Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: When he entered a for-profit prison in July 2014, Dennis Choquette had a serious but treatable foot malady related to diabetes. But according to a lawsuit filed by his estate, his jailers repeatedly refused to address this problem as a way of saving money, thereby allowing his condition to deteriorate slowly and agonizingly over the course of more than a year. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Carfentanil, an extremely powerful synthetic opioid best known as an elephant tranquilizer, has been linked to at least two heroin-related deaths. But an expert on addiction who’s recently helped treat patients who’ve used the substance says it could have played a role in even more fatal overdoses, thereby quietly contributing to the shocking rise of heroin deaths in the state. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: In a jailhouse interview, Joshua Cummings, who has been charged with the execution-style slaying of a security officer, calls himself a “soldier of the Islamic state” and maintains that his actions were done for the “pleasure of Allah.” Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Bergen’s television career ended in scandal after she was convicted of three felonies after staging a dogfight for a 1990 report called “Blood Sport.” But according to a friend of Bergen’s for thirty years, she used this personal disaster to fuel a post-TV life devoted to helping others in trouble. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Personnel at one big city police department took part in twelve officer-involved shootings last year, the most there in at least half a decade. On average, a shooting took place once per month in 2016. Six people were killed in the incidents, but no police officers were injured, and neither have any cops been criminally charged to date. Get the details about all the incidents here. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Paralyzed in a police shooting a decade ago, Darrell Havens fought tenaciously for years to bring the circumstances of his incarceration — and the use of deadly force that preceded it — to public attention. The judge gave him twenty years in prison. The encounter with police, who’d targeted him in a car-theft sting operation, sentenced him to life in a wheelchair. That sentence has now run out. Westword has the story.
The driver of a hearse filled with 68 pounds of marijuana told federal agents on Saturday that he had taken up smuggling because his Tucson funeral-services business “had been slow.”
In a story that made headlines nationally, Christian Lee Zuniga, 28, a U.S. citizen from Nogales, Arizona, was arrested after agents became suspicious of him and his hearse and found the pot, court records show.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Brock Franklin has been found guilty of 30 charges out of the 34 originally pressed against him in an indictment over a violent child sex ring. In addition, five of six alleged Franklin associates accused of taking part in the scheme, which involved physical abuse, a pistol-whipping, forced sex and the use of drugs to maintain loyalty, have received punishment of their own. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Cesar Reyes-Marquez has now been found guilty for a second time of killing Servando Morelos-Avila nearly seven years ago. The long delay occurred because the first judgment was tossed out over improper jury instructions. The result was a second trial, during which Reyes-Marquez was convicted of similar charges stemming from a fight that spun out of control, with at least two other people winding up seriously injured. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Maria de Jesus Jimenez Sanchez, an undocumented woman with four children, one of whom is developmentally delayed, has been deported from the U.S. to Mexico, even though her only crime beyond unauthorized border crossings was driving without a license. Her attorney says she was forced to walk back into Mexico by border agents who told her she’d be shot if she dared to look back. Westword has the story.