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UPDATE: Arizona v. Stuart

Written by Subject: Criminal Justice System
[Update adds pro-Beasley blog comments at bottom.  Some minor tweaks to prior content.] 
 
What can be said for certain – facts not in dispute -- about the confrontation that occurred between inventor John Chester Stuart and Charles Schwab stock broker Orville Thomas “Thom” Beasley (aka Cap't. Thom): [Note: I used car to denote Mr. Beasley's vehicle though it was a white SUV, and SUV to denote Mr. Stuart's vehicle.]

On the evening of Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at approximately 9 P.M. after following each other in their vehicles they stopped for a red light at the intersection of Pinnacle Peak Road and Tatum Boulevard, 49-year-old Orville Beasley leaped out of the drivers seat of his car in a road rage and attacked 45-year-old John Stuart in the drivers seat of his SUV. Mr. Stuart had rolled down his window in response to the advancing and cursing Mr. Beasley. Mr. Stuart had some choice words of his own. Mr. Beasley reached into the cab of the truck.

At some point a shot rang out and Mr. Beasley was killed instantly with a shot to his forehead fired from a handgun owned by Mr. Stuart present inside his truck. [I say at some point because there is at least one witness who says Mr. Beasley had withdrawn from the vehicle and was backing up with hands up when shot in the head.]

Present at the scene was Mr. Beasley's wife, Rebecca “Becka” riding in the passenger seat, and Mr. Stuart's fiancée, realtor Cynthia "Cindy" Cantrell, riding in the SUV's front passenger seat. Mr. Stuart and Ms. Cantrell drove off. [Here it gets confused, but it would appear that Mr. Stuart drove home...one account has him stopping – since he was being tailed by a witness specifically to prevent him from discarding any evidence out the car window I wonder about some of the discrepancy and assume this tale was not brought up in the hearing – to remove the Ron Paul magnetic signs from his car.]

Autopsy showed Mr. Beasley was well over the extreme DUI designation at 0.19 blood alcohol level.

The Beasley's were unarmed.

Stuart was arrested for “drive by shooting” and 2nd degree murder. He pled “not guilty” the next day [or two days-unclear]. Mr. Stuart was released on $46,000 bond and went home. [The Internal Revenue Service immediately imposed a levy on the money.

That is because Stuart, who is an inventor with several patents, is claimed to owe more than $97,000 in back taxes.

Because the bail money actually belonged to Stuart's fiancée, who was a witness to the shooting, the bond was changed from cash to a third-party secured bond through a bail bondsman and the IRS levy was lifted, and the money returned.]

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What can be gleaned from the excerpts of press reports (the later reports seemed to be based upon presumably more accurate public documents more than initial police/ witness information):

According to Mrs. Beasley a speeding car [driven by Mr. Stuart] crossed a double-yellow line to pass them.

She said the two cars came to a stop at a red light at Tatum Boulevard and the other driver, John Stuart, flipped her off.

Beasley rolled down the window and the two men exchanged insults.

Beasley's wife said that is when her husband got out of the car and Stuart pulled out a gun and shot him in the face. [Witnesses, but not all witnesses, clearly state that Beasley approached the SUV and put his arms inside the cab.]

Stuart fled the scene and was followed to his home by witnesses. He was taken into custody shortly thereafter.

Stuart's fiancée tells a different version: She was in the car with him when the shooting occurred and told investigators that Beasley had started the fight and threatened to kill Stuart.

Cantrell said Beasley was reaching through Stuart's window when Stuart told him to get back and then shot him. [Actually who fired the shot has not been established yet...since Mr. Stuart is the one under arrest it is safe to speculate the prosecutors will try to prove him as the shooter. I assume gunpowder residue should indict the shooter, even if Mr. Stuart had time to clean up. I also expect gunpowder residue will demonstrate the distance between Mr. Beasley's forehead and the barrel of the gun.]

Witnesses (16 of them!) told slightly different versions of the story, one stating that Stuart tried to hit Beasley with his car as Beasley approached, and another telling investigators Beasley had his hands in the air and was backing away from Stuart's vehicle when Stuart shot him. [nice of this reporter to relay the two most damaging witness statements]

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An attorney for Mrs. Beasley had this to say about his being bailed out:

"There is no reason for him to be on the street," said Beasley family attorney John Doyle.  "They found a small arsenal in his home which included assault weapons, and shotguns among other things."

Doyle went on to accuse Stuart of belonging to the ultra-right wing group, The Montana Freeman and pointed to that allegation as another reason Stuart does not deserve such a low bond.

"Clearly I have concerns that someone charged with the crimes he is and is affiliated with organizations that are essentially Warren Jeffs organizations where they can disappear into the woodwork," said Doyle.

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Phoenix Police Detective Paul Dalton repeated statements from several witnesses that Beasley angrily stuck his hands inside the driver's side window of Stuart's SUV, grabbed him by the neck and possibly even tried to pull him out of the window before he was shot in the forehead. One witness, however, said that Beasley was backing away from the car when he was shot.

Shortly after 9 p.m. on the evening of Jan. 29, according to a police report, Stuart and his fiancée, Cynthia “Cindy” Cantrell, were posting Ron Paul for President campaign signs. While driving along Pinnacle Peak Road, they passed the car driven by Beasley, who was returning home with his wife from having drinks at a local bar [Greasewood Flats] (map) after spending the afternoon at the Phoenix Open (map) [notorious for its party atmosphere].

Cantrell later said that Beasley left his headlight high-beams on while behind Stuart [another report says he was flashing his high beams on and off – witness?]. When both cars reached a traffic signal at Tatum Boulevard, Beasley pulled up alongside Stuart's car. The women in both cars have claimed that the man in the other yelled an obscenity. Beasley's wife, Rebecca, said that Stuart made an obscene gesture. Beasley got out of his car.

Witness accounts vary about what happened next. They differ on, among other things, how quickly Beasley was shot, whether Stuart got out of his vehicle, and whether Stuart maneuvered his SUV to taunt and to strike Beasley or simply to get away from him.

Stuart fled the scene and removed magnetized Ron Paul signs from his car, and according to his attorney Debra Hill, was headed to the home of an attorney when he was pulled over.

Police found two guns in his car, including the suspected murder weapon.

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While driving west on Pinnacle Peak Road, a vehicle [driven by Stuart] sped up behind Beasley’s, crossed into the eastbound lane and passed him. Beasley flashed his lights at Stuart’s vehicle before they sat side-by-side at a red light and Beasley got out of his vehicle and approached Stuart, according to court documents. Stuart is contending self-defense.

.... Stuart picked up $2,000 at his home and allegedly tried to flee, according to Phoenix police.
 
 
 
 
Note: The front of Beasley SUV is angled in towards the right lane.  Crosswalk worth of space in front of SUV.
 
(photos KTVK TV Ch. 3 Phoenix)
Closeup of the Beasley SUV. 

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Stuart's release on $46,000 cash bond following his arrest led to public outrage and prompted the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to bring him back to court to try to secure a bond of $500,000.

Judge Timothy Ryan met them nearly halfway by raising the bond to $230,000. [As to exactly why, I suspect a judge who couldn't stand the heat. The Arizona Constitution clearly says in Article 2, Section 22:
 
22. Bailable offenses

Section 22. A. All persons charged with crime shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for:

Capital offenses, sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor under fifteen years of age or molestation of a child under fifteen years of age when the proof is evident or the presumption great.

Felony offenses committed when the person charged is already admitted to bail on a separate felony charge and where the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the present charge.

Felony offenses if the person charged poses a substantial danger to any other person or the community, if no conditions of release which may be imposed will reasonably assure the safety of the other person or the community and if the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the present charge.

B. The purposes of bail and any conditions of release that are set by a judicial officer include:

Assuring the appearance of the accused.

Protecting against the intimidation of witnesses.

Protecting the safety of the victim, any other person or the community.

And in Section 15. Excessive bail; cruel and unusual punishment

Section 15. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.

[Of course judges could care less about the Constitution, and usually won't allow it in their courtroom.]

Stuart must also wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet - Ryan said such an order is not customary - abide by a curfew and check in daily with probation officers.

Stuart has already surrendered his passport and his numerous weapons.

[Mr. Stuart was a reasonably secure prospect not to run, nor to intimidate witnesses, nor is it thought he represented a likelihood of being a threat to others (as no one is accusing him of setting out to have a confrontation with Mr. Beasley in the first place). Still there were circumstances mentioned by the prosecutor – some troubling, some exaggerated.]

Prosecutor Susie Charbel presented documents filed with the Pinal County Recorder's Office in which Stuart claims that he is not a U.S. citizen, does not recognize the authority of the United States and does not pay taxes or have a Social Security number.

Charbel was prepared to introduce an expert to collaborate the information.

But defense attorney Larry Hammond argued that Stuart is not a member of an extremist group called the Freemen despite the documents to the contrary.

The judge stated that the Freeman accusations were not relevant to the bond.

In imposing the new bond, Ryan took into account Stuart's self-defense claims and his compliance so far with the terms of his release against the fact that he fled the scene of the crime.

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According to court records, on March 26, Stuart filed a motion to have his bond returned but he filed it without a lawyer, even though he is represented by Hammond. The judge refused to accept the document precisely because Stuart does have a lawyer and because it was not prepared by a legal-document preparer. [Judges won't deal with two sources, they want one person to go to -- preferably a fellow lawyer.]

The County Attorney's Office had Stuart re-arrested. [claiming felony false papers—see below. This second felony is what prevents Stuart from getting bail – see Constitution above. This is also what probably what led to he and his lawyer parting ways.]

John Stuart allegedly filed false documents with Maricopa County Superior Court. That's a felony.

Under Arizona law, a defendant who commits a felony while out on bail must be ordered held without bond.

On March 26, someone filed a series of documents in Stuart's name with the Maricopa County Superior Court; several have Stuart's signature, and one, according to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, bears his thumb print. [It had better Andrew.]

Prosecutors say that two of them are falsified Internal Revenue Service documents claiming Stuart had issued $3 million bonds to County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Superior Court Judge Timothy Ryan to settle his case and exonerate his bond. [This is that sovereignty stuff...man, if you claim you are a individual sovereign then you have no recognized rights in court or incarceration. Not that a judge will pay attention to you.]

....[Read further about a little help from his sovereign friends:] But did Stuart file them himself, or did somebody do it on his behalf?

"My understanding is that he did not prepare these documents," said David Michael Cantor, Stuart's new attorney. "It was all prepared and filed by two other people."

.... The phony IRS forms were accompanied by a rambling 26-page legal discourse on the U.S. monetary system and why a citizen is entitled to a share of the federal treasury.

One document appearing to be signed by Stuart was labeled "Bond Order" and addressed to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury claiming ownership of a federal government account worth $150 million and demanding that the two $3 million bonds be transferred from that account.

Cantor claimed that Stuart had no knowledge of the IRS documents, his signature is not on them, and instead pointed to the names on the letters attached to them in the filing.

One purports to be the name of a notary public in Oceanside, Calif., though there were no telephone or Internet listings under that name and address. The second was of an Arizona document preparer whose Web site says he is an ordained rabbi and law-school graduate who is not a member of any state bar.

.... Larry Hammond, Stuart's prior attorney at the time he secured bond, argued that Stuart is not a member of an extremist group called the Freemen despite documents filed with the Pinal County Recorder's Office in which Stuart claims that he is not a U.S. citizen, does not recognize the authority of the United States and does not pay taxes or have a Social Security number.

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So piecing it all together so far what do I think happened? [and I will try to find more]

Mr. Stuart and Ms. Cantrell were out posting Ron Paul signs. Mr. Beasley was driving back to his place with his wife from a bar. He was legally extremely drunk (Reports were Ms. Beasley had to be helped into and out of a squad car, but no sobriety check was conducted, therefor she presumably was not the one driving.) He was driving slower than a driver behind him (Mr. Stuart) wanted to go, so at some point Mr. Stuart raced by them. [Actually reports are he raced by two cars the lead car driven by Mr. Beasley and a second car tailing Beasley's unwilling to pass – because it was a no passing zone?.]

This pissed Mr. Beasley off who flipped his high beams on and kept them on behind Mr. Stuart's SUV, and presumably sped up to keep up with Stuart so they could have their ill fated rendezvous at the light. [The couple had Ron Paul magnetic signs on their vehicle which may or may not have played a part in Mr. Beasley's anger. I do not think there is evidence of that unless someone can find some Capt Thom posting to that effect.]

At the red light at Tatum Mr. Stuart's vehicle stopped in the right lane – they were going to go strait through to their home. Mr. Beasley pulled up to the light on the left side of Mr. Stuart's vehicle in the left turn lane, presumably to head north to their home. Per Ms. Beasley, Mr. Stuart flipped off Ms. Beasley, further infuriating Mr. Beasley. [Please note up until now Mr. Beasley definitely had road rage perhaps brought about by liquid courage. Certainly his reasoning ability was impaired. He had turned on his high beams, sped up to tail Mr. Stuart after being passed and pulled up along side him. Worse, witnesses say both vehicles exchanged words, but are unclear who started the exchange.]

Mr. Beasley made his fatal error; he left his vehicle and walked over to Mr. Stuart's vehicle. He reached inside.

How much time this took is anybody guess. Witnesses and time are funny things, but I suspect it did not take long but seemed like an eternity. Mr. Beasley in his road rage lashed out at the seat belted and confined Mr. Stuart. A standing man having a distinct advantage over a sitting and restrained man. [There is a report from Ms. Cantrell that Ms. Beasley was also out of their vehicle and pounding on Stuart's SUV at this time behind the driver's door (i.e., next to her husband). (fingerprints? DNA?) I will be interested in knowing if witness statements back this up.]
 
Ms. Cantrell and Mr. Stuart claim that Mr. Beasley threated to kill Mr. Stuart and claimed he (Mr. Beasley) had a gun. A shot rang out and Mr. Beasley took presumably a single gun shot to the forehead. His brains/ blood reportedly (by Ms. Beasley) spattering on the front of his vehicle around headlight and hood, though from the pictures I found it looks clean to me---hard to say from distant low resolution pictures taken at night and possibly from a distance.
 
What it does reveal is Mr. Stuart's car had to be right next to Mr. Beasley's as there was only two lanes and the empty one was the right lane. From the squared away position Mr. Beasley's car was not blocking anyone from making a right turn or going forward from the rightmost lane. Though the front part of the vehicle was somewhat angled in towards where Stuart's car would have initially been. Interesting for a car waiting to make a left turn. There was a side walks worth of room for Mr. Stuart to pull his car forward a bit at an angle and block Mr. Beasley's (as Ms. Beasley reported) – though who cares, Mr. Beasley was out of the car and headed for Mr. Stuart.
 
One could argue any automotive movement by Stuart was an attempt to block Mr. Beasley from gaining physical access to Mr. Stuart's face -- though lack of rolling his window up kinda argues otherwise (electric windows?). [Are these the kind of electric windows that reverse when encountering arms?  Was the driver's window found to be working later?]

Ms. Cantrell says traffic was so heavy they were unable to make their retreat despite three attempts. And that at one point in trying to back up they bumped into a car behind them (witness corroboration?). And that in beating and choking Mr. Stuart he also managed to poke Mr. Stuart in one eye further disorienting him and making a smooth transition into traffic difficult to retreat. (fingerprints? DNA? inside the vehicle) [How busy is Tatum at Pinnacle Peak at 9PM on a Tuesday? -- admittedly you had the Phoenix Open, big car shows and pre-Superbowl crowds around so traffic may have been atypically heavy].

911 calls reporting Beasley's shooting came pouring in at 9:10PM. Reports have Mr. Stuart being picked up 8 minutes later at 9:18PM.  It is from an initial Phoenix PD report on the news, and has been confirmed.

Because after the shooting, Mr. Stuart took off for home (which was only 1 1/2 minutes away) where according to documents he told Ms. Cantrell to immediately take off for her fathers in her car and call 911.  They knew they were being followed, but unsure if it was friends of the man that was shot or witnesses.  He proceeded to picked up $2,000, removed Ron Paul signs from his car and fled without his fiancée to be stopped shy of his lawyer's house where he was headed [all in 8 minutes!]. He did not discard the gun used in the killing. He had it with him. He had reportedly changed his pants (and cleaned up) and some point after telling the cops he crapped himself during the beating he was so scared (see updates below). I have some trouble knowing if this is true just yet. It makes no sense to me as currently told and matched to a time line. I shit myself, I am going to be cleaning up in a manner that takes time. And he discarded the pants and underpants without leaving tracks in his vehicle? Evidence. Blood/brains on pants or not on pants? Gunpowder residue on pants, not on pants? Gun goes off inside of car with Mr. Beasley right outside or barrel outside car and Beasley retreating with hands up? It actually makes more sense for him to be discarding his pants in a panic if they were covered in blood than if they were clean. If so, it was the worse thing he could have done to demonstrate how close Mr. Beasley was when the gun went off.

This part stinks. But it is not well documented that I can find. It apparently came out at his hearing.
 
Clearly there was road rage and the one committing it lies dead. Was there road rage on Mr. Stuart's part? Maybe. You can't tell. He passed Mr. Beasley. He rolled down his window. He reportedly flipped off Ms. Beasley – though I assume it was actually Mr. Beasley, Mr. Stuart was giving the finger. Both cars were exchanging verbal insults.
 
After the shooting Mr. Stuart ran. Ostensibly because he wasn't sure if Mr. Beasley was alone having passed two cars back aways with the lead vehicle driven by the attacking Mr. Beasley. Perhaps his assailant has friends. He had no way of knowing if Beasley's wife had his "gun" and would respond in kind.  He had a fiancée to protect, so he fled. I understand that. But you call the cops (after you call your criminal defense attorney). And you turn yourself in ASAP to get your story out as fresh as you can before you have time to think about what transpired. It is more believable.  Pretty much, that is what happened.
 
The two to three minutes Mr. Stuart and Ms. Cantrell may have had together is not enough time to concoct a story.  So, the police interviews are compelling if they tell a similar tale.  Mr. Beasley is dead so cannot contribute beyond evidence as to what transpired inside that vehicle.  Ms. Beasley may have been in a position to say if she was in fact along side her husband by Stuart's SUV.  Otherwise, except for witnesses across from and at right angles to this incident at the intersection who could see but not hear what was occurring within the vehicle it is the Stuart and Cantrell version of events that will be told. If witnesses back it up to the extent they can there is a good chance Mr. Stuart will walk.

Phone records will show if he really called an attorney (or attorneys).  And that  attorney will corroberate telling him to surrender to him.  But no way he cleaned up after himself, grabbed two grand and sped off to meet his attorney in 5 to 6 minutes unless he really still stank (if the crap story is true --  the press did not report it). And the pants couldn't have gone far.

Does AZ law protect Mr. Stuart? Will a jury or judge buy self defense?

Possibly. The judge will have the final say in what Mr. Stuart can claim as a defense, but mostly his statement, Ms. Cantrell's statements made minutes after the shooting seem to corroborate a self defense claim. It may not make people happy, but Mr. Beasley screwed up the moment he left his vehicle and confronted Mr. Stuart who had the safety of not just himself but his passenger to consider. Mr. Beasley clearly was under road rage at the time. And drunk. [Mr. Stuart was not tested for alcohol at the time which had to mean the police believed him when he said he (they) were not drinking when they arrested him or they surely would have tested him and made a big deal out of it no matter what level he was positive.]

Mr. Stuart was restrained in a confined vehicle and seatbelted in. Mr. Beasley had the advantage of being outside with no restrains on delivering blows.

Was Mr. Stuart in reasonable fear of his life? That is all he has to demonstrate. Actually he doesn't even need to demonstrate that.  The defendant need not do anything.  It is the prosecutor's burden to meet proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

The prosecution must demonstrate that Mr. Stuart pulled the trigger. That he could have retreated or halted the ongoing assault in some other manner. (roll the window up) That he reacted out of anger, not fear. That he or his passenger wasn't in immediate danger of grievous bodily harm. That he had no reasonable expectation others might be joining in the attack. And what did 16 witnesses see?

Gunpowder residue on Mr. Beasley's forehead will demonstrate how far away Beasley was to the car when shot. Backward blood/brain spatter is not as important as forward blood spatter. Also angle of bullet trajectory should demonstrate approximately where Mr. Beasley was standing at the time. Being shot in the top of the head he may not have dropped down and remained motionless. If he touched, reached inside Mr. Stuart's vehicle there should be finger prints and epithelial transfers.

Still Mr. Stuart will have spent over a quarter of a million dollars in his defense (not atypical). He will likely be sued by Ms. Beasley, though he may have a suit against her, as well as Mr. Beasley's estate. So may Ms. Cantrell. So lawyers will be busy.
 
He lost his truck: Yes, even though it is evidence Maricopa County has RICOed and is auctioning it off. Hope you don't need your home or car as exonerating evidence some day. In fact I learned this is why Stuart was charged with "drive by shooting:" Expressly so the county could steal his SUV.  Second degree murder alone would not allow them to RICO his SUV.  Nice to see their money grubbing priorities. 
 
I imagine IRS audits are in store for both Mr. Stuart and Ms. Cantrell from both the feds and Arizona. Nothing like a lot of attention to attract the wrong attention.

What is the take home point? When someone flips you off don't laugh, don't reply in kind, instead beg forgiveness even if you know darned well it is that idiot's fault. Even if you have a gun in your car. Because even if you are perfectly justified in killing someone it will cost you plenty. Better to walk away if you can, and certainly not egg a bad situation on.

 
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UPDATE:  I added this from the other side.  A Orville Beasley support site sort of.  Here Orville was known as "Cap't. Thom."  I found this site Googling for articles for this story Monday night.  I intended to post them but did not.  I was rather dismayed at the tremendous amount of undocumented, unreferenced balderdash present.  But I figured they lost an online friend to violence, and some lost a flesh and blood friend.  But there were four posts worth posting that I do so now in response to comments from a Jerry Stomp.  I believe they all report the second bail hearing which they fortunately attended and took notes.  Unfortunately, with the exception of claims (probably true) to items having purportedly to do with the character of Mr. Stuart and Ms. Cantrell ('don't pay taxes', 'large real estate holdings', 'restraining orders from ex-wife', anti-government, etc.) that have little to do with the shooting as far as the upcoming trial, and were not supported by reference (except Pinal Co. filings with the county recorder) these were the only comments (save one) that shed light on this tragedy:

HobbitFromPA
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:39 pm

Ok sorry it took me so long to get this up folks, did not come right home. Be kind to me I am not the best at taking notes. Some of it will be a recap of what I texted to Fax.

I thought I was running late but I got there probably around 1:40 and nothing was going on. Chole was already there as was Becca and Reed. About 15 minutes after I got there they the camera guy who was next to me was told he would have to remove his gear as cameras would not be allowed during the hearing. He packed up and left the courtroom. At 2:16 Stuart entered the room. About 5 minutes later the judge entered the room.

The State:
The State went on to list reason as to why the bail should be set higher. Talked to arresting officer and decided that he was a flight risk because:
1. $2,100.00 found on person
2. Items removed from car
3. The fact he left the scene and was leaving his residence
4. Stuart does not believe in the general principles of the country
5. Does not feel bound by the laws of the country
6. He has not put any personal effects up for bond, it was third party houses that were put up
The state feels had witnesses not followed him, he would have gotten away and not been found. The bond should be set at least $100,000 cash, but asking for $500,000 cash.

The Defense - Larry Hammond
There has been no material change since the initial date. Stuart has been in total compliance, wearing ankle bracelet, answering calls from Helen Taft (Bondsperson), and twice weekly visits. Went on to explain that Stuart is not a flight risk because:
1. He has pending patents, which require being able to be contacted
2. Has many ties to community
3. He was a juror in 2002. Which goes to show that he is not against the judicial system
4. He helped assist in the search for someone missing
5. If he was trying to flee why would he have his fiance call 911.
6. When police picked him up on Cave Creek he was on his way to his lawyer
7. The $2,100 was returned to him after he was released
8. His political views do not make him a flight risk

Went on to say that Stuart is not a member of the Montana Freemen. All of his firearms are being held by non-partial third party out of his reach. Defense rested at 2:42

Judge:
Apologized for not keeping Becca updated. Stated that hearings were being held for her sake to allow her voice to be heard. He said that there have been similar cases where bond was set even less then the $46,000 and that this amount should not be looked at as the value of human life. It is also not a slight at family and friends. The court can and should review when found necessary.

In regards to increase in bond, the court does not feel that the paperwork found in the car does not warrant a flight risk. The same is felt about the firearms considering they are being held with a third party. Stuart has surrendered his passport, and his complying with daily phone calls and weekly visits. Court set bond at $230,000 non cash bond. So he only has to put up 10%. It was decided that serial numbers for all Stuart's firearms would be required with in a week. The judge then said that any kind of violations and he could be held without bond. There was something said about Stuart being aloud to be out from 12:30pm until Midnight, but I wasn't really clear on this.


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azhootie
Location: Valley of the Sun (Laveen, AZ)
Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:56 pm

First to clarify.....the conversation and apparent "getting their stories straight" was the night/morning of the incident, not today. Sorry for not being clear on that Hector...

The "doozie" is that there was some discussion about the fact that John was wearing different pants when he was apprehended than what he was wearing when he murdered Tom. It came out in court that it was because he was so scared after he did it that he literally sh*t his pants. Then get this.....the police couldn't find those pants with "fecal matter" as the detective put it and the reason they couldn't is because apparently Stuart threw them out of the window of his moving SUV and hit a truck with them.

Terri was taking tons of notes and I'm just going by memory but things that stood out for me were:

1. When he was booked and the detective did his initial paperwork (they kept referring to it as Form 4, I think??!) he logged in that $2100 Stuart had with him. What came out AFTER the fact is that the fiance reported that money missing to the police who were searching their house. The police called the detective and said "hey, the fiance is saying $2100 is missing and clothes have all been thrown around in the house" ... as it turns out, Stuart himself had grabbed that money and left and that is why he's now considered a flight risk when perhaps in the beginning, not so much since that data was initially not known.

2. Another reason that the detective believes he was fleeing is because he had big magnetic "Ron Paul for President' posters on the sides of his FJ Cruiser. When he ran home and got that money, he also took off those magnets in what appears to be an effort to change the look of the car.

3. According to Stuart and his fiance, Tom was trying to strangle him and also injured his eye. Police took pictures of Stuart's neck and face and there were no visible bruises or injuries.

4. According to Stuart and his fiance, the reason they fled is because even after Stuart murdered Tom..........GET THIS.......they were fearful Becka was going to get Tom's NONEXISTENT gun and kill them both. That is totally LAUGHABLE.

I am not sure of what the final outcome was as I had to get back to work. I thought it was going to be about 30 minutes and parked at a 1 hour meter. It ended up being several hours and I got a parking ticket but it was SO worth it. I just couldn't leave my boss stranded all day. They were taking a break when we left and were talking about calling another witness.

As Terri said, the defense attorney was an idiot. Kept getting things mixed up. Called Stuart, Beasley for one. In another instance she said something like "in your report, you saw that xxxxx" and he was like "you are quoting Officer Page's (or something like that) report. And she said "Oh you're right!" There were several of those mistakes throughout.

The prosecution (Susie Charbel, I think?) got off to what I thought was a slow start but ended up turning things around in my opinon.

Oh it also came out that Stuart had a bunch of gas masks, knives, and other weapons in his car. Seems like a great guy to me. NOT!!!!!!!!


TerriB
Location: Tempe!!
Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:24 pm
....snip....

1) The only character witness Stuart could come up with was his neighbor across the street. She notarized his crazy papers about not being a citizen because he "belongs to god." She swears they have been guests in each other's house and they are close friends but they have never discussed politics. She doesn't feel he's a flight risk because of ties to the community. Really? He has no friends but her apparently.

2) The detective ran through what happened according to "99% of the eye witnesses": Tom was standing in front of Stuart's car with his hands on the hood. Stuart kept running his car forward and backward into the car behind him. Tom started walking away backwards with his hands up when Stuart shot him. The blood was only on the hood of the car.

3) The detective knew Stuart had the $2100.00 on him when he was stopped by the cops but never thought Stuart was going to be released immediately. That is also why all the guns were left in Stuart's house. The detective said he now thinks Stuart was trying to flee.

4) Defense was trying to create some bull shiit story that Stuart had the cash and had left the scene because he was on his way to see some lawyer. This mystery lawyer did not appear as a witness at the hearing. That speaks volumes.

5) Defense Atty brought up the story fiancee told police when they stopped her (also fleeing) then objected to Prosecution doing the same. The judge had to point out to her ALL of the fiancee's testimony would have to be stricken. This would include the ridiculous story that Becka was going to kill them with Tom's gun. Tom didn't have a gun and no one saw a gun or heard him mention a gun.

....


TerriB
Location: Tempe!!
Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:17 am

The shiit pants was Stuart's excuse to have tried to alter his appearance, as he did with the vehicle, when he was running. Maybe he had gun powder residue on his hands & wiped his hands on his pants. So maybe he got home, changed, washed his hands, grabbed the money, tore the posters off his car, and ran. That's where the pants come in. What is he hiding??

There are at least 15 different witnesses so 14 of 15 saying Thom backed away, hands up, is a good indication he Thom did just that. The only driver saying otherwise was blocked in behind Stuart and Stuart backed his car into said witness's car every time he tried to hit Thom with car while Tom was standing in front of the car with his hands on the hood.

Items found in the search (with warrants)
In vehicle:
AR15
Stun baton
Murder weapon with ammo

In metal box in back of vehicle:
AR15, several rounds of ammo & magazines
Bulletproof vest
Several knives
4 gas masks
2 copies of Constitution
Ron Paul posters

In glovebox:
Papers titled:
Soverign Right of Natural Person to Operate Vehicle - completed
Writ of Freeman Right to Travel-completed
Public Servant questionnaires

In house:
Cash
Multiple weapons in plain sight
Multiple weapons not in plain sight
Large gun safe locked
Documents in house

There was a ridiculous discussion whether the assault rifle found in the house was really an assault weapon, as defind by the police, because assault weapons were banend by the Federal gov't. Objection was overruled. I'd like to hear how that arguemnt would have gone since Stuart doens't recognize the Fed's authority, why would he recognize an assault weapon ban? Also, lame Defense arugment that all items in car were on the NSA's web site as "must have" items in case of disaster. Really??? ALso overruled.

eta:14 of 15 is 93.33%


azhootie
Location: Valley of the Sun (Laveen, AZ)
Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:02 pm

The whole time line from when he shot Tom (911pm) and the time he was apprehended (918pm) was less than 10 minutes. The distance covered was like 2.2 miles. You'd think they'd find the poopy pants if they existed.

I thought at first that he really DID crap his pants but now I'm guessing, as others said, that he just did it to further try to change his appearance.
 
------------------------------------------------
 
[Comment from Powell: Interesting TerriB is today embellishing her claims above while chastising one of the Watering Hole regulars for not reading her articles...well Fax here they are above: ]

TerriB
Location: Tempe!!
Wed May 07, 2008 2:51 pm

For people, like Fax, too lazy to go back and read what I wrote after attending the hearing and taking notes:
14 of 15 witnesses said Tom never touched Stuart.
14 of 15 witnesses said Stuart pointed the gun at Tom.
14 of 15 witnesses said Tom had his hands raised and was backing away from Stuart's car.
14 of 15 witnesses said Stuart shot Tom unprovoked.
The hood of Tom's car had (and still has) blood splatters and smears on the hood. Tom had backed quite a distance away when he was shot and fell on his own car.
When Stuart was examined at his arrest, there were NO blood spatters on him or on/in his car.
When Stuart was examined at his arrest, there was no eveidence of any assualt on him. There are photos taken immediately after his arrest.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
From Powell: To requote from above, the Arizona Republic had a different report from the same hearing that TerriB reported.  
 
Feel free to read it yourself
 
To quote: "Phoenix Police Detective Paul Dalton repeated statements from several witnesses that Beasley angrily stuck his hands inside the driver's side window of Stuart's SUV, grabbed him by the neck and possibly even tried to pull him out of the window before he was shot in the forehead. One witness, however, said that Beasley was backing away from the car when he was shot."...."While driving along Pinnacle Peak Road, they passed the car driven by Beasley, who was returning home with his wife from having drinks at a local bar after spending the afternoon at the Phoenix Open."
  
[Powell: You can't both be right.  I know, call Michael Kiefer up and demand a retraction. ]

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