A Graham County judge has been assigned to preside over the sentencing hearing for Star Valley businessman Roy George Haught, who three weeks ago pleaded guilty to negligent homicide for his involvement in the 1997 death of Strawberry mechanic James Cooper.
Although Judge Douglas R. Holt of Safford has officially accepted the assignment, according to Gila County Attorney James Hazel, the date of Haught's sentencing hearing has not yet been set.
"We hope to know (the date) by the end of next week," Hazel said Wednesday.
During a May 17 court proceeding held in the Gila County Superior Court in Globe, Haught pleaded guilty to negligent homicide for his role in the controversial case. A class 4 felony, negligent homicide carries a sentence that ranges from probation to three years and nine months in the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Holt will have complete discretion as to what sentence Haught receives.
Haught, who owns an excavating company in Star Valley, was found guilty in February 1999 of negligent homicide and aggravated assault, and was sentenced by Judge Edd Dawson to six months of jail time and five years of probation.
Prosecutors immediately filed an appeal, which went to the Court of Appeals and the Arizona Supreme Court. Both courts agreed that Haught should be resentenced.