Harold Fish granted new trial

Harold Fish granted new trial

This is a discussion on Harold Fish granted new trial within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; azdailysun.com News 2009 Jul 1 The state Court of Appeals has granted a new trial to a Valley man convicted of second-degree murder in the ...

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Thread: Harold Fish granted new trial

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Arapahoe County CO

    Harold Fish granted new trial

    azdailysun.com News 2009 Jul 1

    The state Court of Appeals has granted a new trial to a Valley man convicted of second-degree murder in the May 2004 shooting death of a man on a national forest trail in Coconino County.

    The court decided that the jury in the trial of Harold A. Fish, 62, was not allowed to hear evidence that might have supported his claim of self defense when he shot and killed Grant Kuenzli. The court concluded that a jury should have heard evidence that Kuenzli acted violently when he was confronted about his dogs.

    The court also concluded that the jury should have been instructed more clearly on definitions of self- defense and crimes considered "unlawful physical force" to determine if Kuenzli had been committing a crime when he approached Fish on the trail.
    I realize this item is several months old, but my search did not show anything here on DC more recent than the following thread (if I missed something, I apologize for the repetition):


    Harold Fish Released from Prison in Self-Defense Case

    Prosecutors cited the court decision and a new law that shifts the burden of proof in self-defense claim cases from the defendant to the prosecutor as reasons not to retry Fish.

    But Fish's release from prison doesn't guarantee that he will remain a free man. A spokeswoman for Attorney General Terry Goddard, Anne Hilby, said the office plans to file a petition with the state Supreme Court to review the lower court's decision. The deadline is Aug. 5.
    I can't find anything on whether the state decided to proceed prior to Aug 5. Anyone know the result?

  2. #2
    Senior Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Gilbert, AZ
    The June-July developments in the Harold Fish case were indeed discussed here, but I just looked and couldn't find them, either.

    The AZ Attorney General submitted a request for a review of the decision which overturned Fish's conviction. That happened in mid-July, before the August deadline for renewed legal action against Fish, effectively hitting the pause button.

    In the meantime, new legislation was passed in the AZ Legislature and was signed into law by the Governor which specifically changes the effectivity date of the "stand your ground" law to some time prior to Harold Fish's self-defense shooting. Thus, IF there is a new trial, the burden of proof will be on the state to show that the shooting was NOT self-defense. Since the only witnesses to the shooting were Fish, the dead guy and his two dogs, it will be extremely difficult for the state to prove their case.

    On top of that, the appeal judges pointed out errors on behalf of the trial judge in disallowing testimony about the dead guy's wacky & aggressive character and the aggressiveness of his dogs. (Before anyone protests, apparently there was testimony introduced by the prosecution which opened the door to defense testimony about Kuenzli's character.)

    So - Fish is still up in the air, but at least he's out of jail for now.
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