The Independent has been following a number of criminal cases in the Navajo County Superior Court and below provides an update on three of them.

Kareem Jahmal Martin

HOLBROOK — Kareem Jahmal Martin, 37, of Charlotte, North Carolina pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault, a Class 4 Felony in the Navajo County Superior Court on July 6, and will serve five years in prison. The plea agreement identifies the victim only by initials, and Martin admitted therein to recklessly causing injury to that person while using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. That particular type of Class 3 Felony when not alleged to be “dangerous or repetitive,” carries a range of prison between two and eight and three-quarters years.

The case started on Sept. 30, 2020 when Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers received a report of a man brandishing a weapon at a gas station in Gallup, New Mexico, and the man was apparently headed into Arizona. Shortly thereafter, DPS was contacted with reports that a driver of a white Dodge car with a blue stripe was shooting at vehicles on the I-40 freeway in Navajo County.

During the investigation, authorities took a report from a semi-truck driver with a bullet wound in the driver’s leg. The bullet had apparently travelled into and through the semi’s passenger door before hitting the driver. Two other vehicles were hit as well: a second semi truck with three occupants and a minivan with two occupants all traveling on the freeway, according to reports. None of the passengers in the other two vehicles were hit. One of the victims was reported to be a vacationing law enforcement officer.

Victims were able to provide a description of the shooter and the car. The next day, DPS troopers located a car near Winslow which fit the given description, and Martin was located nearby and arrested without incident. Apparently, the vehicle was reported stolen out of Georgia. As stated, Martin is from North Carolina.

It is unclear if authorities suspect that Martin was the man reportedly brandishing a gun in Gallup but he was charged with an array of felony offenses including three other counts of aggravated assault, theft of a vehicle, identity theft and possessing a weapon when prohibited from doing so. He was also alleged to be on probation when he committed this new felony and that probation is likely the reason that Martin was allegedly a prohibited possessor of a weapon. Those other charges as well as sentence-enhancing allegations that the offense was of a dangerous or repetitive nature will be dismissed or not formally alleged by the prosecutor, according to the agreement.

Martin has been held in jail since the arrest and will get credit for the time he has already served.

Sentencing is set for July 29.

Floyd Trevor Michael Hueston

LAKESIDE — Navajo County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Floyd Trevor Michael Hueston, 25, of Lakeside on 30 counts of crimes against children that included kidnapping and child molestation on May 8. Since then, a Navajo County grand jury returned its indictment alleging 23 counts of sexual conduct with a minor, Class 2 Felonies, three counts of Kidnapping (restraining someone for a sexual purpose) Class 2 felonies, two counts of molestation of a child, a Class 2 Felonies and two counts of sexual abuse, Class 3 Felonies — 30 charges in all.

Significantly, the offenses are charged as being “dangerous crimes against children,” which under Arizona law elevates the seriousness of the alleged offenses into the stratosphere. For example, if a jury unanimously finds beyond a reasonable doubt that a Class 2 Felony was committed and it was indeed a dangerous crime against children, the range of prison term skyrockets depending of the age of the victim. The ages of the alleged victim(s) in this case is not listed in the court records that are public, but based on the class of felony charged, a Class 2 in this case, the sexual conduct charges apply to a victim who is under the age of 15. As far as sentence goes, one conviction carries a range of prison terms of 13 years at a minimum and up to 27 years maximum, per offense.

Hueston is presumed by law to be innocent. His request for release pending trial came on for hearing on July 13 before Judge Pro Tem Warren Granville, a retired superior court judge from Maricopa County. Granville denied Hueston’s request for release. His next court date is for a case management conference on August 19.

Dr. Kenly Ries

Kenly Ries of Show Low has been spending a great deal of time in the court system the last few years, and was sentenced to three years of “intensive probation” on July 1. The sentence came after Ries pleaded guilty on April 16 to one count of endangerment, a Class 6 undesignated felony, according to the plea agreement. An undesignated felony is one which can be classified a misdemeanor if the defendant successfully completes a term of probation. The charge arose out of Ries allowing a friend who had been drinking to drive both Ries and a minor back from Greer after a ski outing last winter, in February 2020.

The settlement allowing Ries to plead guilty to an “undesignated” offense is similar to the way he resolved a prior felony charge arising from an October, 2018 case. In the old case, Ries admitted that he attempted to choke the mother of his four children, a Class 5 Felony. To resolve the charges in the old case, Ries was convicted by plea of a misdemeanor disorderly conduct, and although he pleaded guilty to the Felony, arrangement was made whereby if he successfully completed a three year period of probation, the felony charge would be dismissed altogether. A term of that probation was that Ries not consume alcohol.

But after the ski trip arrest of Ries’ friend, it was learned that Ries too, had consumed alcohol and prosecutors moved to revoke his probation on the old case. The probation revocation case was resolved, and the Class 5 Felony conviction was formally entered against him.

That of course raised implications about his professional chiropractor’s license. The Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners may revoke a practitioner’s license upon the conviction of a felony, but they did not in Ries’ case. According to regulations, revocation is not mandatory, and Ries’ counsel David G. Derickson, of David G. Derickson, P.C. was candid with the board during a March 31 hearing and disclosed to them Ries’ felony conviction. The board noted that Ries has no complaints about his chiropractor services and discussed allowing Ries to successfully complete the terms of probation as a remedy to the potential problem with licensure, according to the audio tape of the hearing.

Meantime, the mother and victim of the attempted aggravated assault in October, 2018 has sued Ries for money damages arising from that incident. That civil case is still open according to court records, but nothing has happened in the case since February. If that case gets resolved, Kenly Ries will have finally moved past this years-long legal trouble.

Reach the reporter at rlynch@wmicentral.com

(1) comment

Justsayin141

i am a bit interested in what happened in Kareem's case.

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