Legal Memorandum

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Final Written Assignment 9
Internal Legal Memorandum of Law

MEMORANDUM TO: Chief Prosecuting Attorney FROM: DATE: December 4, 2010 RE: Charging Bob and Susan Tuttle of Negligent Supervision
Question Presented Did Joseph Haney effectively simulate a deadly weapon and create a life-threatening environment, sufficient to satisfy the Arizona armed robbery statute, by thrusting his hand into a pocket and telling the store clerk that it was a "holdup" and to "[l]ie still if you want to live," when the victim was unsure whether Haney had such a weapon, when Haney used both hands to grab money from the cash register, and when the only objects found in Haney 's possession were the stolen cash and a package of mints?
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App. 1986). The defendant in Felix pressed a nasal inhaler against his victim 's back, declaring that he had a gun. Based on what he felt, the victim perceived that a gun was pressed against his back. Id. On these facts, the court had no difficulty in finding that the defendant had simulated a deadly weapon. Id. In another decision focusing on the victim 's perception, the court upheld the armed robbery conviction of a man who used his hand under his clothing to simulate a gun during a robbery. State v. Ellison, 819 P.2d 1010, 1013 (Ariz. App. 1991). The court found it significant that the defendant simulated a weapon with his hand, observing that "[t]he victim 's perception is the same whether the weapon appears to be or is in fact real." Id. at 1012. In the court 's view, the defendant 's act posed the same potential for harm to or reaction from the victim and any bystanders. Id. at 1013. Because the victims in Ellison could reasonably have believed that the shape they saw under the defendant 's clothing was a gun, rather than his hand, the defendant created the life-threatening environment which the armed robbery statute seeks to punish. The court distinguished this case from Rodriguez by noting that in Rodriguez, "the victim never saw anything resembling a weapon; the defendant only implied that she had a gun when she threatened to 'shoot the smile off ' the victim 's face." Id. at 1012 (citing Rodriguez, 791 P.2d at 633). While
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