PHOENIX — Lawyers for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio filed a motion in federal court seeking a judgment of acquittal in his criminal contempt-of-court case.
The motion was filed Thursday evening, hours after the fourth day of testimony at Arpaio’s trial over his defiance of a judge’s 2011 order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.
Arpaio’s attorneys said the case “is well beyond the one-year statute of limitations” and that the former six-term sheriff of metro Phoenix “has been wrongfully deprived of a trial by jury.”
Prosecutors must prove the 85-year-old intentionally violated the order to win a conviction.
If convicted, the retired lawman would face up to six month in jail although lawyers who have followed the case doubt he’ll ever be incarcerated.