AZ high court upholds Tucson convict's conviction

2014-08-11T13:54:00Z 2014-08-11T15:06:47Z AZ high court upholds Tucson convict's convictionPatrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Arizona Supreme Court has reversed an appeals court decision to drop a part of a Tucson man's aggravated assault conviction.

Justices ruled on Monday that the Arizona Appeals Court erred when it threw out one of three aggravated assault convictions Armando Pena was found guilty of in Pima County Superior Court in 2011.

Pena was convicted of three counts of aggravated assault and one count of kidnapping for a brutal knife attack against a female victim.

The Appeals Court had ruled that the state presented presented insufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict on a stab wound the victim suffered to her abdomen.

"Finally, the court of appeals erred by suggesting that a substantial injury must be comparable to a fracture or the loss of an organ or body part," the justices wrote in the ruling, saying it is up to juries to determine what "substantial" means.

The court argued that to determine a substantial injury depends upon the seriousness, location, duration and visibility to others.

The justices affirmed Pena's trial court conviction in whole. He was sentenced in 10 ½ years in prison.

Read the decision here

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@tucson.com. On Twitter @pm929.

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