The Payson Roundup reports that a Gila County judge has thrown out the convictions of a Payson man resulting from an altercation with police in 2011. Brandon Lee Lewis was found guilty of two charges of assaulting a police officer, one charge of resisting arrest and both felony and misdemeanor criminal damage charges by a jury in early 2013.
Gila County Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill said that prosecutors in Lewis’ case withheld a wealth of Brady material that should have been turned over to the defense, including:
- copies of reports written by the officers that could have been used to impeach state witnesses,
- information about the existence of potential witnesses,
- a repair estimate that would have prevented the charge of felony damage, and
- information that one of the police officer’s testifying for the state was on a list with the county attorney’s office for having questionable credibility.
Though Cahill didn’t dismiss the case against Lewis with prejudice (meaning the state is allowed to retry him), he didn’t mince words when reprimanding the prosecution in the case:
“It is an injustice that so many legally relevant documents were not properly disclosed prior to trial. The failure of due process here is clear…
The prosecution’s attempt to excuse its shortcomings is not at all persuasive.”
The Roundup says that the case has led to a civil suit against the town of Payson.