Justice of the Peace 'Judge' Karen Slaughter

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Supplement to complaint against Judge Karen Slaughter

Supplement #1 to Case No. 12-136 (Karen Slaughter)

This supplement further documents Judge Slaughter's bias against the "self-style activists" in Quartzsite and her disregard of the law (at least in matters touching the activists).

As brief background, on March 2, 2011 (a Friday afternoon, naturally, when one who's arrested will likely spend the weekend in jail), Chief Jeff Gilbert of the Quartzsite police department arrested Jennifer Jones for felony witness tampering. (Technically, "Tampering with a witness," per A.R.S. § 13-2804.) Please see Exhibit 1-1, a blog report/interview with Jones about her arrest and arraignment.

[As an aside, it turns out the warrantless arrest was bogus. The La Paz County attorney, Sam Vederman, not only refused to bring charges, but he cited this incident, among others, in his complaint to the FBI's Public Corruption Unit regarding "systemic public corruption" in Quartzsite. See Exhibits 1-2 & 1-3.]

According to the report (verifiable through Jennifer Jones):
In a video conference appearance, Judge Karen Slaughter set Jones' bail at $10,000 because she had a statement from Florian claiming to be in fear for her life. Jones states that she reminded Judge Slaughter that bail was only to assure your appearance and that the Constitution prohibited excessive bail, but Slaughter told her that if she didn't like it, she could wait in jail until they found her another judge.
More specifically, Mrs. Jones reports that when she asked to be released on her own recognizance, citing the fact that she had been charged numerous times already but had no criminal convictions; had never missed a court date; and was running for public office,  Judge Slaughter said, "That's not going to happen."

NOTE: Due to complainant's limited financial resources, complainant is unable to supply the Commission with audio which would substantiate this verbal exchange. Complaint requests the Commission obtain the audio/visual of the arraignment hearing for Case # IA2011-00128F in Quartzsite Justice Court.

Judge Slaughter set Mrs. Jones' bond at $10,000.

But this was only a bond to guarantee appearance. It appears Judge Slaughter's actions were punitive, especially since Judge Slaughter implies that "another judge" would set bail differently.

Mrs. Jones reports that she had the opportunity to speak with a Justice of the Peace off the record about the high bond, who also thought the bond was excessive. That Justice of the Peace tried to flesh out from Judge Slaughter what criterion she used to set bond. (Ironically, this was when the judges were on a trip to a training session about same.) Please contact Jennifer Jones for the details and the name of the Justice of the Peace.

There is also the question of how Judge Slaughter got a statement from Florian that Florian was ostensibly in fear for her life? This sounds like ex parte communication. Florian was not present during arraignment and Mrs. Jones had no opportunity to challenge the statement or credibility of her accuser.

Nevertheless, Judge Slaughter cited and acted on unsubstantiated, potentially unlawfully obtained, inadmissable hearsay.

As such, at a minimum, Judge Slaughter violated Rules 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.6, 2.9 and 2.11 in this incident alone.