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Top Stories for September 8, 2010
Curley appears before Judge Heaton in Sixth District Court
Twenty three year-old Scott Curley of Fredonia, AZ, appeared before Judge Kirk Heaton at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 31, to hear of the charges he faces in Arizona and Utah relating to the shooting death of Kane County Deputy Brian Harris on August 26, northeast of Fredonia, and the manhunt for him that crossed state lines.
The purpose of his Sixth District Court appearance was to advise Curley of his rights and assure his understanding of the felony and misdemeanor charges against him. Curley acknowledged he was the person the complaints identified. He did not have defense counsel at his side, but had conferred earlier in the day with public defender William Leigh, who had indicated to Kane County District Attorney Jim Scarth that he did not feel he needed to be at this court appearance. Heaton appointed Leigh as Curley’s attorney for the charges he faces in Utah.
Curley was charged with attempted aggravated burglary, a class 2 Felony, for attempting to enter a private residence on August 29. He is also charged with a class C misdemeanor for criminal trespass on August 29, the night he was apprehended at a residence near the Lost Springs subdivision southeast of Kanab.
Scarth requested the bond for these charges be set at $500,000 “because of the fear factor and nature of his charges in Arizona,” but Magistrate Heaton reduced that request to a $100,000 cash bond after Curley offered a “no comment” on the bail issue.
Although Heaton does not preside over the court of record, by statute he is able to set or deny bail in order to assure Curley’s presence at subsequent scheduled court appearances and also to explain to the accused the charges he faces.
Judge Heaton repeatedly cautioned Curley not to say anything that may be used against him in a court of law and advised him of his rights, including the right to obtain copies of the discovery information compiled against him and any affidavits, right to be released if bond is met, and his right not to be obligated to talk with anyone about his case other than under the confidentiality of his defense attorney Leigh.
Curley faces the capital offense charge of premeditated first-degree murder in the state of Arizona, which was issued by Judge Mark Baron in Fredonia on August 27, and can carry the death penalty. He is considered a fugitive from justice regarding these charges. Scarth asked that Curley be denied bail in this charge and when that wasn’t accepted, asked for a bail of $2 million cash only. The judge authorized a sum of $500,000 cash only bond in this case, again to assure Curley will be present for future court appearances. Curley is unemployed and with no significant assets.
Heaton explained to Curley his right to accept or fight extradition to Arizona on the first degree murder charge, stating if he refused extradition, the governors of both states would arrange extradition (and he would likely be transferred to Flagstaff for further proceedings in Coconino County.) The judge explained to Curley that the purpose of today’s court appearance was only to determine if Curley was indeed the person sought across the border four miles south of Kanab. Curley said he was.
Scarth remarked the writ of habeas corpus also came into play where Curley could question the right of Utah to hold him in custody in this state.
Curley, again without the benefit of counsel being present, after the extradition question was explained to him stated, “I will waive extradition.”
However, this statement can only be accepted by the judge in the court of record, who will be Judge Lyman, who will preside over the Sixth District Court on Thursday, September 2 at noon in this matter. If the prisoner is not extradited, he will have a preliminary hearing scheduled on the Utah charges to determine if the state has enough evidence to warrant a determination of probable cause. The governor of Arizona will initiate extradition procedures to get Curley back into that state for a murder one trial.