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3:06 PM Mon, Sept. 24th

Judge denies motion to send police stalking case back to grand jury

Laura Jean Christianson

Laura Jean Christianson

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley denied a motion filed by Laura Jean Christianson's attorney to send her case back to the grand jury for a new determination of probable cause.

Christianson, 43, of Prescott has been charged with felony stalking and harassment of a police officer in connection with several incidents in November 2011 in which she drove past an officer's home, waited in her car near his home, and showed up on calls he responded to, according to police reports.

"I do not find evidence presented to the grand jury was prejudicial or misleading or that any substantial procedural rights were denied that would warrant remand," Ainley said. "The motion to remand this case at this time is denied and the time trial is confirmed starting on Sept. 12 for three days."

During the hearing on Tuesday, John E. Kelly, Christianson's attorney, said that a Prescott police detective's testimony gave grand jurors an "inaccurate, irrelevant and highly prejudicial" picture of his client, including her contact history with police that had nothing to do with the officer's "fear for his life." Kelly also said that some testimony was not documented in police reports, and speculated on Christianson's state of mind.

Yavapai County Deputy Attorney Steve Young responded that the information the detective presented was directly related to the stalking charge by showing a course of conduct, and that there was "no false or misleading evidence presented to the grand jury and no denial of substantial rights so there is no basis to grant this motion."

Kelly asked Ainley to credit the time Christianson serves in jail to both the original case and her new case since they are related in charges.

Christianson was arrested earlier this month on charges of harassment and failure to comply with a court order after an officer saw her following another police officer on Saturday, April 15.

"We are going to seek Ms. Christianson be held without bond in the new case," Young said.

Ainley exonerated Christianson's previous bond and said that her new bond would apply in both cases until such time as a motion to deny bond is filed.