According to Wild About Trial’s Brian Skoloff, Maricopa’s County attorney, Bill Montgomery said that Arias is competent to stand trial and any statement that she isn’t fit for the proceedings “is simply inaccurate.” This is in response to an earlier statement from her defense attorneys that she was mentally ill. (See a previous post). At a news conference today he also said: “We’re continuing to prepare for a retrial.” Apparently both the prosecutor, Juan Martinez and the Alexander family want to pursue the death penalty. A status conference is scheduled for June 20. The retrial date for the start of the penalty phase is scheduled for July 18.
In a response to the statement regarding whether to continue the case against Arias the defense said: “If the diagnosis made by the State’s psychologist is correct, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is seeking to impose the death penalty upon a mentally ill woman who has no prior criminal history,” they wrote. “Despite Mr. Montgomery’s recent statements to the media, it is not incumbent upon Ms. Arias’ defense counsel to resolve this case. Instead, the choice to end this case sits squarely with Mr. Montgomery and his office. “It is solely for them to determine if continuing to pursue a death sentence upon Ms. Arias, who is already facing a mandatory life sentence, is a good and proper use of taxpayer resources.”
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