VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 12   |   MARCH 23 – 29, 2011


Short docket tests pro tem judge with light load

They may be guilty but insane, have suspended licenses, fail to appear and fail to pay, but they’re all still driving

larry scaringelliCAVE CREEK – Judge Pro Tem Larry Scaringelli (l) sat in for Cave Creek Municipal Court Judge George Preston for the March 18 pretrial conferences.

Preston heard a juvenile case in chambers Friday morning but hobbled off on crutches with a badly sprained ankle as he left for a doctor’s appointment while pretrial conferences continued.

Simon Reyes Palomares, with the assistance of a Spanish language interpreter, entered a plea agreement, pleading guilty to charges of driving without a valid license and no proof of insurance. Town Prosecutor Mark Iacovino agreed to dismiss the cracked windshield charge.

Scaringelli asked Palomares what his current address was and through the translator Palomares provided an address but said he didn’t know the zip code.

“The address you just gave me is not the address on the citation,” said Scaringelli, who admonished Palomares to keep his address current with the court.

Cited in December, Palomares failed to appear for his Jan. 21 court date.

He was ordered to pay $400 in fines and fees.

Palomares, who appears to be illegally present, has been cited numerous times in Phoenix for driving without a license, no proof of insurance, no identification and other violations since at least 2005.

While Palomares also has a history of failure to pay the fines imposed, he is allowed to continue driving without a license.

Edward Fallon entered a plea agreement and was fined $400 for driving on a suspended license.

According to Town prosecutor Ken Holmes, Fallon, whose license is suspended for an extreme DUI, has someone living with him that drives him where he needs to go.

In fact, she was waiting in the truck out in the parking lot.

However, on the day he was pulled over, Fallon told Holmes his driver was having trouble exerting enough pressure to push down on the clutch pedal in his old truck, so he said he got in the driver’s side and drove the truck the rest of the way home. While he knew he wasn’t supposed to be driving, he said he just wanted to get his truck home.

Sue Hershkowitz pled guilty to a class 2 misdemeanor for leaving the scene of an accident with damage to the attended vehicle and was ordered to pay $500 in fines and fees.

According to Hershkowitz, she was heading east on Carefree Highway at the intersection of Cave Creek Road and a car turning right on Cave Creek Road grazed her vehicle as it came up beside her.

Hershkowitz told Holmes there didn’t seem to be significant damage to her vehicle and she didn’t feel there was reason to pull over, so she continued east on Carefree Highway.

However, the driver of the other vehicle told a different story. She said Hershkowitz grazed her vehicle when she approached the intersection and said she pulled over but Hershkowitz just drove off.

The other driver took down Hershkowitz’s license plate.

A.R.S. § 28-662 requires the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person to immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the accident scene as possible and remain until they fulfill the requirement to exchange information.

Holmes pointed out the law requires any party involved in an accident resulting in damage to a vehicle to stop without regard to which party may have caused the accident.

Norman Floyd entered a plea agreement, pleading guilty to driving on a suspended license and dealer plates on a service vehicle, while several other charges, including failure to provide proof of insurance and a brake light violation, were dismissed.

Floyd was ordered to pay $825 in fines and fees.

However, according to court records, when Floyd signed up for time payments, he indicated he is unemployed and receiving disability benefits.

Since 1989, Floyd, 51, has spent over a decade in and out of Arizona Department of Corrections and Arizona State Hospital.

He was arrested in 1995 for felony charges of aggravated assault, endangerment, and criminal damage.

His charges were reduced to disorderly conduct, tagged with “dangerous, repetitive and enhanced.”

Floyd was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison.

His civil rights were restored in 2004 along with the restoration of his gun rights.

In 2007, Floyd was arrested for unlawful flight from a law enforcement vehicle.

Floyd was found guilty but insane and was committed to Arizona State Hospital.

In 2009, Floyd moved to have the criminal case against him dismissed.

And, in May 2009, a hearing was held in the Arizona State Hospital courtroom where a 75-day mental health review was held.

Commissioner Patricia Arnold stated in her May 6, 2009 minute entry, the trial court previously found the offense did not cause death or serious physical injury or threat of the same; committed Floyd to the Arizona State Hospital and placed him under jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Review Board; and ordered the Arizona State Hospital to submit a report addressing Floyd’s mental health and dangerousness.

Arnold concluded, after reviewing the 75-day Review Hearing Report by Dr. Wesley Smith, Floyd “still suffers from mental disease or defect and that he is persistently or acutely disabled.”

She terminated the commitment order previously entered by Judge Ditworth on Jan. 23, 2009 and ordered the Maricopa County Sheriff to transport Floyd to Desert Vista Hospital for “civil commitment.”

Meanwhile, Floyd is out and about, he’s still driving and has been issued well over 30 traffic citations, including countless charges of driving on a suspended license and a 2010 DUI, for which the North Mesa Justice Court scheduled an Order to Show Cause hearing last month due to his failure to comply with the court’s order.

Last on the docket was Traves Bailey, 22, who was originally cited for DUI and an unsafe lane change violation.

Bailey entered a plea agreement, pleading guilty instead to the unsafe lane change and the DUI amended to a charge of speed greater than reasonable and prudent.

He was fined $1,000 plus $300 in facilities costs and a $25 court fee.

It appears Bailey’s father, who accompanied Bailey to court, paid his fine.

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