. The defendant’s next court date is currently scheduled for July 15, 2019 however you are encouraged to check the court’s calendar for any changes.
There have been conversations nationally about the charging of this case. As help to you in covering this story the following information is offered to aide you better navigating the charging process in general.
It is important to note that Arizona Revised Statutes do not include a criminal charge for hate crimes. Instead, ARS 13-701 provides an option for enhanced sentencing when sufficient evidence exists that a defendant committed a felony crime while motivated by either, bias towards the victim’s identity or the defendant’s perception of a victim’s identity in a group listed in ARS 41-1750 (3). Additionally, a defendant charged with First Degree Murder faces a sentence of either Natural Life in Prison or Death.