Judge vacates charges in Escalante case

Erick Escalante

Erick Escalante

CAMP VERDE -- Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff issued an order Monday to vacate three charges in a drug courier case involving a 2015 Cottonwood traffic stop.

Erick Escalante was scheduled for a resentencing hearing but after some “research” Bluff said he believed a resentencing is not necessary and that he would simply vacate the charges through a written order, without prejudice, meaning prosecutors can refile the charges.

In October 2015, Erick Escalante was convicted on felony charges of transporting a dangerous drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with physical evidence and five charges of misconduct involving weapons. Escalante is serving a 14-year sentence on these charges.

In September, the Arizona Supreme Court reversed the convictions on three of the charges stating that “the trial was infected with fundamental, prejudicial error that deprived him a fair trial,” according to the ruling.

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