Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Seal
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
Justice for All
June 2018
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery
School is out and temperatures are climbing. You may be preparing for your family vacation or just planning ways to stay cool, but it’s important to remain mindful of safety concerns that are common at this time of year.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that rates of certain household crimes are higher in the summer than any other season of the year. Nationally, aggravated assault rates are higher during the summer; arson crimes, burglary and sexual assault offenses are also higher during June, July and August than in the winter. Tourists and travelers, away from their normal routines and locales, often run greater risks of having bags and valuables stolen or their homes being prone to break-ins.
Kids have more unstructured time that can leave them vulnerable. Spending additional time on computers and other devices leaves them open to online dangers such as predators and cyberbullies. Take the time to monitor your child’s computer usage and limit their time online. There are many ways to have fun and socialize with friends during the summer, including our Safe Kids Summer programs that you can find at local libraries, summer camps and community pools. Watch our website as more events are added.
As you travel around, be aware of kids and pets in cars. Never leave them in a parked car, even if you think you will only be a minute, and even if you leave the car running. Also, please watch the little ones around water. Let’s all have a safe and enjoyable summer.
Bill Montgomery Signature

MCAO Public Safety Programs Win
Three National Achievement Awards

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office received three Criminal Justice and Public Safety achievement awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for our innovative Court Advocacy Program, Operation Safe Treat, and Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life. “It is an honor to be recognized for the work we’ve accomplished. We continue to be committed to implementing programs that positively impact our community in collaboration with others,” said County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Court Advocacy Program
To better cover gaps in service to crime victims, the MCAO Court Advocacy Program was created. This Program provides victim advocate assistance to unattended victims who attend hearings in Maricopa County Superior, Juvenile and Justice Courts. There are many times when an assigned advocate is simply not available to attend court with victims, guardians and next of kin. Sometimes there isn’t enough existing advocate staff to cover all the courts needed within a day and often victims show up in court unannounced and then need last-minute support or questions answered. The Program advocates are key in providing victim assistance to this specific audience of vulnerable, unaccompanied victims – often in cases that are complex, highly conflicted or have multiple victims. In the absence of a regularly assigned advocate, they are available — sometimes at a moment’s notice — to offer crisis intervention, emotional support, information, resources and referrals, court accompaniment and answers to questions about victim compensation, financial assistance, counseling and case management.
Operation Safe Treat
Registered sex offenders in Arizona are not permitted to participate in Halloween. That means no Halloween decorations outside their homes and no handing out candy to children trick-or-treating. Operation Safe Treat, a partnership between the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Marshal’s Office, several local police departments and the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department, sends teams of officers out to the community in the weeks leading up to and on Halloween checking on registered sex offenders to ensure they are following these rules. The team specifically focuses on offenders who are fugitives or who have warrants for their arrest. They round up these offenders before Halloween festivities get underway, demonstrating the commitment these agencies have for protecting one of our most precious resources, children, from an often hidden danger.
Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life
Students are sometimes the only ones who know when another classmate is in crisis and it could be their courageous effort to take action or speak out that gets kids needed help. The Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life program was created to inform teachers and parents about the significant issues of teen suicide and bullying as well as the related social problems facing teenagers today. The program includes Resource Nights coupled with student-led discussions and action plans and an annual day-long rally, empowerment expo and training to educate students and adults about being involved and speaking up. The subtitle of the program, “Care Enough to Get in the Way,” summarizes an important theme the entire program conveys to participants: prevent tragedies by taking responsibility and speaking up, thereby empowering students to make a difference. Along with MCAO Bureau Chief Gina Godbehere, Pendergast Elementary School District Superintendent Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux and Strategic Business expert, Jennifer Rogers with GCON Inc. were instrumental in creating this solution-oriented program.
The NACo Achievement Awards were started in 1970 to recognize innovative and effective county government programs that enhance services for residents. MCAO has earned 71 NACo Awards since 1990, 17 since 2011 under County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Don’t Leave Me Behind Ad

Don’t Kit-nap Kittens!

When we find a litter of kittens, our good-hearted instincts tell us to rush to the aid of these fragile felines. Thankfully, human intervention is typically not required. In fact, the best thing you can do is leave the kittens alone. Mom will likely return shortly and it’s critical that the kittens remain in her care as she offers the best chance for survival. If you are extremely certain that the kittens are orphaned, you can then step in and help by either taking the kittens to a local animal shelter or caring for the kittens until they are old enough to be placed in a forever home. Learn more at

Don’t Kit-nap Kittens!

Get “On Board” with Transportation Safety
this Summer

Riders on the Bus

Use of light rail, commuter buses and public transportation is increasing in the Valley and we can expect more folks using these alternate modes of transportation this summer when parents are working and kids are out of school.  It’s easy to catch the light rail downtown or hop on a city bus to meet friends at the mall.  But just because summer is here doesn’t mean criminals are taking a vacation.  Criminal activity on public transportation can happen quickly and catch victims off guard.  Other passengers may be confused or it may seem like people are goofing around.  Then things can turn violent. Criminals can take your phones, money, purses and valuables.  Offenses like rowdy behavior, drunkenness and vandalism can sometimes escalate into serious felonies like theft, robbery and assault.  Swarming is a relatively new phenomenon and happens when a group of criminals surround the victim often in an unsuspecting way.  The group approaches or engages with the victim quickly, demanding their property or just taking it and running away.  Swarms of 5-8 criminals at a time will surround an unsuspecting victim, sometimes with no immediate motive, harass, assault or rob them and then disperse as quickly as they came together.  Public transportation offers a unique setting for these crimes as vacationing travelers are often unfamiliar with the area or commuters may be immersed in reading or distracted while using headphones.

Beth Beringhaus, Chief of our Juvenile Division, acknowledges that traveling in an unfamiliar place may be scary for some, but with a few reminders, it doesn’t have to be.  “Be aware of your surroundings and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Project confidence through your body language and always trust your instincts.  Traveling can be a great adventure and we don’t want you to be deterred from exploring – across the country and across the county.”
Some travel tips, for traversing across the country and the Valley this summer so you are not a victim:  

  • Use well lit, busy stops when catching trains, light rails and buses.
  • Stay alert! Do not leave yourself noticeably vulnerable to crime by dozing off.
  • Carry your wallet in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket.
  • Carry your bag close to your body.
  • Take a seat near the driver if another passenger is making you feel uncomfortable.
  • If someone harasses you, get the attention of the driver and other passengers by loudly saying "Leave me alone!"
  • Watch who exits with you. If you feel uneasy, walk directly to a place where there are other people.
  • Keep your house keys and car keys on separate key chains in separate places.  
  • Sit on the aisle if possible and avoid getting boxed in against a window.

MCAO Selected for Prosecutor-Led Diversion Program by U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance

Following on the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office creation of a new Diversion Program Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance has announced its selection of MCAO to participate in its Prosecutor-Led Diversion Initiative. This initiative will provide training and assistance in supporting MCAO’s focus on reducing recidivism through programs and substance abuse treatment and will serve as a Best Practices resource for other prosecutors throughout the country.
MCAO expanded diversion and deferred prosecution efforts two years ago with a pilot diversion program for low to medium risk felony offenders called the Felony Pretrial Intervention Program (FPIP), to complement substance abuse treatment options. This Office is committed to enhancing diversion options as an effort to reduce recidivism among felony offenders through targeted treatment while preserving resources for traditional prosecution for violent and repetitive offenders.
“The technical assistance provided by this program will help to further develop and implement our FPIP pilot, to increase participation, and to ensure that our program achieves our goals to reduce recidivism and protect the public,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
The Prosecutor-Led Diversion Initiative is a national training and technical assistance program designed to help prosecutors plan, implement and evaluate new prosecutor-led diversion options. Funded under the Second Chance Act, the program seeks to encourage and provide assistance to prosecutors who are building the next generation of diversion programming: programs that serve individuals who are otherwise jail or prison bound and who frequently suffer from mental illness or drug dependency issues, or are victims of human trafficking.
A recently completed National Institute of Justice report of prosecutor-led diversion established the efficacy and cost benefits of prosecutor-led diversion programs. MCAO expects this program will prove to be a valuable asset to the pursuit of justice in Maricopa County.

Safe Kids Summer

Just as you can count on high temperatures this summer, you can count on the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) to bring you information on the most up-to-date crime prevention and safety tips for you and your family. MCAO will be out and about throughout Maricopa County this summer for our annual Safe Kids Summer program. The Safe Kids Summer program is a series of interactive activities and presentations about safety and crime prevention strategies for children of all ages. The topics include what a child should do if they feel in danger, who to speak to in an emergency, how to be safe with friends, dealing with peer pressure, and anti-bully support.
Crime statistics show that crime increases during the summer months. This is important to note as most Valley youth are out of school at this time, potentially making them more vulnerable to criminal activity. With utilization of nationally recognized programs from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, MCAO staff provides educational presentations to children about how to be safe at home and online. While the presentations provide a fun and interactive look into safety issues, the most popular activity of the Safe Kids Summer program is its “Safety Wheel.” The wheel is a fun and quick opportunity for children to practice their safety
knowledge by answering questions for prizes. You can see some of the fun here:
So get in on the fun and get the conversation started with your child on staying safe this summer. More information and details about where you can find a Safe Kids Summer event in your community will be shared on Also, get the latest information about safety and the Safe Kids Summer program by following the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on Twitter @marcoattorney.

MCAO Carries the Torch for Special Olympics

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and MCAO Employees participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run

On May 3rd, County Attorney Bill Montgomery and members of MCAO staff ran in the Arizona Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and MCAO Employees participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run

Thanks to employee support and participation, MCAO raised $3,867 for the Arizona Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics through casual day donations. Those who hit the streets to participate in the MCAO leg of the torch run also helped to raise awareness for Special Olympics and its programs.

Wellness Works
Maricopa County’s Walk to Work Day

MCAO staff joined the 2018 Maricopa County’s Walk to Work Day. More than 750 employees from the County and City of Phoenix got up early to walk from Chase Field to the Office in support of Employee Health and Fitness Month.

Wellness Works - Walk to Work Day
Wellness Works - Walk to Work Day

Community Calendar

Upcoming Events Calendar

Arizona Mills 2018 Family Summer Safety Event

Saturday, June 2
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Arizona Mills Mall (between Sea Life and LEGOLAND Discovery Center)

5000 South Arizona Mills Circle
Tempe, AZ 85282

Safe Kids Summer

Wednesday, June 6
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
City of Glendale Foothills Aquatic Center

5600 West Union Hills Drive
Glendale, AZ  85308

El Mirage Cares
(Drug Awareness Discussion for Kids from K-12 and Parents)

Thursday, June 7
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Dysart Community Center

14414 North El Mirage Road
El Mirage, AZ  85335

Safe Kids Summer

Friday, June 8
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
City of Mesa “Pachanga en la Piscina” Free Swim & Summer Safety Event
City of Mesa Carson Aquatic Complex
525 North Westwood
Mesa, AZ  85201

Safe Kids Summer

Tuesday, June 26
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Coffinger Park and Wickenburg Public Pool
175 Swilling Avenue
Wickenburg, AZ  85390

Safe Kids Summer

Saturday, July 7
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
City of Buckeye Aquatics Center

207 North 9th Street
Buckeye, AZ  85326

Cases of Community Interest

Mugshot Charles Lewis Lott III

Charles Lott III Sentenced to 20 years for Second Degree Murder of a Victim Parked Outside a Home

Charles Lewis Lott III was sentenced to 20 years in the Department of Corrections for second degree murder in connection to the murder of Allen Price Jr.

“This sentence underscores that the unjustified and senseless taking of Allen Price Jr.’s life did not go unpunished,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “May Charles Lott III reflect every day of his 20-year sentence on the pain and loss he inflicted and may Allen’s family find peace and healing in the years to come.” 

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Mugshot Dwandarrius Robinson

Dwandarrius Robinson Sentenced to Death for Murder of Pregnant Girlfriend and Setting Fire to Their Apartment

Dwandarrius Robinson was sentenced to death after being found guilty by a jury of two counts of first degree murder, one count of arson of an occupied structure and one count of kidnapping in connection to the 2012 murder of 21-year-old Shaniqua Hall and their unborn child.

“The callous and inhumane killing of his girlfriend and their unborn child is the worst example of a man utterly failing those who counted on him for love and support,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “The jury’s verdict accurately and properly imposes the death penalty as a just and proportionate punishment for these despicable crimes.” 

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