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(In)Famous Arizona Criminal Trials

Criminal defense trials happen every day in courtrooms throughout Arizona but rarely do cases ever get much local or even national attention. When they do however, wow, they can leave a lasting impression. There are a couple of famous trials that definitely put the Arizona criminal justice system in the spotlight. Do you remember any of these?

JODI ARIAS

In 2008, Jodi Arias, was indicted by a grand jury for the first-degree murder of then boyfriend Travis Alexander. He sustained multiple stab wounds, a slit throat, and a gunshot to the head. Arias gave several different accounts about her involvement and eventually told police she killed Alexander in self-defense, claiming domestic violence. She was convicted of first-degree murder in 2013, and sentencing is ongoing.

ERNESTO MIRANDA

In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Phoenix for kidnapping and sexual assault. He was identified by the victim and taken into an interrogation room where, two hours later, police emerged with a written confession signed by Miranda. He received a 20-year sentence, but the US Supreme Court voted to overturn the conviction, saying the police did not properly notify Miranda of his rights to an attorney. The Miranda warning has become a statement of a citizen’s rights familiar to many Americans thanks to popular television shows. Think - “You have a right to remain silent.” Eventually, Miranda was stabbed to death and his killer was never convicted.

WINNIE RUTH JUDD

Winnie Ruth Judd was found guilty of murdering two women after fighting over a local Phoenix businessman. The trial began in 1932 and the jury found her guilty of first-degree murder, sentencing her to be hanged. The death sentence was overturned though after a hearing found her to mentally incompetent. She was sent to the Arizona State Asylum for the Insane, where she escaped seven times over several decades. She was paroled in 1971 and died in 1998.

ELIZABETH JOHNSON AND BABY GABRIEL

Elizabeth Johnson was convicted in 2012 in her three-month old son’s disappearance and sentenced to 5 1/4 years in prison. Authorities said Johnson initially told the boy’s father that she killed baby Gabriel and dumped him in a trash bin, but she later recanted and told police that she gave the baby to a couple in Texas, but never provided the couple’s name and refused to do so multiple times during the hearing.

ARIZONA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY CHARLIE NAEGLE

Your case might not be gaining national attention but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a strong defense and someone to stand by your side in court. If you have been accused of a crime consult with criminal defense attorney Charlie Naegle immediately. The criminal justice system is confusing and oftentimes overwhelming. At Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys, Charlie Naegle and his team will take the time to sit down with you and walk you through the entire process. Contact us at (480) 771-8144 and schedule your free consult today.

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