A change-of-plea hearing was scheduled Thursday morning in Yuma County Superior Court for the man who allegedly broke into a home in an attempt to molest two young children who resided there.
Attorney Richard Parks of the Yuma County Attorneys Office initially had asked for a settlement conference, saying his client has been offered two plea agreements but he and the prosecutor need to work some final details and a meeting with a judge would help.
Parks, who represents Chase Marshal Black, explained that at issue is whether the sentences in the plea agreements were to be served concurrently - meaning the sentences are served at the same time, or consecutively - meaning one sentence must be fully served before serving another.
Superior Court Judge Roger Nelson denied Parks’ request, saying he and the prosecutor should be able to resolve the matter without a settlement conference. No details of the terms of either plea offer were discussed during the hearing.
Black, who remains in custody at the Yuma County jail, has been charged with burglary and two counts of molestation of a child in one of the cases and two counts of voyeurism in the other.
Judge Nelson, after hearing from both counsel, scheduled Black’s next court appearance for 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 27 as a change-of-plea hearing. He added that if the plea offers were not accepted a trial date would likely be set instead.
According to Yuma police, the incident happened Sept. 2 at approximately 2:20 a.m. when a man entered a residence in the 200 block of West George Street through a bedroom window.
While inside the bedroom, he allegedly attempted to molest two juveniles under 10 years of age. YPD said the suspect was startled by a noise and fled the bedroom through the same window he had entered.
Officers went through the neighborhood trying to locate the suspect, who was not known to the family, but were unsuccessful.
The Yuma Police Department Child Family and Sex Crimes Unit investigated and later identified Chase Marshal Black as the suspect.
Black was later arrested in the 2000 block of West 3rd Street and booked into jail on two counts of child molestation, burglary and aggravated assault on a child.
According to Yuma police, this is not Black’s first arrest for a sex crime-related offense. He was arrested on March 1, 2019, on charges of voyeurism.