State v. Payne

In State v. Payne, 233 Ariz. 484,81, 314 P.3d 1239, 1263 (2013), the defendant was charged with several offenses, including two counts of child abuse--one for each of his children--alleging he had "caused or permitted their health to be endangered by failing to seek medical attention for them or allowing them to starve to death." Payne, 233 Ariz. 484,88, 314 P.3d at 1263. The defendant argued that the "counts were duplicitous because he could be found guilty based on two separate acts: failing to seek medical attention 'and/or' starving the children to death." Id. The court disagreed, however, because "each count of the indictment charged only one crime of child abuse, essentially by neglect." Id.90. It further reasoned that the counts were not duplicitous because the defendant "was not entitled to a unanimous verdict on the manner in which the act was performed." Id. And, the court concluded that, even assuming error had occurred, the defendant was not prejudiced because no reasonable jury could have found him not guilty of child abuse based on his failure to seek medical care. Id.