Friday, October 5, 2012



Note: the pattern of very light sentences continues.

No jail for final defendant in NPD gun case
Sean Patrick Beall
"I put my family in the worst position I could. I put myself in the
worst position I could, not knowing the people I called my friends
could do this to me." - Sean Patrick Beall

Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012 8:29 am
By Jonathan Clark
Nogales International

By the time 20-year-old Sean Patrick Beall walked into a Nogales
courtroom for his sentencing hearing Monday, he had been shaking for
two days, his lawyer said.
"As well he should. He's nervous, he doesn't know what his plight's
going to be," lawyer Gary Spector told Superior Court Judge Anna
After all, Beall's three co-defendants had each been sentenced to
jail time and probation for their roles in a scheme to steal weapons
from a Nogales Police Department vehicle and sell them into Mexico.
What's more, while awaiting sentencing, Beall was recently busted in
Tempe for underage drinking – a violation of his terms of release in
the Santa Cruz County case.
But after hearing argument from Spector and Deputy County Attorney
Kimberly Hunley that Beall had helped to hide a stolen NPD assault
rifle in his Crawford Street home but hadn't been involved in
stealing or trying to sell it, Montoya-Paez sentenced him to three
years of standard probation, with no jail time.
Even so, noting the Tempe incident, she said she was concerned that
he lacks "any respect for authority."
Montoya-Paez reminded Beall that while he's on probation, he is not
allowed to drink alcohol. A violation of his terms of probation could
land him in state prison for two years, she said.
She also told him to do a better job of choosing his friends.
As for his role in the crime, the judge agreed with Spector and
Hunley that Beall had been "placed in a really bad situation and
really just reacted.
"Your reaction may have not been the best reaction you could have
done, but it's understandable considering your age and what you were
facing and what you were trying to hide," she said.
Earlier, Spector told Montoya-Paez that Beall had been at home
playing video games on June 4, 2011 when Alan Palau and another
friend, who was a juvenile at the time, showed up at the family home.
The juvenile had an M4 rifle he had stolen from a police vehicle
parked in the Meadow Hills neighborhood and Palau had a Glock pistol
that was taken from the same vehicle.
Unbeknownst to Beall, he said, the two friends had stolen the
firearms and other police equipment, and then enlisted another
juvenile to help them sell it into Mexico, Spector said. As it turned
out, a person the second juvenile contacted to facilitate the sale
was a police informant.
Soon after Palau and his friend arrived at Beall's home and snuck the
rifle indoors, SWAT team members and other police began to appear on
the scene. Palau threw the pistol into the weeds behind the home, and
Beall and the other friend hid the rifle under the floorboards of a
When the police came into the home and began asking questions, Beall
led them to the gun. "He was very cooperative from the very
beginning," Hunley told the judge.
Spector contrasted Beall with the other defendants not just for his
role in the crime, but for his personality as well. "This is a very
soft, non-aggressive young man," he said. Palau and the other friend,
however, "were aggressive, tough kids, unlike Sean." He also noted
their physical differences.
"You saw the size of these other kids, judge," Spector said. "They're
big boys compared to Sean. He's slight. They've probably been taking
advantage of him for years. In fact, I know they have."
Felt betrayed
Beall's mother told Montoya-Paez that she had treated the other boys
like her own children, and that they had been coming to her home for
years to swim, eat or sleep over.
"Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that they'd bring
guns into our home and put our family in danger, and put their
families in danger," she said.
In his remarks to the judge, Beall apologized to the authorities and
his family.
"I put my family in the worst position I could. I put myself in the
worst position I could, not knowing the people I called my friends
could do this to me," he said.
"Can you just please give me probation?" he pleaded.
Spector said that Beall has enrolled in massage therapy school in the
Phoenix area, and Montoya-Paez said he could serve his probation in
Maricopa County if authorities there will accept him. He also must
attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and perform 120 hours of
community service doing manual labor or working with the poor.
Beall pleaded guilty to one count of theft, a Class 6 undesignated
offense, meaning he'll avoid a felony on his record if he
successfully completes probation.
Montoya-Paez sentenced Palau, 19, and the other friend in September
to four years of probation and 150 days in jail. They pleaded guilty
to and were convicted of third-degree burglary, a Class 4 felony.
The fourth co-defendant, the juvenile who tried to broker the gun
sale, pleaded guilty to trafficking stolen property, a Class 6
felony. He was sentenced by Judge Kimberly Corsaro in May to three
years probation, including 120 days in jail.
Spector told Montoya-Paez that it was no coincidence that Beall was
the last one to be sentenced.
"He was ready to take the witness stand if necessary," he said.

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