The case against a woman charged with murder in the death of her 3-year-old grandson may be sent back to a grand jury for a second time.
Defense attorney Candy Camarena, who represents Rachael Spry, has filed a 15-page motion citing the reasons why a new finding of probable cause is necessary and that the original indictment against his client was obtained in violation of her rights of due process.
In the motion, Camarena argues that prosecutors provided false or misleading evidence to the grand jurors in order to get an indictment and that the evidence presented was clearly inflammatory and not relevant.
Camarena further wrote that prosecutors also failed to properly instruct the grand jury about the elements of the law and that inaccurate or unsubstantiated facts and opinions were presented.
“All of these violations occurred at the instant grand jury proceeding. Any of these violations is enough to remand. The accumulative effect was that the grand jury was sure to indict the defendant,” Camarena wrote. “The state is required to ensure that justice is done, not simply to obtain an indictment. Accordingly, there is overwhelming reasons for the court to remand this indictment.”
Spry, 35, has been charged with second-degree murder involving domestic violence; misconduct involving a deadly weapon, specifically a gun; possession of dangerous drugs (methamphetamine); possession of drug paraphernalia (packaging); and reckless endangerment of a minor involving domestic violence.
She is being held in the Yuma County jail on a $500,000 bond.
In a response to the motion, Karolyn Kaczorowski, with of the Yuma County Attorney’s Office, asks the court to deny the defense’s motion to remand, contending that the grand jury was fully informed of all relevant terms and culpable mental states.
“The state presented the evidence to the grand jury in a fair and impartial manner. Based on that evidence, the grand jury duly returned an indictment,” Kaczorowski wrote. “Therefor, this court should deny the defendant’s motion to remand and allow the matter to proceed to trial.”
In his reply to the prosecution’s response to his motion to remand, Camerena asserted that the manner in which prosecution originally presented the case to the grand jury combined to form a series of continuing and ongoing errors that absolutely denied his client her due process.
“While the defendant argues that at least four distinct grounds require remand of this matter to the grand jury for a new finding of probable cause, a review of the entire proceeding, after reading the pleadings from both parties in this matter, reveals an ongoing and continuous series of great flaws, each denying the defendant’s rights of due process, combining to create a grand jury proceeding that shows a complete lack of care, due process and protection of the grand jury from improper influence, and even, the failure to instruct them as to the element of a crime,” Camarena wrote.
Superior Court Judge John Nelson, who is presiding the case, has scheduled a hearing next week to hear oral arguments on the motion and issue a ruling.
According to the Yuma Police Department, officers were dispatched to a residence in the 1200 block of 11th Avenue in early May in response to a report of a child having been shot.
A 3-year-old boy, identified by Yuma police as Darrien Nez, was transported to Yuma Regional Medical Center by emergency personnel and later pronounced dead.
Court records indicated that Spry had been staying at the residence to help her daughter pack for a move.
Spry owned a 9mm handgun, which was inside a backpack. She said she was packing the bathroom that morning and placed the backpack on top of a clothes dryer. Court records indicated that Spry said she saw her grandson come into the room but continued with her packing.
According to court records, Spry said she heard the gun go off about five minutes later and that when she looked over, she saw her grandson lying on the floor, bleeding from the nose.
Court records indicate that the gun went off after the child pulled the backpack off the top of the dryer.
Court records also indicated that Spry admitted to using methamphetamine the day before at about 11 p.m. and placed the pipe she used to smoke it in the same backpack as the gun.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.