Plea Negotiations Ongoing In School Administrator Case


Several cases involving Rim Country residents or incidents are at varying stages of the Gila County justice system.

Russell Koch, the former site administrator for Star Valley Charter School, was arrested and indicted on several drug charges in February. Koch is set for a case management conference Monday, June 23 in Payson, according to Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores. Plea negotiations are ongoing, Flores said.

Koch was arrested following a year-long investigation, said a Payson Police Department report.

The grand jury indicted Koch on seven counts: two counts of possession/use of dangerous drugs (methamphetamine), two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia; and three counts of possession of marijuana.

Nothing new on Georgatos trial

Thomas Georgatos is the one remaining suspect in the Roger Patrick Watson murder case facing trial. The body of Watson -- which remained unidentified for several days until dental records could be reviewed -- was found in the trunk of a burning car Feb. 20, 2007.

The two other men arrested in the incident, William Sweatt and Scott McGeough took pleas. Their fate is tied to the outcome of the Georgatos trial, which is scheduled for the end of October.

Flores said there would be nothing further to report on these three defendants until the Georgatos trial is concluded.

Charges pending on Jack Fisher

No charges have been made in the November 2007 arrest of Jack Fisher for firing a gun from a moving vehicle on East Highway 260. Flores said the review of the case is still pending.

Fisher, 40 at the time, of Snowflake, was arrested in the parking lot of the Pizza Hut in Payson. While no one was hit by any of Fisher's shots, he was held in Payson's Gila County Jail on two misdemeanor charges of misconduct involving a weapon and a warrant out of Payson Justice Court.

Jail records also indicate he has four felony warrants for possession of stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia and two other charges of misconduct involving a weapon. Fisher posted bail the same day, Nov. 20, he was arrested and jailed by Gila County Sheriff Sgt. Craig Smith and deputy David Horning.

According to court records, Fisher was scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Nov. 30 in Payson on the misdemeanor charges filed against him and was slated for a pretrial hearing Jan. 8, on the felony charges.

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