State v. Solano

In State v. Solano, 187 Ariz. 512, 520, 930 P.2d 1315, 1323 (App. 1996) the defendant offered neither different defenses nor a reasonable basis to distinguish between the two acts that had been admitted to establish the charge. In that case, the defendant pointed a pistol at three occupants of a car, who thereupon fled in the car. Solano, 187 Ariz. at 514, 930 P.2d at 1317. The defendant chased them until the victims crashed, after which the defendant fired into the car, killing one of the occupants. Id. at 514-15, 930 P.2d at 1317-18. In addition to murder, the defendant was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, one for each of the other two occupants. Id. at 515, 930 P.2d at 1318. The defendant argued there were, in fact, "two separate acts of aggravated assault against each victim, one before and the other after the high-speed chase." Id. at 519, 930 P.2d at 1322. He contended "that this evidence presented the risk of a non-unanimous jury verdict because it would be impossible to tell whether the jurors unanimously agreed that he committed an aggravated assault as to each victim prior to or after the chase." Id. The defendant did not deny pointing his weapon at the victims either before or after the chase, he did not deny that the acts occurred as part of a single encounter with the victims, nor did he allege that the facts surrounding the two acts gave rise to different defenses. Rather he maintained at trial that he "merely wanted to scare the occupants of the victims' vehicle because the defendant believed the victims to be rival gang members." Id. at 515, 930 P.2d at 1318. The Court concluded that a valid investigative detention at the scene of an altercation had evolved into an unlawful, de facto arrest without probable cause and tainted the suspect's subsequent statement to a police officer about an unrelated, prior shooting. There, officers "decided to transport" the suspect from the scene of the altercation to the scene of the prior shooting, where he made a statement to the transporting officer and then "remained handcuffed in that officer's police car for 20 to 30 minutes until the detective interviewed him." Solano, 187 Ariz. at 515, 930 P.2d at 1318. The facts in Solano do not reflect that the suspect voluntarily accompanied the officers to the shooting scene or voluntarily cooperated with them in connection with that unrelated incident. In addition, "the record was silent regarding any legitimate law enforcement purposes furthered by moving Solano to the shooting scene." Id. at 517, 930 P.2d at 1320.