Homicide Case Returns to Mohave County Superior Court

Aug 12, 2019

The Arizona Supreme Court is sending a Golden Valley man's homicide case back to Mohave County Superior Court.

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A unanimous ruling Friday erased a Court of Appeals decision upholding Philip Martin's first-degree murder conviction in the 2012 shotgun killing of neighbor Steven Jeffrey Schwartz.

A jury convicted Martin of second-degree murder in the case, but that verdict was overturned on appeal.

A second jury then convicted Martin of first-degree murder, but the justices said that violated constitutional protections against double jeopardy because the first jury considered whether to convict Martin of first-degree murder.

The justices ordered the Superior Court to consider whether to reduce Martin's latest conviction to second-degree murder or conduct a new trial.

Martin had said he shot Schwartz in self-defense because he thought Schwartz had a gun.