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Thread: AZ hiker Harold Fish gets new trial in 2004 trailhead shooting

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    Arizona hiker Harold Fish gets new trial in fatal 2004 shooting at trailhead

    The Seattle Gun Rights Examiner column takes a hard look at the appeals court ruling, the circumstances of the incident and self-defense against aggressive dogs and their owners from a WA state perspective

    http://www.examiner.com/x-4525-Seatt...lhead-shooting

    If that doesn't work, try this

    http://tinyurl.com/nefq2h



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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Now for the question, "will he be retried under the Old AZ Self Defense Statute or under the New AZ Self Defense Statute?". As I read the report the difference is in who has to prove it was SD, or not. Also, the testimony that might be added about the victim's propensity for violence may swing the whole issue to the point that the Prosecutor may just drop it all.

    BTW, Does Arizona have a statute similar to Washington's that provides for the State to reimburse a Defendant if he is prosecuted and found not guilty by reason of Self Defense? If so, it might well play on the decision to refile charges.

    All that said, and if Mr. Fish is exonerated, who will replace the 5 years he has spent in Jail?
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    excellent news, it was a real travesty of justice that he was convicted of that crime

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    amlevin wrote:
    Now for the question, "will he be retried under the Old AZ Self Defense Statute or under the New AZ Self Defense Statute?". As I read the report the difference is in who has to prove it was SD, or not. Also, the testimony that might be added about the victim's propensity for violence may swing the whole issue to the point that the Prosecutor may just drop it all.
    He will be retried "in light" of the new law, but not within the new law would be my guess.

    The law was changed for a reason, and the defense would do well to push that fact while the prosecution will undoubtedly push the fact of what the law WAS when the "crime" was committed.

    Good luck to Mr. Fish on his re-trial. Personally, I think he got a raw deal the first time, and too much focus was placed on the type of the gun. :X

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    I have read a good bit about this case including the Appeals court ruling and some of the jury comments. It appears that the 10mm did not even come into play on their decision. Mr. Fish gambled on either Murder or not guilty and lost to a very good DA who knew how to play the game. However the Appeals court did rule that the judge went a little too far in not allowing testimony (and yes only a little too far) and the testimony about Mr. Kuenzli's behavior should have been allowed only to cooberate Mr. Fish's story about what happened since Mr. Fish had never met Mr. Kuenzli before.

    There were some other technicalities that also called for a reversal. I think Mr. Fish will again be gambling with a new trial and should work out a deal. As much as we would like to think it is not a slam dunk for acquital.

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    amlevin wrote:
    Now for the question, "will he be retried under the Old AZ Self Defense Statute or under the New AZ Self Defense Statute?".* As I read the report the difference is in who has to prove it was SD, or not.* Also, the testimony that might be added about the victim's propensity for violence may swing the whole issue to the point that the Prosecutor may just drop it all.

    BTW, Does Arizona have a statute similar to Washington's that provides for the State to reimburse a Defendant if he is prosecuted and found not guilty by reason of Self Defense?* If so, it might well play on the decision to refile charges.*
    No. Washington is the only state with such a statute that I can find.

    He may not be retried at all if the prosecutor decides against prosecuting the case a second time.

    There are some serious questions, as I noted in the column, that need answering.
    One of those questions involves one of the original investigators who told me and others that in his opinion this was a clear cut case of self-defense, and he was quickly removed from the investigation. WHY??

    The court only allowed "sanitized" evidence of Kuenzli's prior behavior regarding his (not really his) dogs. WHY???

    I concur with others who believe Fish got a raw deal, but by the same token, there will always remain the nagging question about why Fish didn't defend himself with his hiking stick instead of the handgun.

    In the final analysis, Kuenzli had a history of violent or aggressive behavior and Fish appears to have been a fairly quiet guy, a high school teacher, who packed a gun on his hikes, as do many of us, for just the kind of eventuality he encountered that day in May 2004.

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    One of the mistakes that I think Mr. Fish's attorney made was not letting Mr. Fish take the stand. I know that it is usually a big risk but in this case Mr. Fish's story had never changed from the initial call to the Grand Jury. He was always consistent and that is one of the things that usually get defendants in trouble. By not taking the stand the DA was allowed to paint him as a lying gun nut without challenge expecially with the sanitized testimony about Mr. Kuenzli's behavior.

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