Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Seal
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
Justice for All
November 2018
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery

Throughout the year, MCAO employees come together with a common purpose to serve the community. This fall brought a number of opportunities for us to partner with organizations and residents to make Maricopa County a great—and safe—place to live.
 
We ended October strong with our signature Friday Night Football Patrol. Along with our partners KISS-FM, the Arizona Milk Producers and Arizona State Fair, we visited ten schools across the county and encouraged students to sign the pledge to be drug and alcohol free. For the season, 11,196 students signed the pledge. That’s over 52 percent of the total student body we visited. It is my hope that the kids we talked to will take the message to heart when confronted with any peer pressure to use illegal drugs, alcohol or abuse prescription drugs.
 
We honored Domestic Violence Awareness month by partnering with New Life Center and holding a successful donation drive to provide shoes for the families who have sought shelter there.
 
October is also Bullying Awareness Month, and we partnered with KTAR News and Sports, Earnhardt Auto Centers, Harkins Theaters and Bear Essentials News for a public awareness campaign. We hosted two events at schools in Maryvale and in Chandler for families to sign a Bully Free pledge and hear important information about the consequences and impact of bullying presented by speakers from MCAO Community Affairs and MCAO Investigations.
 
MCAO Staff Volunteers were out in the community last month for Coffee with the Community in South Phoenix, the annual Walk Like MADD event, providing information at the State Fair and local Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods (G.A.I.N.) events.
 
Looking into November, we honor our veterans and are grateful to have 66 veterans who serve throughout our Office. Come and see us at the Veterans Day parade on November 12 and help us remember and honor the veterans in our community.

Bill Montgomery Signature

Serving His Country, Serving His County

David Irwin Serving his Country

With Veterans Day approaching, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office would like to thank and honor our nation’s veterans. In our Office, we have over 65 employees who selflessly served their country in the military. In this issue, we would like to feature one of them, Deputy County Attorney David Irwin.
 
David came to work for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in 2012 and is a prosecutor in the Sex Crimes-East Bureau of MCAO’s Special Victims Division. For David, “being a prosecutor is all about service to something bigger than myself. I honestly believe that, like the US Army, MCAO’s mission is to protect people that cannot protect themselves and serve the greater good.”
 
David joined the active duty Army as a private in 1997 and left the Army as a captain in 2005.
 
From 1997 to 1999, he served as a Tank Gunner, loader and driver on an M1A1 Main Battle Tank in the 1st Battalion 8th US Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. During this time, he deployed with his unit to Bosnia-Herzegovina to support Operation Joint Endeavor.
 
Between 2001 and 2005, David served as a tank platoon leader and then as a tank company executive officer in 2nd Battalion 8th US Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Baghdad, Iraq from 2004 through 2005.
 
David’s unit was featured in the National Geographic mini-series “The Long Road Home,” which recounts the ambush of an infantry platoon in Sadr City which led to an eight-hour battle now known to many as “Black Sunday.” The mini-series was based on the book of the same name written by Martha Raddatz.
 
David received the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service during combat operations in Iraq, and a Combat Action Badge for direct engagements with enemy forces. David also earned the parachute badge upon his successful completion of airborne school.
 
David describes being a tanker as “the best job I ever had” but also thinks that “being a sex crimes prosecutor is an amazing job.” MCAO salutes David’s service as an armor officer in the United States Army and his service as a Deputy County Attorney in Maricopa County, and applauds his commitment to serve causes greater than himself.

David Irwin Combat Photo Collage

Giving Domestic Violence Survivors and
Their Families A New Life

Domestic Violence Partnership - New Life Center and Maricopa County Attorney's Office

During the entire month of October, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) was dedicated to spreading awareness about the issue of Domestic Violence in our communities as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Established more than 30 years ago, DVAM has three goals; to celebrate those who have survived abuse, mourn those who have died because of domestic violence and collectively work toward ending the violence.
 
As part of DVAM this year, MCAO wanted to raise awareness of the danger domestic violence poses to children, even if they are not directly targeted by the abuser. Every 44 minutes one or more children are witnesses to domestic violence in Arizona, an exposure that can put kids at higher risk to become the next generation of abusers and victims.
 
Partnering in this awareness campaign was New Life Center, who is on the front lines of this issue not only one month per year, but year-round. On average 70 percent of those they help provide a safe place to reside are children, who are part of families attempting to leave an abusive situation.
 
The New Life Center’s comprehensive 120-day program empowers families to craft independent lives while providing necessary living needs. Throughout October, employees from MCAO hosted an employee donation drive for children’s shoes to assist with fulling such necessary needs, collecting 
over 100 pairs for New Life Center’s young residents.
 
Domestic Violence remains one of America’s most underreported crimes. It is a crime that affects all ethnicities, social classes, cultures and ages and may be difficult to identify as it takes many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse.
 
As we move into November, it is important that we continue to discuss the importance of domestic violence awareness and its effects. Every family and every child has a right to live free from violence.
 
If you or someone you love is in need of help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visit the Maricopa County Attorney’s Website MaricopaCountyAttorney.org/DV


Shining a Light on Justice for
Sexual Assault Victims

I Am Evidence

In October, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office partnered with the Arizona Foundation for Women to host a free public screening of the documentary “I Am Evidence” at the downtown Phoenix independent theater The FilmBar. About 60 people were in attendance to view the story of four survivors whose rape kits went untested for years and followed them as they navigated their way through the criminal justice system. The film showed historically the way sexual assault crimes were treated in this country, and the positive effects that occur when perpetrators are held accountable and survivors are given an opportunity for healing and justice.

I Am Evidence Panel Discussion

Following the screening was a 45-minute panel discussion featuring County Attorney Bill Montgomery, various experts in the field of sexual assault and a sexual assault survivor. All proceeds from the event were donated to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.
 
Ending the backlog of untested sexual assault kits has been a focus of elected leaders in Arizona and MCAO has been a leader in this movement since 2015.
 
Just a few months ago, MCAO was awarded a third grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) through its Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant program of $1.5 million to continue our efforts. This new grant will allow the Office to continue to work toward testing previously unsubmitted kits, while providing
support and training to our law enforcement partners in the investigation of sexual assault cases, and ultimately prosecute sexual assault offenders and provide justice to victims in Maricopa County.
 
The work of MCAO and our law enforcement partners have led to the indictments of 14 defendants, seven whom have already been convicted and sentenced for their crimes.
In Maricopa County, there are about 300 rape kits in the backlog. Since the start of testing in 2016, 93% of identified kits have been submitted for testing and 82% of those same kits have been tested to completion. During this process of testing previously unsubmitted kits, there have been a total of 758 hits, meaning DNA capable of identifying the offender was found. There’s still a lot of work to do, testing the kits in the backlog is just the first step, and MCAO will continue to support our law enforcement partners in their follow up investigations.
 

MCAO was initially awarded the first grant to start testing previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits in September of 2015 by the New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY) for $1.9 million dollars. Those funds were to pay for the testing of 2,300 kits. MCAO used the money to test more than 3,000 kits, leading to 654 hits. In October 2016, MCAO was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the SAKI grant program to continue our initiatives to test unsubmitted sexual assault kits and continue what the DANY award had started. This grant provided money to test the rest of the backlog in Maricopa County, totaling over 4,500 kits. It also funded a full-time program coordinator, a full-time detective, and a part-time prosecutor.
 
In September 2017, MCAO was awarded a second SAKI award of more than $1.1 million to fund a second full-time detective, a full-time criminal intelligence analyst, a part-time victim advocate, and money to provide training to our law enforcement partners in the implementation of the Maricopa County Sexual Assault Protocol, released in December 2017.



Touchdown! Friday Night Football Patrol Wrap-up.

We’ve just completed our 8th successful season of Friday Night Football Patrol! Along with our partners at KISS-FM, and our sponsors the Arizona Milk Producers and Arizona State Fair, we visited ten high schools all across the County to share our drug and alcohol free message.
 
A total of 11,196 students from the ten schools signed a pledge to be drug and alcohol free. That’s over 52% of students from all the schools.
 
MCAO staff volunteers visited the schools at lunch time on game day to rally the enthusiasm for the program and help students sign the pledge. County Attorney Bill Montgomery and KISS-FM DJ Suzette came out to the game, cheering on the team and sharing important substance abuse information with parents.
 
Students who signed the pledge were entered into a drawing to win prizes. At the lunch time events, four students each won a $50 gift card, with a $300 gift card and Arizona State Fair VIP tickets awarded at half time during the game.
 
“Our goal is to share the message that maintaining a drug and alcohol free lifestyle is crucial to future success and happiness,” said Bill Montgomery. “Signing a pledge gives students a concrete reason to stay away from drugs and alcohol."

FNFP Image Collage

MCAO Volunteers "Walk Like MADD"

Walk Like MADD

On an early Saturday morning in October, over 600 walkers gathered at the Phoenix Zoo to take a stand against drunk and drugged driving. Celebrating a decade of remembering, inspiring and committing to a future of no more victims, MCAO staff joined in the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) signature fundraising event, Walk Like MADD. Walk Like MADD provides the community an opportunity to do something about drunk driving while also providing an opportunity for people to share and connect with one another. On average, two out of three people will be impacted by drunk driving in their lifetime.
 
County Attorney Bill Montgomery was among the opening ceremony speakers highlighting the issues to make our community a safer place. Walk Like MADD Phoenix raised over $76, 000 that will stay in our community to stop the tragedy caused by this 100% preventable crime on our roadways.

Two Photos: County Attorney Bill Montgomery speaking at the Walk Like MADD event and MCAO Volunteers staffing the County Attorney's booth.

With Holiday Shopping Approaching,
Keep Safety in Mind

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office wants you to have a safe and happy holiday season, so for those of you who brave the holiday sales the day after Thanksgiving, we’d like to share some safety suggestions to keep in mind during the holidays and throughout the year.
 

Shopping and using credit cards


  • Use only one credit card when shopping so you don’t have to chase down multiple cards, if your purse or wallet are taken.
•	Use only one credit card when shopping so you don’t have to chase down multiple cards, if your purse or wallet are taken
•	Put your card away after each use. Don’t put it in your pocket, where it would be easy to steal.
  • Put your card away after each use. Don’t put it in your pocket, where it would be easy to steal.
  • Thieves are looking for people who are distracted, do not place your purse in a shopping cart or set it down unattended, as thieves are waiting to carry it off.

  • Watch out for false advertising or deals that seem too good to be true; do your due diligence and research large purchases.
•	Watch out for false advertising or deals that seem too good to be; do your due diligence and research large purchases.
•	For practical purposes, your debit card should be treated as cash. If your card information is stolen or compromised, criminals can easily take your funds from your checking and savings accounts. In contrast, if your credit card number is stolen and used, you can file a report with the credit card company, close that account and get a new card issued.
  • For practical purposes, your debit card should be treated as cash. If your card information is stolen or compromised, criminals can easily take funds from your checking and savings accounts. In contrast, if your credit card is stolen and used, you can file a report with the credit card company, close that account and get a new card issued.

~~~~~~~~~~  In the parking lot  ~~~~~~~~~~

  • If approached by someone asking for cash, saying they have a broken down car, a sick relative or some other problem; these requests are scams and you should say no or quickly walk away. If you are followed or harassed, return to the store and report the incident to employees or call security.
•	If approached by someone asking for cash, saying they have broken down car, a sick relative or some other problem; these requests are scams and you should say no or quickly walk away. If you are followed or harassed, return to the store and report the incident to employees or call security.
Don’t be distracted by your cell phone.



  • Don’t be distracted by your cell phone.



  • Look for individuals lingering in the parking lot or near doorways.
Look for individuals lingering in the parking lot or near doorways.
If you hear someone walking behind you, stop and turn around or wait for others who are walking to their vehicles and walk with them.

  • If you hear someone walking behind you, stop and turn around or wait for others who are walking to their vehicles and walk with them.



  • If you are carrying a large number of bags, ask store employees for assistance.
If you are carrying a large number of bags, ask store employees for assistance.
Rushing to your vehicle if you see something suspicious isn’t worth the risk; take the time to be safe.

  • Rushing to your vehicle if you see something suspicious isn’t worth the risk; take the time to be safe.



  • If you need to make a trip to your vehicle to drop off purchases but plan to continue shopping, drive your vehicle to a new parking spot.
If you need to make a trip to your vehicle to drop off purchases but plan to continue shopping, drive your vehicle to a new parking spot.

Penny Wars for Eve’s Place

In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Victim Services completed its eighth annual Penny Wars. Penny Wars is a friendly and spirited competition where VSD bureaus try to collect the most pennies. After the competition ends, the pennies are collected and painstakingly rolled by Advocate Karina Avalos, who organizes the competition every year. This year’s charity recipient was Eve’s Place Inc., a non-profit organization who assists victims of Domestic, Sexual and Teen Dating Abuse.

Even though all of Victim Services takes part, Victim Compensation came out victorious with the most pennies collected. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office was able to present Eve’s Place Inc. with a check for $1,038.30.

Penny Wars is one way Victim Services comes together every year to empower victims of domestic violence.

Penny Wars for Eve’s Place

The Inaugural Maricopa County 
5K Durango Fun Run and Walk

Maricopa County hosted its first ever “5K Durango Fun Run and Walk” last week on the Flood Control Trail in south Phoenix. 196 walkers and runners from around the County, including 27 from MCAO showed up at 6:15 AM ready to hit the course.  Participants went the distance--3.1 miles--and still had time to change out of their tennis shoes and be at their desks ready to work by 8:00 AM.   One of the easiest ways to be physically active is to walk. Through Maricopa County WALKtober activities like the Fun Run, MCAO employees get energized and inspired and have lots of fun along the way!  “It was great to see so many MCAO runners and walkers show up at the crack of early to participate,” said Jon Eliason, MCAO Major Offenders Division Chief and lover of long distance runs.  “There were lots of smiles and chatter as we hit the trail.  Everyone left the event feeling motivated and full of energy to get their day started.  We’re looking forward to next year’s event!”

MCAO Employees at the Maricopa County's first ever “5K Durango Fun Run and Walk"

Helping Families to be Bully Free

Bully Free AZ logo and Sponsor logos

During National Bully Awareness month, MCAO in partnership with KTAR and sponsors Earnhardt Dealerships, the AZ Cardinals and Harkins Theatres held two Bully Free AZ events in Maricopa County.
 
Specifically targeting elementary school and junior high school students, the events served as an opportunity to get the conversation started between parents and students as 1 in 4 students in grades 6-12 report being bullied. The events allowed for parents and students to take a Bully Free Pledge, take pictures with Big Red from the AZ Cardinals, and listen to a presentation identifying what bullying is, how a bystander can intervene and when it can cross the line into a criminal act. Nearly 200 parents and students took the bully free pledge and were given important information from our community affairs presenters.
 
Bullying is unwanted and aggressive behavior that is repeated and involves an imbalance of power. It requires us to start assisting with these kinds of conversations early to create a better community for the youth of Maricopa County.

Bully Free AZ Event Photos: MCAO staff presenting to a packed auditorium, Cardinals' Big Red helping out and pledging to be Bully Free

Community Calendar

Upcoming Events Calendar

Veteran’s Day Parade

Monday, November 12
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Starting at North Phoenix Baptist Church
5757 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Visit PhoenixVeteransDayParade.org for Route and More Info




Cases of Community Interest

Mugshot Eric Craig

Eric Craig Sentenced for Money Laundering and Pandering All Connected to Prostitution

Eric Craig pled guilty to one count of pandering and two counts of money laundering and was sentenced to 7.5 years in the Department of Corrections with five years of probation following his release. The case against the defendant showed that he ran a supposed “escort agency” where clients arranged “dates” with women Craig employed.  Craig then took the money the women were paid for sexual acts.

“This defendant looked to profit by preying on vulnerable victims through the most insidious means, treating women as merely a means to his own selfish financial ends,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “This conviction could not have happened without victims being brave enough to speak out and the efforts of our prosecutors and law enforcement partners to hold prostitution profiteers fully accountable for their crimes.”

» View Full Story «

Mugshot Lashawn Johnson

Lashawn Johnson Sentenced For 1st Degree Murder of Woman He Met on Dating Site

Lashawn Johnson was sentenced to natural life for first degree murder, theft of means of transportation, arson, and abandonment or concealment of a dead body.

“Lashawn Johnson’s efforts to lie about and conceal his responsibility for the murder of Angela were rightly disregarded by the jury in finding him guilty and the court rightly sentenced him for the senseless taking of an innocent life,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

» View Full Story «

Mugshot Kimery Jorg

Kimery Jorg Sentenced to 20 Years for Severely Abusing Daughters

Kimery Jorg was sentenced to 20 years in the Department of Corrections with lifetime probation upon release after pleading guilty to four counts of child abuse involving her adopted daughters the day before her trial was set to begin.

“This sentencing is the result of years of work by law enforcement and prosecutors to ensure a just result came from the horrific acts perpetrated upon these victims by the very people who were supposed to care for them,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

» View Full Story «

Mugshot Francisco Covarrubias

Francisco Covarrubias Sentenced to 35 Years for Horrific Abuse of 3-year-old girl

Francisco Covarrubias was sentenced to 35 years in the Department of Corrections and lifetime probation upon release, after pleading guilty to three counts of attempted child abuse and two counts of kidnapping.

“When an adult causes harm to a child like this, violating both the trust and innocence of a child, they must be held accountable for their depraved actions,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “This Office is committed to aggressively prosecuting offenders who abuse the most innocent and defenseless among us, ensuring they are sent to prison where they belong.”

» View Full Story «

Powered by CivicSend - A product of CivicPlus