Category: Mohave County

River Rafter Sentenced

A resident of Alaska has been ordered to pay almost $2,500 for a fine and court cost associated with federal prosecution for dumping refuse into the Colorado River and illegally collecting firewood in violation of his non-commercial private rafting trip permit. Nels Nicholas Niemi, 75, was sentenced December 1 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark E. Aspey. Niemi was convicted during a late October bench trial. “This prosecution and sentence remind all users of the Colorado River that the rules and regulations designed to protect the ecosystem within the Grand Canyon National Park are important and will be vigorously enforced,” said United States Attorney John S. Leonardo. Evidence at trial showed that Niemi was the trip leader of a 12 day non-commercial rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon National Park. He was apprised by National Park Staff at the outset of his trip of the requirements of his permit including that driftwood could not be collected for fires and, at the end of the trip, the group take with them all refuse, trash and garbage produced. During the course of the river trip, trash was dumped into the Colorado River on a daily basis, either by Niemi or at his direction as the trip leader, and Niemi collected driftwood, which he used to make fires each night. At sentencing, evidence was produced showing that Niemi was...

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Marital Homicide Sentence

A 20-year prison term has been ordered for a mentally troubled Lake Havasu City man who pleaded no contest in the beating death of his wife. Micaiah Gray, 35, was sentenced Tuesday for the February, 2013 death of Raquel Gray, 27, at the home they shared in the 3600 block of Hollister Drive. Mohave County Medical Examiner Dr. Rexene Worrell testified that an autopsy she conducted revealed that the victim was strangled and suffered more than 120 injuries, including multiple rib and spinal fractures and severe, multiple-age bruises all about her body. She noted lung, spleen and other internal organ damage and said that some injuries required force that might be associated with a stomping. “This is the man who beat her to death over a period of a couple of days,” prosecutor Jeremy Huss said of the defendant. He offered no specific theory as to motive but established that Gray suspected his wife was cheating on him and that she had filed an abuse complaint against him that resulted in custodial removal of their young children by Child Protective Service...

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Bella Autopsy Released

An autopsy report in a high profile Arizona child murder case is now public, but it provides no new information in the early September death of eight year-old Isabella “Bella” Grogan-Cannella in Bullhead City. Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen directed the Mohave County Attorney’s Office to release the report to the media, though he cited privacy and decency considerations in sealing autopsy photos. The report of the autopsy conducted by Mohave County Medical Examiner Dr. Rexene Worrell said that Bella was asphyxiated. The report, however, provided no insight as to how she was strangled. Dr. Worrell’s report made no conclusion as to sexual assault either, but noted that there was a hemorrhage within the vaginal wall of the victim. The Mohave County Attorney’s office declines any comment on the autopsy or DNA results that were made available to investigators and prosecutors weeks ago. No sex offense-related counts are filed, though kidnapping and first degree murder charges are in play in the case against Justin Rector, 27. The Bullhead City man has been described as a friend of the victim’s mother, but their relationship has not yet been defined by authorities. Bella’s mother and stepfather face prosecution for drug-related offenses allegedly committed after the homicide. Rector’s previous request to represent himself in legal proceedings was withdrawn during a December 9 hearing. Public Defender Harry Moore is serving as lead counsel, though another defense attorney must be...

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House Unanimously Passes Gosar’s Critical, Bipartisan Water Rights Settlement Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the House of Representatives successfully passed his sponsored legislation, H.R. 4924, the Bill Williams River Water Rights Settlement Act by unanimous consent: “I am honored that the House passed my bill today. This legislation is good for private property owners, good for local and county economies, settles an outstanding water rights dispute and will result in a net water benefit to the region. The merits of this settlement are so clear that not only did it have unanimous support from every member of Arizona’s bipartisan delegation, but also passed unanimously through the House Natural Resources Committee as well as the House of Representatives. “This settlement is a big win for Arizona as a key mine will continue to employ thousands of workers and a water rights dispute is resolved without taxpayer money. Additionally, the Hualapai Tribe resolves certain water rights claims, Mohave County gains additional public land access for hunting and fishing as well as benefitting from good paying jobs and tax revenue associated with continued use of the Bagdad Mine. “I want thank everyone involved with the passage of H.R. 4924, including outgoing House Resources Chairman Doc Hastings, and recognize Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake who have sponsored the companion Senate version of this legislation, S. 2503. I urge Senate leadership to...

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Toy Drive Underway

The Mohave Valley Fire District (MVFD) is conducting their annual fundraiser and toy drive for the Christmas Season, and they hopeful individuals and businesses will assist in making this year’s program a success. Last year, the fire district distributed toys to more than 260 needy Mohave Valley children and they are eager to surpass that number this year. “This is our 27th year of putting on the Christmas toy giveaway as part of the MVFD Youth Benefits Program for needy children in Mohave Valley,” said Joanne Hutton who is the event coordinator for MVFD. “We appreciate donations of toys, wrapping paper and/or cash so we can purchase gifts for the children.” According to Hutton, all donations to the MVFD Youth Benefits Program are tax deductible. People can dropped their donations off at MVFD’s Station 81 at 1451 Willow Drive, Mohave Valley, or people and businesses can contact the fire district office and fire district personnel will make arrangements to pick them if necessary. “We are also looking for donations of raffle gift items,” Hutton said. “People can stop by the fire district office to purchase the raffle tickets and the proceeds from the raffle will be used to purchase gifts for the children. We will be drawing the raffle winners’ names during our ‘wrapping party’ at noon on Saturday, Dec. 20.” Parents who register their children for the MVFD...

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