TUCSON, ARIZONA – December 7, 2023 – In response to the inaccurate statements made by attorney Mike Storie to the media regarding the John Montenegro Cruz case, Pima County Attorney Laura Conover has released the following details to clarify the facts.
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“The county attorney has ignored the victims in the case.”
The Pima County Attorney has invited all the victims to meet with her personally. Mr. Storie was personally invited by telephone and email to arrange a meeting with his client and Laura Conover prior to his statements to the media.
“For 18 years they took an opposite position until these two females got elected, and their own politics have taken over.”
Both the Attorney General and the Pima County Attorney’s Office are required to follow orders of the United States Supreme Court. So, when the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the State’s previous position was in error, the State followed the instructions of the Supreme Court.
“Laura Conover is absolutely lying when she says she is still considering this; she has already made this decision.”
No decision on sentencing has been made in this case until the victims have had the opportunity to meet with Laura Conover and express their opinions.
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“Two things happened,” Storie said. “One, Kris Mayes became the (Arizona) Attorney General and Laura Conover became the (Pima) County Attorney. That’s all that’s changed, and they have unilaterally made this decision without seeking victim input, which is a violation of state law.”
The change in the State’s position was ordered by the United States Supreme Court. Both the Attorney General and the Pima County Attorney are required to follow the dictates of the Supreme Court. Mr. Storie and his client were invited by phone and email to meet with Laura Conover before Mr. Storie made this statement to the media.
Hardesty family had just learned about the ruling.
The trial court’s ruling was made on November 30, 2023. Mr. Storie was sent the ruling by the court. It is his obligation to inform his client of court rulings.
It’s unfortunate that PCAO has to make these corrections to Mr. Storie’s erroneous claims and will do so if needed in the future.
Media Contact: Shawndrea Thomas
Director of Communications
Pima County Attorney’s Office
(520) 724-5738 (Office)
(520) 310-4720 (Mobile)