Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Seal
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
Justice for All
October 2017
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery
Each year, October is designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and MCAO is partnering with local organizations for a very special project. This year we’re focusing on helping victims of domestic violence and their pets who are often in an unsafe situation as well and may be a reason a victim doesn’t leave. In this issue, we’ll give you information on this little discussed side of domestic violence and let you know how you can help.
October is also a very important month at MCAO. After months of planning, we are expanding our Community Based Prosecution bureaus from the four we created in 2013, to eight, to allow for a more focused relationship between prosecutors, law enforcement, and business and neighborhood leaders.
To highlight the need for this approach, last week, the FBI released its 2016 Uniform Crime Report for Arizona. The report roughly reflects the same overall crime rate as last year, given the overall drop in property crime offsetting the increase in each Part I violent offense category. 
In comparing the 2016 Part I crime rates with historical data for Arizona, the violent crime rate increased 13% from 2015 and is the highest violent crime rate since 2008. However it is still 34% less than the highest historical violent crime rate of 715 violent offenses per 100,000 seen in 1993. 
We won’t accept an increase in any crime category as inevitable, so we implemented the Community Based Prosecution model. With this increased focus, we will be able to identify individuals or unique local circumstances impacting public safety earlier and not have to wait for an annual crime report that lags almost a year behind what we see on the ground.
October is also a time that neighborhoods come together at annual Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods, or G.A.I.N., events hosted by local law enforcement agencies. This is a chance to get to know each other, strengthen relationships and build trust. MCAO staff volunteers will be out at a few of these events too. Stop by and say hello if you see us.
Bill Montgomery Signature

Providing Safety for Victims of Domestic Violence and their Faithful Companions 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Created back in 1987, this four week period focuses on three main goals; to celebrate those who have survived abuse, mourn those who have died because of domestic violence (DV) and work toward ending the violence.
Our state has seen the damage this issue can inflict not only on victims, but on the community as a whole. It is not isolated to any one gender, race, economic situation, or upbringing.  In 2014, there were more than 100 domestic violence-related deaths in Arizona.

This year the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is helping to specially promote awareness about the role of pets in DV situations. Research indicates that more than 40% of DV victims delay leaving a dangerous situation because they fear for their pet’s safety and don’t have a safe place to take them.

Often times a beloved pet can offer solace, unconditional love and serve as a trusted confidant. These same pets are also targeted by abusers through violence, threats of harm or threats of death to create an environment of fear. A victim is more likely to leave if they know both they and their pets can be kept safe.

In a partnership with Sojourner Center’s Pet Companion Shelter, the Arizona Humane Society, and Lost Our Home Pet Foundation, MCAO is promoting the many local shelters and programs that can offer a safe place for pets when their owner goes into a domestic violence shelter.

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the partners will also be promoting a pet supply drive to help shelters with needed supplies to support their mission of helping pets of DV victims.

The goal of this partnership campaign is to help educate the public about the issue of DV as well as help those currently suffering in a DV situation know about available resources. Please follow our social media accounts on Twitter @marcoattorney and Facebook as we share information about the campaign’s efforts throughout the month. If you would like to donate needed pet supplies, the list of items and locations are below.

Pet Donation Items:
Dog & Cat Food
Food & Water Bowls
Dog & Cat Toys
Donation Locations (October 1-30th):
Arizona Humane Society
All sites open 10am - 6pm daily
Mesa Thrift Store - 1110 W. Southern Avenue, Suite 20
, Mesa, AZ 85210
Cave Creek Thrift Store - 13401 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, AZ 85022
Lost Our Home Pet Foundation
Adoption Center - 2223 Hardy Drive, Tempe
, AZ 85282
Domestic Violence Programs that Offer Pet Shelter Services:
Sojourner Center -  602.253.9180  
Project Safehouse Program -  602.997.7585 x2156   
Lost Our Home -  602.445.7387

Friday Night Football Patrol Enjoying a
Record-Breaking Season

MCAO staff and volunteers have visited seven of our ten scheduled high school football games for the 2017 Friday Night Football Patrol season. With the help of student volunteers at each school, we’ve helped Maricopa County students sign over 10,000 drug and alcohol-free pledges, exceeding last year’s record totals already by mid-season!
We’re looking forward to visiting the next three schools to round out this record-breaking year.

Check out our game schedule and stats at:

Game results are updated each week.

FNFP 2017 Perry HS

“Briefing Books” Help Support Work in Community Based Prosecution Bureaus 

There are eight Community Based Prosecution bureaus at MCAO, organized geographically to address the regional differences in each area of Maricopa County.  The community issues in the Phoenix Central Bureau could be quite different than those in the Mesa Bureau and the citizens in the SE Valley may face different challenges than those in the West Valley. 
The Intelligence-Focused Prosecution (IFP) process at MCAO helps identify the people, places and problems driving crime in these specific neighborhoods.  Done successfully, the IFP process will support more informed decision-making by improving the collection and distribution of information on these issues, including Community-Based Briefing Books. 
Modeled after the IFP process in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, these Briefing Books, intended for prosecutors in each bureau, don’t focus on just one type of crime.  Instead, each 4-6 page book, produced by MCAO crime analysts, identifies the multiple problems impacting the different regions of the county. 
In addition to identifying the crime and community issues afoot, the Briefing Books provide prosecutors with community contacts and crime hotspots. They may include maps, data on changing population demographics, major crime problems, details on shootings, criminal offenses being committed in the area and active gangs.  The books will be updated based on new information and assessments. 
In order to maximize the impact on the communities they serve, prosecutors will use these books to learn about problem areas, issues and criminals in their area.  The information can also be used to continue cultivating productive relationships with local law enforcement.  The Briefing Books help keep their work neighborhood-focused, engaged in the community and help provide personalized solutions to specific neighborhood-based problems.
Nearly 400 attorneys at MCAO prosecute more than 30,000 cases annually, sometimes making it challenging for deputy county attorneys to identify and gather necessary information.  The IFP process, coupled with the quarterly Briefing Books, makes it easier to identify, gather and disseminate information on defendants, enhances communication with law enforcement and community-based agencies and fosters these external connections.  
Both the new IFP process and an overview of the MCAO Briefing Books were presented to law enforcement in two September classes.  The MCAO Crime Strategies Unit, along with local detectives, invited law enforcement from all over Maricopa County to learn about the MCAO approach to priority offenders,
information collection and information sharing. 
“Helping provide effective responses to our community helps reduce crime and is an important part of successful police and prosecution work.  This is an excellent way to put these ideas into action,” said County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

MCAO Returns Thousands in Unclaimed Funds to Victims of Bad-Check Writers

Several members of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) Check Enforcement Program were recently recognized for their work to return more than $150,000 to victims of bad-check writers.
Through its Check Enforcement Program, MCAO is able to mail restitution checks to victims of bad-check writers, but often, these may be returned or uncashed due to out-of-date or inaccurate contact information that they have been given. When this occurs, the funds would either be legally escheated — meaning reverted to the state—or returned to the victims after further efforts were made to locate the legal claimants.
In January of this year, the dedicated employees of the Check Enforcement Program, began a project, known as the Check Enforcement Escheat Project to review and take action on restitution that had been unclaimed since January 2011. Many of these were old cases – businesses that had been closed or sold, and individuals who may have passed, divorced, been incarcerated, etc. It proved at times to be quite complicated to determine who, if anyone, should receive these funds. Because over 200 victims needed to be located, the MCAO Investigations Division was asked to assist in this endeavor.
Preliminary planning for the Check Enforcement Escheat Project was undertaken by
Diversion Program Manager Patti Cordova, MCAO Detective Ira Williams and Support Services Bureau Chief Crystal Schriver. Over several months, the Investigations Division was tasked with locating and obtaining current contact information for 211 victims so $164,807.15 in total restitution could be re-issued.
Key MCAO investigative staff involved included: Lieutenant Tom Stubbs, Detective Juan Rivera, Detective Graciela Greene and Investigative Aide, Rosalinda Hollars. On September 18, 2017, County Attorney Bill Montgomery recognized these individuals for their extensive efforts.     
The project will continue as we seek to find others who may be due unclaimed restitution.

MCAO Supports Child Crisis Arizona

Child Crisis Arizona Check Presentation

Each year, MCAO employees participate in fundraising campaigns to benefit local charities, by purchasing casual day passes. These passes allow them to dress casually one day a week, and the proceeds collected are given to a local cause. This summer, MCAO employees raised $3,630 for Child Crisis Arizona.

Child Crisis Arizona is an emergency shelter, providing children a safe environment, free from abuse and neglect. They have the only licensed emergency shelters in Maricopa County for children birth to 10 years old who have been removed from their homes or whose families are facing hardships.

They license and certify foster and adoptive families; supporting these families through education and training, child-family matching services and post-placement support. In addition, Child Crisis Arizona offers a wide variety of free parenting classes and workshops, support groups and resources to help create strong and successful families.

To learn more, and to donate, visit:

Celebrating 30 Years on the Job

Today the average time most employees remain with one company is five years.  So working at the same company for thirty years is six times that accomplishment – and is something important to celebrate! This month we recognize five MCAO employees who are celebrating three, count them, three decades with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.  Yvette Case, Joseph Domanico, Rachelle Leibsohn, Barbara Marshall and Mitch Rand have been clocking in every morning at MCAO since 1987.   These five prosecutors and support staff demonstrate that stability and dedication which are qualities to be admired and many would also say it’s a sign they’ve chosen wisely!  Each of these employees have enjoyed remarkable careers with the Office and are dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced.  “We are extremely grateful for their commitment and enthusiasm – as we have seen these qualities and others applied to their work every day for the past 30 years,” said County Attorney Bill Montgomery.  These “Triple Threats” will be recognized, along with others, at the 2017 MCAO Annual Meeting in November.  Congratulations! 

30 Year Employees

Learn More About Criminal Justice at the MCAO Citizens Academy

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a prosecutor, or how a criminal case gets to trial, our Citizens Academy is for you. Applications are now being accepted for winter and spring sessions.

The Citizens Academy takes you behind the scenes to show you how a case progresses from the initial investigation through final sentencing. You’ll sit in on courtroom proceedings, take a tour of the jail, and learn about trial exhibits, cold case investigations and more.

Classes last one full day, and upcoming dates are listed below. Classes fill up fast, so apply early.

For more information and to register, visit:

Citizens Academy Logo

Upcoming Dates

January 25, 2018
February 22, 2018
March 29, 2018
April 26, 2018

Citizens Academy Logo

Upcoming Events Calendar

Upcoming Events Calendar

Friday Night Football Patrol (FNFP) @ Mountain Pointe High School

Friday, October 6
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Mountain Pointe High School
4201 East Knox Road
Phoenix, AZ 85044

FNFP @ Notre Dame Preparatory High School

Friday, October 13
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Notre Dame Preparatory High School
9701 East Bell Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Peoria G.A.I.N.

Saturday, October 14
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Pioneer Park
8755 North 83rd Avenue
Peoria, AZ 85345


Saturday, October 14
7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Moon Valley Country Club
151 West Moon Valley Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85023

FNFP @ North Canyon High School

Friday, October 20
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
North Canyon High School
1700 East Union Hills Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85024

Glendale G.A.I.N.

Friday, October 27
4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Murphy Park
58th and Glendale Avenues
Glendale, Arizona 85301

Cases of Community Interest

Mugshot: Brian Woolsey

Former Teacher Brian Woolsey Sentenced to 12 Years For Sexual Conduct with Teen Student

Brian Woolsey was sentenced to 12 years in the Department of Corrections, followed by lifetime supervised probation with sex offender conditions for four counts of sexual conduct with a minor, which occurred while he was the victim’s teacher.

“This defendant used the trust granted to him as both a teacher and coach to prey upon this underage girl, seeking his own gratification over the health and well-being of his young victim,” said County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “This sentence underscores the harsh penalties this Office will pursue toward the offenders who target young victims and violate their trust.”
» View Full Story «

Mugshot: Phoeteama Neal

Phoeteama Neal Sentenced to Natural Life for the Murder of Her Child

Phoeteama Neal was sentenced to natural life for 1st degree murder. Neal pled guilty on January 17th to the murder involving the intentional drowning of her 20-month-old daughter Victoria.

“This sentencing seeks justice for a murder, however nothing can ever change the pain inflicted on those who loved this innocent little girl,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “The acts of this defendant were both intentional and cruel. No child should ever have to suffer this way, especially at the hands of a person they trusted to love and care for them.”

» View Full Story «

Mugshot: Larry Lee Robinson

Larry Lee Robinson Sentenced to 21 Years for Murder

DNA Helps Detectives Solve 35-Year-Old Cold Case

Larry Lee Robinson was sentenced to 21 years in the Department of Corrections, for 2nd degree murder in connection to the death of 83-year-old Sally Bryant who was found brutally killed inside her Phoenix home in 1982.

“Nothing can change the suffering the victim and her family had to endure from the events of that day, but this sentencing demonstrates our community’s resolve to hold the defendant finally accountable and seek justice for these victims,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
» View Full Story «

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