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Thu, Oct. 17

Dvoracek gets 10 years in shooting death case<BR>

PRESCOTT – A judge Monday sentenced Charles Dvoracek to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the October 2000 shooting death of 45-year-old Fred Fottler. He received concurrent prison terms for convictions on drug charges.

Superior Court Judge William Kiger also ordered Dvoracek to pay $265,000 in fines and surcharges, while giving him credit for the more than two years he has already spent behind bars.

In November 2001, Dvoracek pleaded guilty to three charges, including conspiracy to commit transportation of marijuana for sale, transportation of marijuana for sale and facilitation of first-degree murder.

The court delayed his sentencing because one of the terms of his plea agreement was to testify during Homer Roseberry's trial, Deputy Yavapai County Attorney Ethan Wolfinger said previously.

Roseberry and his wife, Diane Roseberry, are co-defendants in the case. The three allegedly planned to steal 1,300 pounds of marijuana from Fottler.

A motorist found Fottler on the side of Highway 93, near Wickiup, on Oct. 22, 2000. Court reports indicate that he had three gunshot wounds in the back of his head.

A jury found Homer Roseberry guilty of first-degree murder in late December. He is the first Yavapai County defendant to face the death penalty at the hands of a jury rather than judge.

During sentencing, Deputy Yavapai County Attorney Steve Young said Dvoracek participated in Fottler's murder at least to the extent of covering it up.

"It is our feeling that aggravating circumstances outweigh any mitigating circumstance," he said.

Dvoracek's lawyer, Thomas Kelly, said significant mitigating factors in his client's case include being a key witness at Roseberry's trial as well as his physical disability.

In addition, because his client testified, he and his family have received threats, he said. Not only does Dvoracek's family live in an undisclosed location, he said, but his client has spent his entire incarceration time in protection.

After the proceeding, Young said that "it (the sentence) was appropriate given all the circumstances."

Kelly said he had hoped the judge would give his client a presumptive sentence of seven years.

"But I understand the reasonings," he said. "The judge considered appropriate aggravating and mitigating factors. It was fair."

Kiger also postponed Diane Roseberry's sentencing for another month to allow her family time to arrange a trip to Prescott. The defense plans to use her family's testimonies to prove mitigating circumstances.

In January, 54-year-old Roseberry pled guilty to three charges including conspiracy to commit transportation of marijuana for sale, transportation of marijuana for sale and hindering prosecution. She could spend as long as 12.5 years in prison.

Kiger has set pre-sentencing and sentencing for 3 p.m. on April 1.

In other court news:

• Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Tom Lindberg set May 7 as the trial date for the Espinosa cousins, Jamie Espinosa-Medina and Angel Espinosa-Palafox.

Espinosa-Medina, 18, and Espinosa-Palafox, 29, of Las Vegas, both face charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The charges stem from the 2001 shooting of 19-year-old Jenny Lou Torres of Las Vegas.

Firefighters found Torres on the side of Highway 93 near Bagdad, a victim of multiple gunshot wounds.

The North Las Vegas police later arrested the cousins at a North Las Vegas residence.

At the time of the arrest, Espinosa-Medina was a minor.

During the pretrial proceeding, Deputy Yavapai County Attorney John Erickson told the judge that the state will file a motion to consolidate the two cases, which Lindberg had previously severed.

After the hearing, Linda Moore and James O'Haver, the defendants' lawyers, said their clients should go to trial separately.

O'Haver said it's possible to attribute statements of one defendant to both defendants if they go on trial together.

It creates a constitutional problem, he said, and that is why the judge severed the two cases in the first place.

He said that one defendant may testify against the other during the trial.

That would violate the other defendant's constitutional rights because he would have to testify to defend himself even if he doesn't want to, he said.

Moore said the state agreed not to use Espinosa-Medina's initial statement because of a controversy surrounding his initial interview.

She said when Las Vegas police interviewed her client, the translator spoke French and Italian and not Spanish.

In addition, the victim's statements do not match, she said.

"She has given so many different versions of what happened," she said, adding that that is another reason for the two cases to stay severed.

The judge has set a pretrial conference for April 16.

Contact Mirsada Buric-Adam at or 445-8179, ext. 1099.

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