Trial Date Set For Alleged Police Shooter

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An Aug. 1 trial date was set Thursday for Lenny William Kizzar, who's charged with attempted first-degree murder in connection with the Oct. 30, 1999, shooting of Payson Police Officer Allen Dyer.


The trial date was set at the request of Gila County Attorney Jerry DeRose during Kizzar's pretrial conference in Payson.


After Kizzar was arrested last fall, he reportedly told police that he'd been wandering around Payson with a .44-caliber Magnum handgun for several days, hoping to coax someone into shooting him.


According to police reports, he told officers that he was afraid for his life because he had been named as a witness in a Mormon church bombing case in Heber.


Kizzar, who is from Cold Springs, Ariz., encountered Dyer in the old Wal-Mart parking lot.

According to the police report, witnesses said Kizzar shot Dyer two times before running into a nearby neighborhood. He was captured a block away in a back yard.


Kizzar's attorney, James Hazel, tried to prove that his client was incompetent to stand trial, but doctors ruled last week that the defendant is mentally competent.


Hazel also filed a three-part motion to remand the case back to the grand jury.


First, Hazel argued, that the grand jury was swayed by the state's indictment drafts.


In his response, Judge Edd Dawson said "the grand jury was properly advised by the prosecutor, and there is no indication that they felt compelled to arrive at a certain finding merely because the draft forms of indictment had been prepared."


Hazel further argued that the grand jury was unduly influenced when informed about Kizzar's prison record.


"The court finds that there was a reason that the grand jury needed to be informed that the defendant had been convicted previously of a felony offense," Dawson said in his ruling.

Finally, Hazel argued that the grand jury was not informed of all its decision options.


"(The grand jury) wasn't instructed on second-degree or aggravated assault," Hazel said.


Dawson ruled that all statutes and crime definitions don't have to be presented at each meeting of a grand jury.


During orientation, he said, the grand jury is informed of all the acts that constitute criminal offenses in Arizona. For specific sessions, the grand jury is reminded of those under consideration at that time.


"I also asked that the trial be held in Payson, and it looks like that will happen," DeRose said Thursday afternoon.

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