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Quartzsite, Arizona

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Federal Judge dismisses Jennifer Jones' Quartzsite Free-Speech case

By Shanana Rain BearCat
Publisher, Desert Messenger
Quartzsite's FREE Community Paper

2:12-CV-01383 JAT Jones v. Town of Quartzsite et al
Jennifer Jones 

Quartzsite, AZ - Jennifer Jones, a local dog groomer, political activist, and former state candidate, lost her infamous Civil Rights case against the Town of Quartzsite in U.S. District Court Phoenix Division Tuesday, May 26th, 2015. (Jones was also publisher of a Quartzsite tabloid, but January was her last edition.)

In his ruling, U.S. District Senior Judge James A. Teilborg wrote, "this Court is dismissing this case with prejudice for failure to prosecute pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b,) He continued stating, "judgment for Defendants on all counts. Plaintiff to take nothing, and the complaint and action are dismissed with prejudice." (meaning Jones is barred from bringing an action on the same claim.)

Jones had filed no less than 6 cases against the Town in Federal Court. This case was originally filed on June 27, 2012 by Jones herself. Since then, two attorneys requested to be withdrawn from representing Jones in separate filings, so Jones represented herself Tuesday. In September, 2014 the Court dismissed all complaints but First Amendment Freedom of Speech complaint. In one of her earlier complaints, Jones claimed that Quartzsite Town Council and Police Department had harassed her with warrant-less searches in an attempt to discourage her political activities. A court tossed that 2010 case a year later, a similar lawsuit filed in 2012 fell apart for failure to prosecute. As recently as March 30th this year, U.S. District Judge Diane J. Hemetawa ruled in favor of the Town of Quartzsite, against Jones for failure to prosecute.

These cases are related, in one way or another, to a Town Council meeting on June 28th, 2011 when Jones was ejected and arrested (later dismissed) during a public comment period. The video of the arrest soon went viral.

According to the Court, Jones had called the Court's chambers Friday, May 22nd, indicating that she intended to file a motion to continue the trial scheduled for Tuesday, May 26th, the next business day. The court notified Jones that the trial will begin Tuesday as scheduled and if a motion was filed, the Court would not rule on it before Tuesday. The court also Ordered Jones to appear for the hearing. Judge  Teilborg stated that Jones must be prepared to proceed to trial  in the event the Court denies the motion. "If plaintiff fails to appear or if the Court denies the motion to continue and Plaintiff is not prepared to proceed to trial at that time, her case will be dismissed for failure to prosecute pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b)."

After much publicity, Jones finally had her day in court, but filed two Emergency motions before the 9 am hearing Tuesday morning. The subpoenaed Jury Pool was assembled next door; the attorney for the Town, Larry Jay Crown of Titus Brueckner & Levine PC, was in attendance along with witnesses for the Town: former Quartzsite Town Manager Alexandra Taft, Former Quartzsite Chief of Police Jeffrey Gilbert and former Quartzsite Police Detective Richard Patterson. Quartzsite Mayor Ed Foster was in attendance supporting Jones.

Judge Teilborg denied Jones' first motion which asked the court to deny a previous motion allowing witnesses to testify via telephone.

Jones then pleaded her case for an extension. She explained that many of her witnesses were in public service and "it would be impossible for them to testify without a subpoena." Jones said there was no "physical way" to serve her witnesses all over the state of Arizona in a timely manner. She also explained she was learning very quickly, but did not expect to have to represent herself in this case.

Jones complained about not having a vehicle and having to drive multiple times to Phoenix. Jones complained about the long distance drive to Phoenix from Quartzsite. She also stated it was not possible for her to travel without making prior arrangements for her show dogs to be cared for. Jones said she made "every effort possible" to find a location in Phoenix for her dogs. Jones also reached out to people through social media, but "could not find anyone willing to accommodate the dogs with electricity."

She said she had problems with her email; admitting to not reading an important notice from the Court.

"Given I only had 21 days to spontaneously have 15 witnesses to prepare questions for, to locate if I could, to get subpoenas issued for, to get subpoenas served for...Nowhere in my logical mind did it occur to me that the May 26th date was being carried over," said Jones. She said she thought they were "back to the point of proposing dates."

Judge Teilborg mentioned Jones' lengthy document seeking an extension, calling it a masterpiece with citations and rulings a lawyer might prepare. He asked Jones how long she worked on it. Jones replied, "Every waking moment from the 12th [of May] until last night until about 10 pm." Judge Teilborg suggested the amount of time spent on the document could have been used to get subpoenas out and preparing her witnesses.

Jones said she didn't think the judge would actually approve her most recent attorney's request to withdraw from the case. "Never in a million years did I dream that you would grant that order" and not be allowed time to seek additional counsel. She stated she even went to the Arizona Governor's Inaugural and asked former Governor Jan Brewer's son if he would take a look at the case, but she didn't hear back from him.

Jones admitted fault in that she "did misunderstand the plain reading of what was in front of me. I'm throwing myself on the mercy of the court" and was not ready to proceed at this point.

After a 25 minute recess, the Court reconvened. Judge Teilborg denied Jones' motion for an extension. He said, "to move the case forward would invite the same litany of failures and excuses from the Plaintiff."

The Judge stated, "Plaintiff's claim that she was unaware of the trial date simply is not credible."

He said, "Plaintiff CHOSE to file in Federal Court in Phoenix."

Regarding the jurors, Judge Teilborg said, "some may have come from regions even further than Quartzsite!"

The Judge also stated Jones did not seek more time to find counsel after her 2nd attorney asked for withdrawal. Earlier this month, the clerk of the court sent an email to Jones with full instructions to prepare for trial date of May 26th.

Judge Teilborg stated Jones "disregarded Court's orders." He also stated, "The court has bent over backwards to accommodate the plaintiff's needs."

When Senior Judge James A Teilborg of U.S. District Court DISTRICT OF ARIZONA (Phoenix Division) asked if Jennifer Jones was ready to move forward 
with the hearing, Jones replied, 
"No, your honor, I'm prepared to go home and take care of my dogs." 


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Quartzsite Police arrest suspect in 3-year-old case

Quartzsite, AZ - Quartzsite Police arrested Daniel Thomas for 1st Degree Homicide and Arson of an Occupied Structure on the 3-year-old Linda Thomas Case. Here is the full Press Release issued this afternoon. 

"May 19, 2015
On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at approximately 6:35 AM, Quartzsite Police Department (QPD) arrested Thomas Daniel for 1st Degree Homicide and Arson of an Occupied Structure on the identified victim Linda Garrett. The date of the offenses occurred on August 23, 2012. Thomas Daniel was charged and booked into the La Paz County Jail for the above mentioned charges.

On August 23, 2012, in the evening hours, victim Linda Garrett’s deceased body was found with multiple stable wounds and partially burned inside her mobile home located at 855 E. Rogers Road, space #21 in Quartzsite, Arizona. The late Linda Garrett was a long time resident of Quartzsite and liked by many. QPD case officers Mike Lancaster and Hilario Tanakeyowma received DNA from the Arizona Department of Public Safety Crime Lab matching Thomas Daniel taken from the deceased body of Linda Garrett.

On this date, QPD served search warrants for vehicles and the residence located at 410 S. Riggles road, space #WH2 in Quartzsite, Arizona. QPD is currently investigating and attempting to identify additional suspect(s) in this case. At this time, QPD will submit all evidence for forensic examination in support of the all charges. We are asking for assistance from anybody who has legitimate information on the death of Linda Garrett by contacting QPD Officers Lancaster and Tanakeyowma at the below listed phone number. The QPD continues to vigorously investigate all leads of the case surrounding the murder of Linda Garrett.

Chief Renfro would like to thank the community members for their patience with this investigation and the assistance from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, La Paz County Attorney’s Office and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix. The Quartzsite Police Department is dedicated to working harder and protecting our citizens. We will continue to pursue all those involved in this case and will not stop until justice has been served on all the perpetrators of this violent crime. See attached photograph of Thomas Daniel."

Ernie Renfro
Chief of Police
Town of Quartzsite
Office: (928) 927-4644

Monday, May 18, 2015

Quartzsite Police arrest 2 in Saturday's drive-by shooting

Quartzsite Police arrest 2 in Saturday's drive-by shooting

By Shanana Rain BearCat
Publisher Desert Messenger

Quartzsite- AZ- In the quiet town of Quartzsite a drive-by shooting took place Saturday, May 16th. Evidently it was a targeted shooting, not a random act of violence. A family member of the victim said there was a planned one-on-one fight planned, but the victim backed out. Quartzsite Police Department has arrested the alleged shooter and a female. The following is the press release issued this morning.

May 18, 2015

On Saturday, May 16, 2015, at approximately 4:16 PM, Quartzsite Police Department (QPD) was called to the scene of a shooting at the intersection of Palo Verde and Main Street in the Town of Quartzsite, Arizona. This information was provided to the QPD from the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher from a 911 caller.  QPD Officer Conley and Sergeant Frausto arrived on scene and observed numerous individuals and a Hispanic male, later identified as Roberto Chavez, Jr., bleeding with a single gun shoot wound to the upper arm and back area. The Quartzsite Fire Department was dispatched to the scene where the shooting victim was airlifted to West Valley Hospital in Phoenix with serious injuries.  A short time later, QPD located the described shooter’s vehicle at 621 Spring Street in Quartzsite.  Chief Renfro called and assigned case Detective Mike Lancaster to the West Valley Hospital to interview and obtain his medical condition. The Quartzsite Police Department has spent hours processing the vehicle and scene by gathering evidence and witness statements.  QPD worked late into the night attempting to locate the shooting suspect(s).  
Ryan Rangel
Gloria Huerta
On Sunday May 17, 2015, at approximately 1:09 PM by good police work, QPD located and arrested Ryan Rangel for Attempted First Degree Murder and Aggravated Assault at Hadlock’s “Shady Spot” space number 6 (#40) in Quartzsite.  Also, Gloria Huerta was arrested and charged for Hindering and Facilitation of a fugitive. Both Ryan Rangel and Gloria Huerta were booked into the La Paz County Sheriff’s Department jail in Parker, Arizona for the above listed charges.  QPD will file long form charges through the La Paz County Attorney’s Office on the driver of the get-a-way vehicle identified as Orlando Tinoco for Attempted First Degree Murder and Aggravated Assault.

The Quartzsite Police Department continued to vigorously investigate all angles and aspects of the case surrounding the shooting of Roberto Chavez, Jr.  At approximately 1600 hours, the QPD recovered the weapon used in the shooting of Roberto Chavez, Jr.  At this time, QPD will submit all evidence for forensic examination in support of the all charges.

Chief Renfro would like to thank all the community members who provided valuable information and assisted us in the capture of Ryan Rangel. The Quartzsite PD is dedicated to working hard and protecting our citizens. 

Ernie Renfro
Chief of Police
Town of Quartzsite
Office: (928) 927-4644

Sunday, May 17, 2015

QPD seeking 3 suspects in Saturday's Quartzsite drive-by shooting

Quartzsite, AZ - The Quartzsite Police Department is currently searching for three suspects allegedly involved in a shooting Saturday, May 16, 2015 in Quartzsite. Ryan Rangel, Gloria Huerta, and Jack Lane, two of which are depicted below are wanted for questioning.

If you are aware of the whereabouts of these individuals, please do not make contact with them as they may be armed and dangerous and you are urged to call 9-1-1 immediately.


On May 17th, 2015 at 1:15pm the Quartzsite Police Department has arrested Ryan Rangel, identified as the Shooter in the drive-by shooting on May 16th. Full press release to follow.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Drive by Shooting in Quartzsite this afternoon

Quartzsite, AZ - Tonight, Quartzsite Police Department issued a press release regarding a drive by shooting which took place this afternoon in Quartzsite. 


On May 16th, at approximately 1620 hrs, the Quartzsite Police Department responded to a call of shots fired at Pattie's RV Park, located at 544 East Main Street. Upon arrival, a victim was found to have been shot on the left upper arm.

The victim, who has been identified, was flown to one of the Phoenix area hospitals.

At this time, Quartzsite Police is currently attempting to locate two persons of interest that may have been involved in the shooting and/or have information in connection to the incident. An all-points bulletin has been sent out to all state agencies to attempt to locate these two suspects.

If anyone has information please call
Quartzsite Police Dept at 928-927-4644 or


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