Coconino County Attorney David Rozema and officials from his office are putting on a free Citizen Prosecutor Academy March 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Williams Justice Center.
Various experts from the Coconino County Attorney's Office and other professionals from the criminal justice system will teach the all-day academy. Lunch will be provided to all those who attend.
"We're excited to continue our academy, which brings the community into the office to share information, exchange ideas, and facilitate a better understanding of how the County Attorney's Office serves the public," Rozema said. "It's also a lot of fun."
Academy attendees will learn how criminal cases are handled from intake to grand jury through trial to appeal. They can also expect a lecture given by a representative from the office of the medical examiner and a presentation about the Department of Public Safety's (DPS) crime lab.
Friday's academy marks the first time the County Attorney's Office is bringing this educational opportunity to Williams. The County Attorney's Office has previously put on Citizen Prosecutor Academies in various courts around the county, most notably in Flagstaff.
"We are very enthusiastic about hosting something like this in our court," said Judge Robert Krombeen, Justice of the Peace/Magistrate for the Williams Justice and City Court. "It's a free academy for the citizens to come in and actually participate in the criminal justice and judicial processes to be able to learn, participate in, and benefit from those experiences."
Participants will gain a behind-the-scenes understanding of real-world prosecution. Rozema will be on hand to welcome all citizens and offer opening comments prior to the day's schedule of activities.
The morning session, from 8:45-10:15 a.m., will feature lectures from Senior Manager Kim Musselman from the County Attorney's administrative division, Senior Civil Attorney William Ring from the civil division and Deputy County Attorney Heather Mosher from the juvenile division.
After a short break, Deputy County Attorney Blaine Donovan from the County Attorney's misdemeanor division will speak. Criminalist Erin Daniels from the Arizona DPS Northern Regional Crime Lab gives her presentation at 11 a.m.
Krombeen said Daniels would be on hand to show what is done at the crime lab and explain how it pertains to evidence in cases.
Administrative Manager and Investigative Supervisor Yasmine Sealy from the Medical Examiner's Office will break down her office's role in criminal prosecutions at 11:30 a.m. There will be an hour-long lunch break after Sealy's presentation from noon to 1 p.m.
Krombeen kicks off the afternoon session.
"There will be a presentation by myself regarding some of the matters of the court in regards to how that affects the prosecutorial process," Krombeen said.
Next, Senior Charging Attorney Jane Nicoletti-Jones will analyze and illustrate the charging and grand jury processes. At 2:30 p.m., Chief Deputy Michael Lessler describes the differences between plea bargains versus trials and will discuss a case review panel.
After a 3 p.m. break, Senior Trial Attorney Jonathan Mosher will explain the ins-and-outs of a criminal trial. Mosher gives the final presentation of the day from 3:15-4:30 p.m.
Rozema will return to deliver his wrap-up speech at 4:30 p.m.
"Those who participate will receive a certificate of completion from the County Attorney," said Krombeen. "These academies have had really good turnout in past events in Flagstaff and other courts so we're hoping for a good turnout here in Williams. We do have relatively limited seating so we would ask that interested persons contact the court and sign up as soon as possible."
Application forms can be downloaded at www.coconino.az.gov/CountyAttorney. Completed forms can be faxed to (928) 679-8201 or mailed to the Coconino County Attorney's Office at 110 E. Cherry Avenue in Flagstaff, AZ 86001. More information is available from Suchowiejko at (928) 679-8229 or at email@example.com.
The Williams Justice Center and Courthouse is at 700 W. Railroad Ave. on the westbound side of Route 66. The court's phone number is (928) 635-2691.