State v. Petrak

In State v. Petrak, 198 Ariz. 260,19, 8 P.3d 1174, 1180 (App. 2000), the Court interpreted the weapons-misconduct statute, which criminalizes knowingly "using or possessing a deadly weapon during the commission of any felony offense." 13-3102(A)(8). Petrak had been convicted after a jury trial of, inter alia, misconduct involving weapons and possession of marijuana and paraphernalia; based upon drugs, paraphernalia, and guns discovered in his house and truck. Petrak, 198 Ariz. 260,2, 4, 8 P.3d at 1176, 1177. The Court reversed his conviction for weapons misconduct in part because the trial court had failed to instruct the jury it was required to find a nexus between the guns and the drugs, specifically, that the "weapon was used or available for use or was intended to further the offense." Id.19-20, 30. A nexus could be found based upon "the spatial proximity and accessibility of the weapon to the defendant and to the site of the drug offense," as well as other considerations. Id.