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5/1/2013 9:55:00 PM
Man accused in beating death 'extremely distressed,' wants new lawyer, eyeglasses
Anthony George Ortiz
Anthony George Ortiz

PRESCOTT - A man accused of second-degree murder in a beating death said Tuesday in court that he wasn't notified he needed to be in court, and that Camp Verde jail officials are refusing to provide him with eyeglasses.

He called the latter issue a violation of his constitutional rights because, without eyeglasses or contact lenses, he is unable to read documents and participate in his own defense.

Anthony George Ortiz, 25, of Paulden was charged with second-degree murder in connection with an August 2011 fight outside a Whiskey Row bar that fatally injured another man.

Ortiz struck Robert Emmett Holleran, 42, "in the head multiple times, causing Holleran to fall to the ground unconscious," a police probable cause statement said.

Ortiz ran from the scene, the statement said. Witnesses told police Holleran regained consciousness for a short time and got up and walked about 30 feet before falling face-first onto the sidewalk, and he never got back up.

Holleran was taken to John C. Lincoln hospital in Phoenix. He died after being in critical condition for more than a week.

When Ortiz was arrested, he admitted to police that he had assaulted Holleran, the statement said. He told them he chased Holleran down the Whiskey Row sidewalk and punched him because Holleran had kicked a woman inside a bar.

Ortiz was indicted on seven counts, including second-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and four counts of disorderly conduct.

Ortiz's attorney, M. Alex Harris, said he was "extremely distressed" because he needs glasses, which the jail cannot or will not provide, and he is unhappy with her representation.

"I wasn't even notified of this court date today," Ortiz said. "It's becoming an issue."

Ortiz is in custody at the Camp Verde jail, and the detention officers ensured that he did not miss the court date.

"My constitutional rights are being violated," he told Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley, because he can't actively participate in his own defense if he can't read documents.

She agreed to hold a hearing to decide if he should have a new attorney, as well as one to establish why the jail is not providing him with eyeglasses.

Right now, Ortiz is facing a potential sentence of 22 years in prison, flat time - which means no chance for early release. The state will also argue that he was on felony probation in Nevada, and he would have his probation revoked and serve that time consecutively to the second-degree murder sentence.

Deputy County Attorney Steve Young said a plea offer had been made and that, if he took it, Ortiz would plead guilty to manslaughter. With two or more prior felonies, he could be sentenced to up to 35 years, but would be required to serve only 85 percent of that time. It could also be run concurrently with his Nevada sentence.

Ainley pointed out that the plea did not stipulate a sentence, so she could actually impose

between 10.5 and 35 years.

Young said the state would recommend a sentence of 15.75 years, and Ainley said she would "consider" that, but the recommendation isn't binding.

Young gave Ortiz time to decide if he wanted to take the plea agreement, and said he would wait, since Ortiz could be granted a new attorney.



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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Article comment by: jp o

he doesnt need reading glasses he needs actual glass prescription. he has a stigmatism in his eyes. the person who wrote this doesnt know how to word things

Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013
Article comment by: John Jr.

Jail commisary, reading glasses only $5.00. Let's take up a collection for this poor guy....Come on people give til it hurts....

Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013
Article comment by: sick of it

so sick of people feeling entitled! Why not let him work for a pair of glasses. If he can't read his paperwork, buy him a 1.00 pair of reading glasses purchased from Dollar Tree! That's what I use! Why are these criminals treated better than good citizens who needs glasses? So sick of it!!!

Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013
Article comment by: tell it like it is

what next a massage? sheriff go to walgreens and pick up a pair of reading glasses. good one MORE TIME.

Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013
Article comment by: More Time

Yavapai County's thought process. Send em all to prison and we will have no crime....Won't have anybody to pay taxes but there will be no crime. Could be worse for him though he could be next door in Cele Hancock's den of terror..There is always a "bright side" to all stories...

Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013
Article comment by: Twisted World

Do I have a Constitutional right to county-provided glasses? Or must I first become a tax-payer supported serial felon? Just wondering.

Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013
Article comment by: Alan Whitney

15.75 years for murder, six for a roll-over with BAC of .110.

Sounds fair...




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