Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy Hidden Stash of Evidence

I was interviewed by Elizabeth Erwin of ABC 15 News about the case of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy Ramon Armendariz who committed suicide last year after a series of bizarre run ins with the law.

Inside Armendariz’ Phoenix home, investigators found a large treasure trove of driver’s  licenses, consular IDs, license plates, and illegal drugs.  Hundreds of unfiled citations and complaints were also found.

Armendariz had also been recording traffic stops and arrests with a personally owned body camera, but not submitting the video into evidence.  Investigators are reviewing that video to see if it will have any impact on any convictions.

Police and prosecutors are legally and ethically obligated to turn over any exculpatory evidence to defense counsel in a criminal case.  These same legal and ethical rules played a big role in the release of Debra Milke from death row earlier this year.

While police are generally permitted to use personally owned devices to record their encounters with the public, those recordings, when associated with a criminal charge, are evidence and must be submitted with the police report and other case evidence.  When police fail to properly impound evidence, they are violating the law.

Armendariz was going to be called as a witness in the racial profiling case against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in federal court.  The videos created by Armendariz could end up key evidence in proving that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office engaged in racial profiling and discriminatory behavior.

Tempe Criminal Attorney

Russ Richelsoph is a Tempe criminal lawyer with Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC.  Russ has been a practicing Tempe criminal defense attorney since 1999.  Davis Miles’s main office is in Tempe, Arizona.  Russ Richelsoph is the firm’s Tempe criminal defense lawyer and represents people in a wide variety of misdemeanor and felony cases both inside and outside of Tempe.  If you need a Tempe criminal attorney, please call to schedule a time to meet and discuss your legal problem.

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