MAR 29, 22 .. THE MOHAVE COUNTY COURTHOUSE .. KINGMAN, ARIZONA .. SENTENCING DAY !!

Tuesday, March 29th, 2022 : Today has finally arrived. Today is the day when the defendant, who stole our GMC Suburban, will be sentenced by the Mohave County Superior Court Judge, The Honorable Doug Camacho Court Commissioner/Pro Tem.

Patti and I have been present (via telephone) in two prior Superior Court Criminal Judicial Hearings conducted by Judge Camacho.

In the first hearing, Judge Camacho denied the defendants request to have his $10,000 bail bond dismissed.

In the second hearing, Judge Camacho allowed, and accepted, the defendant to enter a plea bargain : “An arrangement between prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence or an agreement to drop other charges.” Patti and I have absolutely no idea whatsoever as to the terms of the accepted plea bargain.

Today’s Rhetorical Question :

Oh Me Oh My ..

Where and how to begin what we hope is the final page in the chapter of our lives titled ..

“Black Beauty .. Our Stolen GMC Suburban”

Taa – Daa !!

The Answer is : “When we start to write, we prime the pump and the flow of ideas begins to move. It is the act of writing that calls ideas forth, not ideas that call forward writing.”  Julia Cameron

I will now begin (where else but) at the very beginning ..

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First Disclaimer : All of you who follow along here with Patti and me on dot.net, know about the following events. Because I want this Post to be (more or less) final closure, I need it to be complete.

What you are NOT aware of is this : All during this most challenging chapter in our lives, we were in (more or less) close contact with, (1) the local Lake Havasu City Police Department, and (2) with the Mohave Court Victim / Witness Assistance Progam sponsored by The Mohave County Court located in Kingman, Arizona. After the local Police reviewed the Motel’s security camera footage, I was told that they recognized the suspect because of his past history of criminal behavior here in Lake Havasu City. Friends, IF you are a criminal, you DO NOT want to be ‘well known’ by the local Police!

DECEMBER 24th, 2021 – Christmas Eve Day

Our Truck has been stolen from in front of our motel room. I got up to use the bathroom and Patti said it was raining. I looked outside to see if it was raining and I saw that our truck is gone !! Someone did find my keys and that is what happened. Cap at 1:42am Friday December 24th, 2021

And so it all began !

I submitted the below writing formally to the Mohave County Court who asked me to provide them with information as to the impact this was having upon Patti and me :

My wife and I live in Alaska. We are not wealthy snow birds, we are in our 80’s and here in Arizona for medical treatments at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. When I looked out my motel door in Lake Havasu City, AZ, at 1am on December 24th 2021, I was stunned to see my GMC Suburban was gone. I called the local police and a report was filed. Then began a week from hell. Getting a rental car on Christmas Eve day, worrying about the possible sudden financial costs (probably $20,000 or more for a used GMC Suburban IF I could even find one), worrying about our Mayo Clinic appointments etc.

DECEMBER 29th 2021

AMAZING !!

Today, this afternoon, at 3:25 pm, we received a telephone call from the Lake Havasu City Police Department advising us that..

Our 1998,GMC Suburban, has been located.

DECEMBER 30th 2021

At 11am, Patti and our Lake Havasu City resident and long time personal friend Michael, Michael’s dog Little Bit, and myself drove up to Laughlin, Nevada to retreive our stolen GMC Suburban (Black Beauty) having no idea of what condition he would be in. Not knowing if he would even be driveable. Not even knowing if he had any gasoline in his gas tank. 

I submitted the below writing to the Mohave County Court, again at their request, to provide them with information as to the impact this was having upon Patti and me : 

My truck was recovered on or about December 29th. On December 30th my wife and I traveled to Laughlin, Nevada to pick it up. When we got to the yard where it had been towed, there were no license plates on the car.  I had a very difficult time getting a Nevada temporary vehicle permit. We drove back to Lake Havasu City and I then spent nine hours in the Lake Havasu City hospital emergency room (perhaps because of the stress of the prior week) being treated for a diverticulosis (my first ever) flare up. Then I had to get an Arizona temporary vehicle permit. Then it took over two weeks of effort (and extreme stress) to get new Alaska license plates and a replacement handicapped placard. It took me time to get an appointment to have my truck inspected by a GMC dealer.

I spent over six (6) years as an enlisted member of the United States Marine Corps. As such I would never have believed that having my truck stolen would upset me so much. Because of all of the above stress, my wife and I are now experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We are constantly looking out of our motel door to see IF our truck is there and not missing.

JANUARY 1st 2022 – Happy New Year 2022 !!

I spent the day cleaning up Black Beauty. What a job that was!

Just in case any of you want to refresh your memories, I published a very long and detailed Post on blogspot showing many photos of Black Beauty and what I encountered when I cleaned him up on Saturday, January the 1st.

http://bobbacaps.blogspot.com/2022/01/jan-6-22-welcome-home-black-beauty-so.html

Now please get-with-me here.

In the above blogspot Post, towards the bottom of the Post, I posted the below two photos.

The above Blue Book is the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book. Yes ! The criminal was a member of A.A. and he left his A.A. Big Book in Black Beauty ! His full name, his sobriety date and the names and phone numbers of many of his A.A. friends are shown in it. Oh Friends! You don’t want to leave such important information laying around now do you ?? Of course our local Police were impressed when I told them about finding this information. This is just one small example of some of the things that we have been dealing with.

The Time Has Come to show you all some new information. Information that I decided NOT to present in an ongoing manner  because I did not want to be continously updating you with (read : Boring) details about this challenging chapter of our lives.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Again, please get-with-me here.

On December the 30th 2021, Patti and I picked up Black Beauty in Laughlin, Nevada.  On January the 1st 2022 I cleaned up the mess inside of Black Beauty.

January the 5th 2022, at approximately 1552 hours, here in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, the Police arrested the defendant for the theft of our truck and for being in possession of a White Chevrolet Silverado truck and trailer that was coming back stolen out of Nevada ! First he steals our truck. Then he abandons our truck and steals another truck and trailer AND then comes back here to Lake Havasu City where he IS KNOWN by the local Police. A local firm here in Lake Havasu City had called the police to report a suspicious person / transient on their property. When the police responded to this call, they knew the defendant simply by sight because he has a history here. How stupid or dumb is it for him to come back here!? Neither! He evidently thought that he is beyond the ability of the police to apprehend him. He told the police he was going to Quartzite, Arizona with a friend (in the stolen White Chevrolet truck). He has been incarcerated since January the 5th.

February 2, 2022 (02/02/22) .. Judge Camacho refuses to allow the defendant to lower his $10,000 bail bond.

February 17, 2022 .. The Pre-Trial Conference today was vacated. The Court set February 24th for a Change of Plea Hearing.

February 24, 2022 .. The defendant entered into a plea agreement. Sentencing is scheduled for March 29th 2022. He pleaded guilty to:

Count 1, Theft of Means of Transportation as a Class 3 Felony

Count 2, Theft of Means of Transportation as a Class 3 Felony.

Today, March 29th 2022

Today is a very important day and date in our current lives. For today, Tuesday, March 29th, 2022, at 8:30am, in the Superior Court of The Mohave County Courthouse, located in Kingman, Arizona, the Honorable Doug Camacho Court Commissioner/Pro Tem, will sentence the defendant, age 32, the man who stole our 1998 GMC Suburban, Black Beauty, to (1) some type of probation, or (2) up to 7 years in prison for the commission of two, State of Arizona, Class 3 Felonies (the theft of our GMC Suburban and the theft of another truck and trailer when he abandoned our truck) committed while still on probation from criminal charges committed in the San Diego, California, area. A Class 3 Felony is one of the more serious types of felony crimes in Arizona. The sentencing range for a class 3 felony is typically between 2 and 8.75 years for a first-time offender. But the amount of prison time can increase to 25 years for a defendant with multiple prior felony convictions.

Today’s Understatement : I was nervous to the point of my hands trembling. We have been living this nightmare since 1am on Christmas Eve Day, December 24th 2021 right up to this very instant. Will Judge Camacho ‘let the defendant off lightly ‘ per the plea bargain or will Judge Camacho ‘sentence him to prison’. I have been invited by The Court to testify as to how this crime has affected Patti and me and I don’t want to present a marginal testimony. 

After wrestling the pros (live and in person, go to Kingman, Arizona, and actually attend the hearing shows how much we really care about the case) and cons (stay home and attend the hearing via telephone). I decided it was better to NOT be in Court in person because I don’t want the defendant to know who we are in terms of possibly being able to indentify us on the street. 

8:30am right on time the proceedings began. Judge Camacho followed a somewhat lengthy legal path explaining to the defendant what he had agreed to in the Plea Bargain (basically that Judge Camacho would make the sentencing decisions).

Then Judge Camacho heard testimony from the defendants side. A friend of his mother basically told the Judge the defendant has three young children at home and how, for years, the defendant has battled serious drug addiction issues and that he should be set free and paroled into an Addiction Treatment Program. 

Then Judge Camacho gave me the floor. I began by thanking the Mohave County Court for its Victim / Witness Assistance Program naming the two employees who had so very much assisted us in navigating the waters of the case. I apologized for not coming to Kingman in person to testify, knowing an in person testimony would be far more powerful than a telephonic testimony, and explained that I did NOT want the defendant to see us in person so he could identify us on the street and perhaps cause trouble, nor do we ourselves want to know what he looks like. 

Then I very briefly explained all of the stress that Patti and I had experienced since December the 24th Christmas Eve Day 2021 when our truck was stolen.

My wife and I live in Alaska. We are not wealthy snow birds, we are in our 80’s and here in Arizona for medical treatments at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. When I looked out my motel door in Lake Havasu City, AZ, at 1am on December 24th 2021, I was stunned to see my GMC Suburban was gone. I called the local police and a report was filed. Then began a week from hell. Getting a rental car on Christmas Eve day, worrying about the possible sudden financial costs (probably $20,000 or more for a used GMC Suburban IF I could even find one), worrying about our Mayo Clinic appointments etc.

I said our truck was recovered on or about December 29th. On December 30th my wife and I traveled to Laughlin, Nevada to pick it up. I had a very difficult time getting a Nevada temporary vehicle permit. We drove back to Lake Havasu City and I then spent nine hours in the Lake Havasu City hospital emergency room (perhaps because of the stress of the prior week) being treated for a diverticulosis (my first ever) flare up. Then I had to get an Arizona temporary vehicle permit. Then it took over two weeks of effort (and extreme stress) to get new Alaska license plates and a replacement handicapped placard. It took me time to get an appointment to have my truck inspected by a GMC dealer.

I spent over six (6) years as an enlisted member of the United States Marine Corps. As such I would never have believed that having my truck stolen would upset me so much. Because of all of the above stress, my wife and I are now experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We are constantly looking out of our motel door to see IF our truck is there and not missing.

Then I took a (figurative) very deep breath and stated that I became a clean and sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous almost four years before the defendant was born. I advised the Court that I had the defendant’s A.A. Big Book in my possession and that he listed January 25, 2020 as his sobriety date. I pointed out that, in studying his A.A. Big Book, it appeared to me that the defendant had previously been a patient in a formal Treatment Program that had failed to keep him clean from drugs and alcohol. I went on to point out that a Treatment Program (called  ‘three hots and a cot’ within A.A.) was a common defense used by attorneys to keep their clients out of jail and or prision. Further, that in A.A., I had heard other members proudly claim they had been clients in from 10 to 30 Treatment Programs. I also pointed out the defendant committed the two Arizona Class 3 Felonies while still on probation from the San Diego area courts. I said that in my testimony about the effects from our truck being stolen that my wife and I were feeling, I was also speaking for effects of victims of the (possibly many) crimes the defendant committed successfully without getting caught. 

The time had come : Sentencing ! I could hardly breathe ! Is Judge Camacho going to let the defendant go into treatment and escape any really serious effects of his recent crime spree or will Judge Camacho sentence him to prison ?

Judge Camacho was really detailed and extremely deliberate in his sentencing explanation. He pointed out that, less than two years ago, the defendant had committed another Arizona Class 3 Felony (this was news to us) and iterated that on this recent crime spree the defendant was still on probation from the San Diego area court system.  

Accordingly Judge Camacho stated : I sentence you to three and one half years (3-1/2) in prison for Count 1, Theft of Means of Transportation as a Class 3 Felony (our GMC Suburban) and three (3) years in prison for Count 2, Theft of Means of Transportation as a Class 3 Felony (the White Chevrolet truck and trailer) to run concurrently with the 3-1/2 year sentence.

Brilliant !! It looks to Patti and me like the Plea Agreement stipulated that Judge Camacho would not sentence the defendant to the maximum prison sentence of 7 years giving him instead exactly half (3-1/2 years) of that maximum.

And ?

That IS that.

Still Standing ..

Cap and Patti

6 thoughts on “MAR 29, 22 .. THE MOHAVE COUNTY COURTHOUSE .. KINGMAN, ARIZONA .. SENTENCING DAY !!

  1. Gullible

    Well, good. At least he didn’t get off with a promise to be good. I imagine he’ll get credit for time served–almost three months. I understand your reluctance to appear in person. Hope this means you can settle down and enjoy the rest of your trip.

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Yes, according to Judge Camacho, the defendant does get credit for time served (January 5th to March 29th). This is normal for one to get credit for ‘time served’ while awaiting the completion of the full legal process. Yes it became a no brainer for us to avoid being physically in the court room both because we didn’t want the defendant to see us NOR did we want to have an image of him in our own minds. Thanks for your interest and support Gullible. Cap and Patti

  2. Michael d.

    Thank God this chapter is being closed! Cap and Patti I want to thank you for your courage and strength through this entire nightmarish ordeal. Through it all you have shown all of us how to continue moving forward with life with all of the grace and dignity that we are capable of in light of the grievous nature of events that life keeps throwing at us. I will testify to all that not even once did either of you complain, curse, get angry or act out towards other human beings during these calamitous times. Just the opposite you unconditionally continued to love, nourish and support all whose paths cross yours…without conditions nor expectations of payback. Yet, being very close to both of you I could sense the internal stress that both of you so stoically carried. In my humble opinion you allowed all of us to be students, all being works in progress, and grow vicariously through your reaction to life. Your purpose, your empowerment gives us the beautiful gift of growth through humility and gratitude. I love you both dearly for what you have shared and offered to anyone of us willing to do what you do. And act like you act. And say what you say. It is indeed the easier, softer way of life. OK, now’s time for another adventure…… lol

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Thank you Michael for your amazing and deeply touching comment. Yes, along with you, we too hope that this chapter of our life is now closed. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. Time alone will tell us. Thanks to friends like you, who supported us all the way down the path, we were able to walk through it far easier than had we been alone. You were with us when we drove to Laughlin to recover Black Beauty. That alone was a great help. I’m not sure that we are quite ready for another adventure Michael, at least not one so challenging! Again, only time will tell. Your Friends and Allies .. Cap and Patti

  3. Robert 94596

    Wow, what an ending to your ordeal. I can well imagine your testimony presentation over the phone covering all the bases as being your usual cogent well-prepared self.

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Yes Robert, truly it was an ordeal. You are correct, I put in a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to say on our behalf as the victims. I had from February the 24th until March the 29th to ponder it. In some ways far too long because I could never completely get it off my mind. I am going to see if I can get a copy of my testimony. As you know, the time flies quickly past and it becomes almost a blur. Thank goodness for Patti being beside me through it all. Her support and understanding was outstanding. She just said yes it was a real wallop ! Thanks for your input Robert. Smiles .. Cap and Patti along with me.

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