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Tue, Oct. 22

Man violates probation in negligent homicide, gets jail time

Michael A. Strauss

Michael A. Strauss

PRESCOTT - A man convicted of negligent homicide in 2011 and placed on probation violated its terms and on Tuesday was re-sentenced to jail time and intensive probation.

In February 2011, Prescott police arrested Michael A. Strauss, 23, on a murder charge from a 2009 case in which a man died from injuries he received in a fight several days earlier.

In July 2009, Strauss fought with Frank Scott Giardina, 53, by the Granite Creek Park area, Prescott Police spokesman Lt. Tim Fletcher said.

"They were transients at the time, and the fight was over Strauss feeling he was being disrespected," Fletcher said.

A day after the fight, Giardina was admitted to Yavapai Regional Medical Center for treatment for internal injuries he received from the fight, and four days later he died from those injuries, Fletcher said.

In August 2011, Strauss pleaded guilty to negligent homicide. Coupled with a probation violation from an earlier case, Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley suspended sentencing and placed him on four years' standard supervised probation.

But in June, the Adult Probation Department filed a petition to revoke his probation, alleging Strauss had violated its terms when he was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, reportedly admitted to using marijuana and got behind in his court-ordered payments.

His attorney, Kennedy Klagge, told Ainley that, in addition to what he'd done wrong, Strauss had done a lot right - he had stopped drinking and sought substance abuse treatment.

Strauss said, "I would love the opportunity to get on intensive probation to show the court and everyone else that I'm not a monster.

"I do try to change," he added. "It's a continuous thing."

Ainley said the decision she made was a "difficult" one, especially considering the nature of the violation, domestic violence.

She sentenced him to 365 days in the county jail with credit for 213 days already served and placed him on intensive probation for the remainder of his original sentence, about 17 months.

Ainley warned Strauss that another violation would likely come with a 3.75-year prison sentence.

"I'm hopeful that you'll be able to complete this," she said. "It seems like you want to make the right choices."

Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy.

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