Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 is Paul Huebl’s 66th birthday.
Paul shares his birthday with Wyatt Earp, another law enforcer born 100 years earlier to the day, who also came from Illinois to settle in Arizona. Earp is famous for having participated in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Pima County. Following which, Wyatt, his brothers and Doc Holliday were exonerated of murder charges.
Not unlike Earp, Paul had to unwillingly take part in an O.K. Corral of his own on October 18, 1987. In fact, he shot and wounded James Robert Lyne Jr. while serving him with an eviction notice at his home in Paradise Valley, Maricopa County. Paul claimed self-defense after Lyne hit him with a pistol.
Lyne and crooked cop Brian J. McFarland conspired against Paul and he was subsequently charged with aggravated assault. After Paul refused to accept a misdemeanor plea deal, they brought special prosecutor Kenneth Peasley from Pima County to close the deal.
Peasley was a crook, named prosecutor of the year twice. He was disbarred in 2004 for allowing Tucson police detective Joe Godoy to lie while testifying in two capital murder trials. Peasley bragged about having sent more men to death row in Arizona than any other prosecutor. He died in 2011 aged 64, with very little lament.
Lyne and several of his relatives testified at trial that he had sold his guns to a man named “Tom”. Then Lyne’s 12-year old son David testified that one of the guns had been given to his sister Kathleen. Following this revelation, Lyne promptly cashed a cheque the judge had approved as an emergency payment of tax funds, and went to buy a Beretta from a gun dealer. When Kathleen was called to testify, she claimed a “misunderstanding”, and that the gun she had been given by her father a year earlier was the Beretta her father had just purchased.
Paul was facing 15 years in prison.
Two days later, just minutes after the defense rested, Paul found out where the Beretta was purchased. A subpoena was served on the gun dealer and the next morning, inside the judge’s chambers and outside the presence of the jury and spectators, judge Rebecca Albrecht was asked to allow the defense to re-open the case.
The judge first refused, then Paul’s lawyer Richard Gierloff protested and the judge became angry. Paul told his lawyer to sit down loudly exclaiming:
“Richard don’t you see it’s a conspiracy, that miserable fucking cunt wants to put me in prison. She knows I’m innocent!”
This unusual tactic succeeded because the judge suddenly reversed her ruling. The jury were recalled, the gun dealer testified, and the perjury was fully exposed. After closing arguments, the jury returned in just a few minutes, with a verdict and a question: “Could they find Lyne guilty of perjury?”
The judge advised them they couldn’t and the verdict was read “Not Guilty”, at which point one juror requested that Lyne be prosecuted.
The prosecutor was immune, but Lyne, the government’s star witness, was arrested in Texas. A fact you can google at james robert lyne paul huebl ( The Prescott Courier – May 2, 1990 “State’s star witness arrested on tampering charge in Texas” )
Of course prosecutorial misconduct is still rife in Arizona, just a month ago Deputy Pinal County Attorney Richard Wintory agreed to a 90-day suspension because of his conduct during a capital murder case in 2011. But we are lucky to have an honest man like Paul doing his best to make up for it.
Happy Birthday Paul!