Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Harold Fish To Finally Get A New Trial!
Phoenix, AZ—From The Arizona Republic:
The Arizona Court of Appeals on Tuesday threw out a murder conviction of a hiker who claimed self-defense after he shot a man to death on a hiking trail north of Payson in May 2004.
The court ordered a new trial for Harold Fish, 62, convicted of second-degree murder in June 2006 for shooting Grant Kuenzli, 43. Fish said Kuenzli ran at him waving his arms because Fish had fired a warning shot into the ground to scare away Kuenzli's aggressive dogs. Fish was sentenced to 10 years in prison and already has served three years.
His case was sent back to Coconino County Superior Court because the trial court judge had not given adequate instruction on what constituted self-defense. The panel of appellate judges scolded Superior Court Judge Mark Moran for not answering a jury request to define the word "attack." The panel remarked that the jury may not have understood that someone can commit aggravated assault on another person without actually touching the person.
The case sparked a rewrite of Arizona's self-defense laws in 2006 to force prosecutors to disprove a defendant's claims. More…
Here is the court's opinion: