PHOENIX, AZ (September 17, 2013) – Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery issued the following statement regarding today’s jury verdict in State of Arizona vs. Richard Chrisman:
First, I want to thank the members of the jury for their time and effort. Nevertheless, with the jury unable to reach a verdict on the counts charging Second Degree Murder and Animal Cruelty, we will assess the case and determine the most appropriate course of action. One possible course of action is to retry the remaining counts, which is permitted under our state and federal constitutions.
As for the guilty verdict on the Aggravated Assault count, it is important to note that, but for the personal courage and honorable conduct of Phoenix Police Officer Sergio Vergillo, Richard Chrisman would not have been held accountable for even this unlawful act. Officer Vergillo displayed the type of character we expect of those who take an oath to protect and defend our laws and to carry out their duties faithfully and impartially. In situations where one police officer is called upon to hold a fellow officer accountable for wrongdoing, it is those who are truly loyal to the call of service who step up and are worthy of our trust and confidence.
Today’s verdict, while incomplete, is proof that no one is above the law and that all who violate the public’s trust will be held accountable.