Lake Havasu City Police Department

Lake Havasu City’s police station was built 30 years ago and according to city officials is in need of about $4 million dollars worth maintenance projects.

A Lake Havasu City man is accused of exchanging explicit messages and images online with underage girls. But due to matters of jurisdiction, Mohave County prosecutors might be forced to show that the crime occurred in Arizona for the case to proceed.

But according to the prosecution, there may be reason to believe that at least one of the defendant’s messages could have been sent from the state of Arizona — and ultimately, it will be up to the jury to decide for certain.

Christopher M. Thomas, 38, surrendered himself into custody at the Lake Havasu City Police Department on Sept. 8. Thomas allegedly confessed to exchanges of sexually explicit texts and photos with possible victims through social media, despite having cause to believe that the recipients were underage. According to police, one of the victims may have been as young as 14 years old.

Deputy Mohave County Public Defender Paul Amann filed a motion to dismiss the case earlier this week, arguing that the messages and images were in fact sent to the victim from California, where Thomas worked as an employee of PG&E in San Bernardino County. According to statements by Thomas to police, he never met any of the victims and made no plans to do so.

Amann said that the Lake Havasu City Police Department and Mohave County Superior Court had no jurisdiction to arrest or prosecute Thomas for the alleged offenses.

Deputy Mohave County Attorney Jacob Cote filed a motion with the court on Thursday, challenging Amann’s request to dismiss the case. According to Cote, there was at least one instance in which Thomas’ location was ambiguous at best while communicating with one alleged victim.

“Where do you live? I’m in Arizona,” Thomas allegedly said in one text exchange.

According to Cote, the message makes uncertain whether Thomas was physically in the state when he sent the message, or if he lived within the state.

“The defendant said (to detectives) that 99% of the time that he communicated with minors online, he did so while at work,” Cote said in his motion. “He also admitted it was possible he communicated with minors while he was at home, although he does not specifically recall doing so.”

Cote said that the possibility, in itself, is enough to disqualify an outright dismissal of the case.

“Even if the court is not convinced that the defendant’s conduct occurred in Arizona, at the very least there are contradicting jurisdictional facts that do not justify a dismissal,” Cote said. “In the very rare case in which jurisdiction is legitimately an issue because of contradicting jurisdictional facts, Arizona’s territorial jurisdiction must be established beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury.”

Thomas is scheduled to appear next in Mohave County Superior Court on Dec. 2 for a pre-trial conference in the case. There, Mohave Superior Judge Douglas Camacho may issue a ruling on Amann’s motion.

1
1
0
0
3

(3) comments

simon1dog

Undoubtedly, a liberal Democrat judge ruling.

BigBob

simple – As usual you don’t have a clue as to what is actually going on. Let’s look at the facts, “Deputy Mohave County Public Defender Paul Amann filed a motion to dismiss the case earlier this week…”. And to date no judge has ruled on the motion, “Thomas is scheduled to appear next in Mohave County Superior Court on Dec. 2 for a pre-trial conference in the case. There, Mohave Superior Judge Douglas Camacho MAY issue a ruling on Amann’s motion, “

So once again you lie. Why do you insist upon coming here day after day and lying … all of the time…about everything?

simon1dog

Your legal experts tend to lean a bit too much to the left. That's resulted in thousands of bad decisions.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.