The Arizona Supreme Court is still weeding through the stacks of case notes from the trial of Roy George Haught, and, according to Gila County Attorney Jerry DeRose, the final ruling could still be months away.
"You never know with these things," he said Thursday. "The Supreme Court did call and request one person's testimony that was missing from the file, so we know they are looking at it."
Haught was arrested in 1997 after following mechanic James Cooper to his home in Strawberry, punching and allegedly kicking the smaller, older man in the head and causing his death six days later.
In February 1999, a Gila County jury found Haught guilty of negligent homicide and aggravated assault, crimes found to be "dangerous" a legal provision that requires mandatory prison time.
During sentencing, however, Superior Court Judge Edd Dawson disregarded the dangerous crimes element of the verdict, clearing the way for a lighter sentence.
DeRose immediately filed an appeal to the appellate court. The appellate court ruled "that the trial court here abused its discretion." Following the appellate court's ruling, Haught's attorney requested a Supreme Court ruling on the case.