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Routine records check thwarts accused murderer getting victim’s medical records
 
Date: 7/30/2013
    
Routine records check thwarts accused murderer getting victim’s medical records

Routine records check thwarts accused murderer getting victim’s medical records
 
FLORENCE, AZ (7/30/13) – A Pinal County Attorney’s Office paralegal doing a routine check for new pleadings in a reassigned case discovered a request from a defense attorney representing accused murderer Richard Wilson for the victim’s private medical records.
 
Such requests are supposed to be provided to the prosecutors, who are authorized to protect the victim’s rights. In this death penalty case, however, the request and the order granting it were sealed by a judge who has since blocked his own order, pending further review.  The paralegal’s inadvertent discovery of the improper request and order was the result of a permissions issue in the Clerk of the Superior Court’s system, which is supposed to block all lawyers from opening pleadings sealed by a court order.
 
In this case, the documents were available for viewing and the paralegal was alerted to the violation of the victim’s rights, while reviewing the documents for the newly reassigned murder case.  The Pinal County Attorney’s Office continues actively working with the Clerk of the Superior Court’s Office as they attempt to resolve the issues with their system.
 
“Arizona and Federal law protects the medical privacy of all Arizonans. You don’t lose these rights by being murdered, and certainly don’t lose them to the accused murderer. Arizona law gives Prosecutors the duty and authority to protect the rights of victims.  Arizona law has a specific procedure for an accused murderer to seek the medical records of their victim that protects the victim’s rights,” said Lando Voyles, Pinal County Attorney.
 
“In this case, the victim’s rights were violated and the motion and records were sealed to cover the defense attorney’s tracks.  The limitations within the COSC’s system allowed the violation to be discovered and thwarted this improper attempt. It also allowed us to bring the matter specifically to the Judge’s attention. Once fully advised of the proper procedures and the victim’s rights, the court blocked its own order pending further review,” he continued.
 
Wilson is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
 
For more information, contact Jim Knupp at 520.866.6573 or by email at jim.knupp@pinalcountyaz.gov.
 
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Jim Knupp
County Attorney's PIO
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County Attorney
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30 N. Florence St
Building D
Florence, AZ 85132


Office: 520.866.6271
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