Judge releases adults, juveniles charged in killing man

FLAGSTAFF (AP) — An Arizona judge has released four people from jail who are charged with killing a 23-year-old man at a Flagstaff motel.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports the two young men and two teenage girls were released last month and are under the watch of pretrial services.

Police say the four were charged with second-degree homicide after a fight inside a motel room led to the death of Jaron James. Police say James was intoxicated at the time, and the four beat him to death.

All four have pleaded not guilty.

The conditions of the release require the four to be subjected to random drug tests, follow a 6 p.m. curfew and maintain a job or be enrolled in school.

The Associated Press does not generally identify minors charged with crimes.

Latinos illegally detained by Arpaio can seek compensation

PHOENIX (AP) — Latinos who were illegally detained when then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio disobeyed a 2011 court order barring his immigration patrols can now seek compensation from the government.

The federal judge who barred Arpaio’s traffic patrols that targeted immigrants had ordered the creation of a taxpayer-funded compensation system in August 2016 for the illegal detentions. The one-year application period for seeking compensation began on Friday.

Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of court for prolonging the patrols for 17 months after U.S. District Judge Murray Snow had ordered them stopped. President Donald Trump spared Arpaio a possible jail sentence three months ago when he pardoned the 85-year-old retired sheriff.

While the pardon led to the dismissal of Arpaio’s criminal case, taxpayers are still on the hook for compensating those who were illegally detained in the patrols between late December 2011 and late May 2013.

Under the compensation system, Maricopa County will pay $500 for the first hour of a person’s illegal detention and $35 for each additional 20-minute increment. A $10,000 cap was imposed on such compensation, but the judge said the victims can also seek money for other injuries resulting from the illegal detentions such as lost wages and emotional distress.

County officials have set aside $1 million to cover the compensation costs.

The lawyers who pressed the case against Arpaio have searched for victims by getting help from foreign consulates, watching traffic-stop videos and poring over arrest and other police records. They say at least 190 people were detained in violation of the order.

An advertising campaign is expected to be launched in a bid to locate victims.

The order to stop the patrols was made in a racial profiling case that focused on Arpaio’s immigration patrols and ended with the judge concluding the sheriff’s officers had singled out Latinos.

The compensation costs are small piece of the overall taxpayer costs of the profile case. Those costs are expected to reach $92 million by next summer.

Arizona child-welfare agency brings oversight in-house

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Department of Child Safety is moving its process of reviewing its compliance with child-protection policies in-house.

The Arizona Republic reports the child-welfare agency is disbanding citizen panels intended to bring an outside view on its work.

Opponents of the move, which was announced last month by Department of Child Safety Director Greg McKay, say they fear it will further insulate the agency from outside oversight.

The panels, which Congress created in 1996, in Arizona have always been coordinated through a group outside the agency. Initially it was the state Department of Health Services. It later moved to Arizona State University’s School of Social Work.

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Navajo Code Talker George B. Willie Sr. died Dec. 5, 2017 at age 92. (Navajo Nation Council)

Navajo Code Talker George B. Willie Sr. dies in Arizona

WINDOW ROCK (AP) — A Navajo Code Talker who used his native language to outsmart the Japanese in World War II has died in Arizona.

Navajo Nation officials say George B. Willie Sr. died Tuesday at age 92.

Tribal officials say Willie lived in the community of Leupp, Arizona.

He served in the Marine Corps with the Second Marine Division from 1943 to 1946.

According to his family, Willie served in the Battle of Okinawa, delivering and receiving coded messages using the Navajo language.