5th Annual Golf Tournament Seeks Players, Sponsors

MARICOPA, AZ - The Pinal County Attorneys Office is looking for both sponsors and excited players to participate in the 5th Annual Pinal County Law Enforcement Association Golf Tournament.

The tournament is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 9th, 2022 at Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa. Lunch is included in the event.

Money raised during the golf tournament provides training scholarships for law enforcement officers throughout Pinal County. Teams of four are encouraged, however teams of two can be placed accordingly. The event is open to the public.

In 2021, the golf tournament raised more than $10,000 that went toward training opportunities and resources for officers.

If you are interested in playing in the tournament or becoming a sponsor, see the below flyers for additional details. You can also contact Community Liaison Latisha Joseph at Latisha.Joseph@Pinal.Gov.

 

PCLEA Golf Tournament
Sponsorship Levels
Registration Form

 

 

PCAO Paralegal Named ‘Legal Assistant of the Year’

FLORENCE, AZ - The Pinal County Attorney's Office is proud to announce one of its paralegals was named Legal Assistant of the Year.

Elle Deavult, a senior paralegal in the Major Crimes Bureau, won the 2022 Legal Assistant of the Year Award from the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys' Advisory Council (APAAC).

Elle was nominated and subsequently won the award due in large part to her organizational skills, ability to coordinate with multiple agencies, focus on details, tenacity and overall office contributions.

Despite a large number of complex cases, Elle finds ways to consistently help not only both of her assigned attorneys, but also co-workers and supervisors. Such was the case when she assisted her colleagues on the transition to a new case management system based on her prior experience on the platform.

Elle is a valued member of PCAO, has earned the trust of her attorneys and deserves this recognition.

The Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys' Advisory Council (APAAC) was created by the Arizona Legislature in 1977. The primary mission is to coordinate and provide training and education to prosecutors across Arizona. The organization serves approximately 885 full-time state, county and municipal prosecutors.

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Dozens Attend Youth CSI Summer Camp

FLORENCE, AZ (June 13, 2022) – Nearly 40 teens attended a two-day Youth CSI Summer Camp put on by the Pinal County Attorney’s Office, giving them an in-depth look at multiple aspects of the criminal justice field.

In partnership with Poston Butte High School, nearly 40 teens from across Pinal County attended the camp, held June 9th and June 10th.

“We found this to be a tremendous success and we are glad we could provide this educational event for our community youth,” said County Attorney Kent Volkmer.

The Youth CSI Summer Camp exposed the teens to various elements of the criminal justice field. A mock crime scene took place in the parking lot, depicting a drug deal and homicide to which Pinal County Sheriff’s Deputies responded and apprehended a ‘suspect.’ The teens were then taught how law enforcement processes a crime scene and also shown a mock interrogation of the suspect. The teens also learned about the forensic science elements to an investigation, including the use of finger prints.

For the second day of the camp, the teens attended a mock trial at Pinal County Superior Court. Judge Delia Neal oversaw the trial, which had PCAO attorneys acting as both the prosecution and defense. The trial took three hours and several of the teens sat on the mock jury.

“My favorite thing was actually seeing the process of the trial and learning about the judge’s responsibilities,” said Camryn Davis, 16, who attended the camp.

The goal of the Youth CSI Summer Camp is to give teens insight into how the criminal justice process works, from an initial incident all the way to trial.

“I would recommend doing the CSI camp because you get to learn a lot about the criminal field,” Davis said. “I got to talk to people in the field that I am interested in and I had a great time!”

PCAO is planning to host another CSI Camp, although a date has not been set.

We want to extend a special thank you to everyone who assisted with the camp, including the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and Superior Court Judge Delia Neal.

 

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June Citizens Academy Now Full

FLORENCE, AZ (May 31, 2022) - The next Citizens Academy hosted by the Pinal County Attorney's Office is now full.

The Citizens Academy set for Saturday, June 11th, has reached capacity and is no longer taking registrations. Additional interested parties may be contacted about an opening if any current scheduled attendees cancel or can't make it.

The Pinal County Attorney's Office Citizens Academy launched in February, with a full class that provided positive feedback. Several tweaks have been made to the single-day event to maximize the experience for those who attend.

The Citizens Academy is an opportunity for community members to get an in-depth look at the criminal prosecution process. Those who attend the class have the opportunity to review the evidence and discuss several cases prosecuted by PCAO, sit in on a presentation by senior PCAO staff who detail their bureau's role, use a shooting simulator to better understand dangerous situations facing law enforcement and also tour the county jail. The Citizens Academy runs from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., includes lunch and plenty of opportunity for Q & A.

The goal is host at least one more Citizens Academy in 2022.

If you would like to join the WAITING LIST for the next Citizens Academy, email Public Information Office Mike Pelton at Michael.Pelton@Pinal.Gov.


Orange Building Photo Job Fair Flyer (6)

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Keep your pets safe this Summer

FLORENCE, AZ - As we head into Summer, remember to keep your pets top of mind and ensure they are safe from the scorching hot temperatures.

As temperatures soar, keeping your pet inside is the best option during peak heat. At the very minimum, make sure they have access to shade and a lot of water if spending time outside. Of course, never leave them inside a hot car.

"As a County, we really just want to keep our pets safe," said County Attorney Kent Volkmer. "We need your help to do that."

Pinal County has a dedicated team at Animal Care and Control that works to ensure pets are safe and protected. Animal control officers respond to calls, educate pet owners and can even issue citations if the situation warrants.

"We're always here to help and we want to hear from you," said Pinal County Animal Care and Control Director Audra Michael.

You can reach Animal Care and Control at 520-509-3555. You can also report tips anonymously.

"If someone is being a bad [pet] owner, we're not afraid to hold them legally accountable," Volkmer said. "Of course, we hope it never gets to that point."

Pinal County Animal Care and Control also has a shelter located in Casa Grande, with more than 170 dogs and several cats that are available for adoption. The shelter is located at 1150 S. Eleven Mile Corner.

“Coffee with Kent” coming to Queen Creek

The Pinal County Attorney's Office will host another "Coffee with Kent" event this week, this time in Queen Creek.

Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer will join Queen Creek Police Chief Randy Brice on Tuesday, May 17th for the community event. It is open to the public and is designed to provide an opportunity for residents to meet with their local officials, ask questions, share concerns and learn about law enforcement and the criminal prosecution process.

The event runs from 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17th. It takes place at the Starbucks located at 20824 E. Riggs Road in Queen Creek. The Pinal County Attorney's Office extends a special thank you to Starbucks for hosting the event.

"Coffee with Kent" is a series of community events that are held across Pinal County. Typically held once a month, they are designed to connect with communities across Pinal County and provide an opportunity for residents to ask questions and receive an update on trends or other issues affecting the county.

You can always receive updates by following the Pinal County Attorney's Office on Facebook at Facebook.com/PCAOPIO.

Coffee with Kent Queen Creek (1) (1)

Youth CSI Summer Camp set for June

FLORENCE - Navigating a mock crime scene and watching real attorneys argue guilt and innocence are just part of a two-day Youth CSI Summer Camp that is open to Pinal County high school students.

The event, scheduled for June 9th and June 10th, is a rare and unique opportunity for Pinal County high school students to get an in-depth look at the criminal justice process.

The two-day camp includes the opportunity to navigate a mock crime scene, which will evolve into the arrest of a suspect, formal charges being filed and a mock trial. The mock trial will involve real attorneys on both sides as they argue guilt and innocence in front of Pinal County Superior Court Judge Delia Neal.

What: Youth CSI Summer Camp
When: June 9th from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Day 2:  June 10th from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Where: 971 North Jason Lopez Circle      Florence, AZ

Additional details are below. If you are interested, you can register HERE.

Update on effort to curb illegal dumping and cleanup our deserts

FLORENCE - Months after launching a renewed focus on combating illegal desert dumping, the county's efforts are showing some signs of success.

On April 27th, County Attorney Kent Volkmer provided an update to the Board of Supervisors on the county's effort to clean up our deserts. To illustrate the problem, pictures of couches, trash and mattresses were displayed to the Board.

"This is years and years and years of accumulation," Volkmer said.

Volkmer touted the multi-faceted approach to combating the issue, crediting other departments which have played a large role in the renewed focus, including public works, community development, public health, the sheriff's office and county management.

"We're working on it," Volkmer said. "This takes all of us coming together."

Volkmer noted the new county web page which launched late last year, which provides detailed information on how - and where - to properly dispose of old or bulky items. The web page also features the new rewards program, which pays $500 to anyone whose tip leads to charges against a person illegally dumping items in the desert. The web page is a one-stop-shop for all information on community cleanups and illegal dumping deterrence.

Thus far, the rewards program has brought in nearly a dozen tips. Many are too generic to follow-up on, but a couple have been sent to law enforcement for further investigation.

Volkmer touted the many efforts made by the county to cleanup our deserts. According to data from public works, this fiscal year has seen people put in more than 4,400 hours of labor, which has led to the removal of more than 717 tons of debris (think, like, the equivalent of 14,000 couches). The county hosts around 15 community cleanups each year, in addition to 9 free dump days.

Volkmer noted the high cost of community cleanups, which can cost around $25,000 per event in labor and equipment and thus puts limits on how many can occur.

"We made a dent," Volkmer said of countywide efforts to cleanup trash and debris. "This needs to be a sustained, continued effort. If we just stop it now, there will be more trash tomorrow than there was when we started."

Volkmer pushed for more volunteer opportunities to help cleanup the desert and, as the new slogan goes, #KeepPinalPristine.

"We have to change the community's mindset," Volkmer said of those who dump in the desert. "We have to change that mindset. As long as that's the mindset, that they can just dump it, it doesn't matter...who really cares, we're never going to [end] this problem."

Volkmer noted the county will continue efforts to cleanup the desert and curb illegal dumping through hard work, education and partnerships. Through the potential of additional public cleanup events, he expressed a hope the county will reach a point where more debris is being removed from the desert than dumped in it.

 

 

 

 

Victims’ Rights Week – Vigil for the Victims

FLORENCE, AZ (Monday, April 25th, 2022) - The Pinal County Attorney’s Office is hosting a candlelight vigil Monday night to recognize victims of crime who lost their lives.

This week is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and the candlelight vigil is the first of several public events geared towards recognizing victims of crime and putting a spotlight on the resources and rights afforded to them and their families.

vigil flyer

Fentanyl - an increasing danger

Multiple families shared their heartbreaking stories in hopes of raising awareness of Fentanyl and how easily it can affect any family as part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

Amy Neville knows all too well.

“It completely blindsided us,” she said.

Amy’s 14-year-old son, Alexander, died in 2020 after she said he unknowingly ingested fentanyl.

“Death was not on the radar,” she said.

Neville described her son as someone who loved to skateboard and was a researcher, someone who loved to look up information on topics he was passionate about.

Neville said around 8th grade Alexander started experimenting with marijuana, and said her family tried to help him understand the effects of marijuana and placed him in a mood and anxiety program that treated mild substance use.

Due to COVID-19, the program was limited and Neville said her son was not able to get the full effect of the treatment.

Neville detailed another night when her son volunteered that he had been experimenting with pills that had put a hold over him.

“He thought he was taking oxycodone,” Neville said.

Neville said she was working to again get him help, something that relieved Alexander. She noted she called the treatment facility, which needed to return the call.

That same night, Neville recalled Alexander went to hang out with friends and returned home later on. 

“He came home, we heard him come in the house, we said ‘hey Alex,’ he went right up to his room,” Neville said. “That was the last we heard from him.”

The next morning, Neville went to wake Alexander up for an orthodontist appointment, and he didn’t respond to a knock on the door.

“Instantly I knew something was wrong,” she said.

Neville said she found her son lying on his bean bag chair just like he went to sleep.

“His time of death is 9:59 a.m. and the phone call from the treatment center is at 10:03 a.m.” she said. “We had no idea how urgent this was.”

Neville revealed the toxicology report confirmed fentanyl in Alexander’s system.

“What happened to Alex isn’t an overdose,” she said. “This isn’t somebody taking too much of their usual dose of heroin or what have you. This is poisoning. Somebody deceptively sold him a counterfeit pill that was made with fentanyl.”

Neville said she learned Alexander had obtained the pill via a social media messaging platform.

Neville shared her story with the hope it raises awareness for other families, warning how easy – and under the many ways – fentanyl can pose a danger to kids.

“These pills in the streets are all fentanyl,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you think you’re taking Xanax or an Adderall, it’s going to contain fentanyl.”

Neville now travels the county giving presentations to warn other families.

“Anything I can to get the word out,” she said. “And to make it real. It’s really important to me that we make this very real for people.”

 

Forever 17

Misty Terrigino is another mom with an eerily similar story.

Terrigino tried to hold back tears as she described her 17-year-old daughter, Kaylie.

“She was fun, best sense of humor,” Terrigino said. “Best big sister. She was pretty cool.”

Terrigino  described a moment in April of 2021  as another normal night, as Kaylie went upstairs to work on homework during a period where she was doing online school due to COVID-19.

“She gave me a kiss in the kitchen, told me she loved me, went upstairs and that was it,” Terrigino said.

Terrigino found Kaylie's door locked the next morning.

“I just had this feeling,” she said. “I knew something was wrong.”   

Terrigino  found her daughter on her bed, with her laptop open.

“I could tell that it was way too late,” Terrigino said.

Terrigino said a toxicology report showed her daughter had a lethal dose of fentanyl in her system.

“She took what she thought was [oxycodone],” Terrigino said. “It ended up being laced with fentanyl.”

Later on, Terrigino found out Kaylie had obtained the pill via a social media messaging platform.

“I thought I was doing everything right,” she said. “We had talked about the fact that I had heard there were pills going around that really contained fentanyl. It wasn’t something I thought needed more attention. I never thought my child would take a pill.”

Terrigino is sharing her story to warn other families.

“To make sure some good comes out of this, to help prevent one family this pain,” she said. “I want her life to have meaning.”

Terrigino said her daughter had planned to attend Penn State University and wanted to study law.

Terrigino fought back tears as she remembered her daughter.

“She would do anything for anybody,” Terrigino said. “Just a really good person.”

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Public Events

FLORENCE, AZ (April 21st, 2022) - In honor and recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office will host several public events.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is taking place April 24-30. For more than four decades, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week has been geared toward confronting and removing barriers to achieving justice for victims of crime.

“It is an opportunity for the community to come together and commit to ensuring all victims are heard, validated and provided access to appropriate, trauma-informed resources,” said County Attorney Kent Volkmer.

PCAO is planning three events open to the public during NCVRW. The events will include safety messaging, recognition of crime victims and resources for victims and their families. They are family-friendly events and focus on victims who passed away, the dangers facing our children and the impact that DUI/DWI has on many families.

“Being a victim of crime can be frightening, confusing and even aggravating,” Volkmer said. “Taking the time to highlight and hold up our victims is both important and necessary.  It is my sincere hope that you can come and join us during at least one of these public events to show your support.”

In Arizona, victims of crime have many rights and are entitled to certain opportunities throughout the criminal justice process, including at court hearings. The Pinal County Attorney’s Office is committed to ensuring victims and their families are aware of the rights afforded to them.

Please see the below flyer which details the public events, set for April 25th, 26th and 29th.

FLYER