People who have been arrested for and accused of serious crimes such as rape, murder or kidnapping in Arizona may feel very concerned about what could happen to them. The criminal defense process can be complicated and confusing yet it is always important for defendants to remember that the law does guarantee them some rights. Among these rights is the importance of ensuring that someone is actually fit to stand trial.
A hearing in early July in Maricopa County will actually address this exact issue. A judge will need to determine whether or not a 45-year-old defendant is capable of being tried for the death of a woman in Arizona. The alleged kidnapping and murder happened nearly 20 years ago but the man was not officially charged with the crime until 2014, some 17 years after the fact.
While living in Las Vegas, the defendant was actually convicted of murdering a different woman. It is not known if there are any suspected relationships between the two alleged crimes or the two women. Last year, officially took the man into Arizona from Nevada and are pursuing the criminal charges for the 1997 murder and kidnapping.
There can be many factors that impact how a criminal case may be handled and no two situations are exactly alike. People charged with violent crimes may find it helpful to work with an attorney to ensure that their rights are protected throughout the entire criminal defense process.
Source: Reno Gazette-Journal, “Competency hearing ordered for Nevada man in Arizona murder case,” June 3, 2016