Jail Time Is A Judge's Decision

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As Gila County Attorney, I wish to respond to a recent letter to the editor from Megan O'Neil regarding Rocky Castaneda.

In our legal system, it is a Superior Court judge who decides whether a convicted person will serve jail time. I personally represented Gila County at Mr. Castaneda's sentencing. I argued that Mr. Castaneda should serve a jail term; however, the judge decided jail was not necessary based upon Mr. Castaneda's rehabilitation efforts. (That's) a decision I disagree with but must accept.

The claim that Mr. Castaneda was not ordered to pay restitution is simply not true. Mr. Castaneda agreed and the court ordered full restitution in the matter.

I felt it was necessary to respond to O'Neil's letter because of the misinformation that it contained. I welcome all citizens who have a concern about issues relating to the county attorney's office to call me so they may gain the information necessary to become informed on the issues.

James Hazel, Gila County Attorney

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