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Defense Rests In Arpaio Criminal Contempt Trial

More Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies testified in federal court Thursday. Lt. Brian Jakowinicz was back on the stand on Thursday after testifying earlier in the week. He ran the Human Smuggling Unit at MCSO.

Jakowinicz testified that he oversaw news releases and wrote shift summaries that detailed the violation of the preliminary injunction order.

Jakowinicz said he was copying MCSO attorneys on those summaries, so they would have had regular detailed examples of how their unit was operating. He said he later would learn that they had been violating the court order, but it’s unclear when exactly.

Jakowinicz claimed to not know of the preliminary injunction until a permanent order came out in 2013. But defense attorneys showed an email he received alleging a violation in 2012.

Lt. Joseph Sousa was in charge of the Human Smuggling Unit in 2012. He testified he was made aware of the preliminary order soon after it was issued but he didn’t think they were violating it. Sousa testified MCSO attorney Tim Casey was aware of his unit’s actions and did not tell him to change anything.

The government and defense each took about a day and a half to present witnesses and exhibits. On Thursday, Judge Susan Bolton allowed transcripts and depositions from previous cases.

She still has to review video clips from a documentary called the "Joe Show" as well as news clips of the sheriff before deciding if they will be included as evidence.

The government has attempted to show that Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his command staff were aware of a preliminary injunction order and willfully violated it.

But defense attorney Dennis Wilenchik says they didn’t meet the burden of proof. "The government didn’t lay a glove — as far as I could see — on the Sheriff," Wilenchik said. "They didn’t have any evidence of any willful disobedience at all.”  

The defense withdrew a motion for a stay as well as a motion for change of venue. Now attorneys will have a chance to summarize their cases. Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday, July 6.

To listen to an interview with KJZZ's Jimmy Jenkins on The Show, click here.

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.