Wallace could serve more time for Yucca murder
The jury went into deliberation Tuesday over whether to tack aggravated circumstances onto the second-degree murder conviction of Buddy O’Brian Wallace, who was found guilty of stabbing to death 70-year-old Charles John McCarty of Yucca in October 2015.
If the jury finds aggravated circumstances, including use of a dangerous weapon in committing first-degree burglary, Wallace could face a significantly longer prison term.
Second-degree murder carries a sentence of 10 years to 22 years in Arizona. Wallace was also found guilty of first-degree burglary and theft of transportation.
The aggravated circumstances also considered emotional harm for McCarty’s family, his being over 65 years of age, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and his health condition. He was still hooked up to an oxygen hose when his bloodied body was discovered by neighbors slumped over the table in his travel trailer residence.
McCarty’s son, Gary, testified Tuesday about receiving the call from Mohave County Sheriff’s Office informing of his father’s death, and having to break the news to the family.
“I hope none of you have to tell a 43-year-old woman who has the mind of an 8-year-old girl that her dad is gone,” McCarty said. “I remember my sister being brought back from the hospital and my dad told me to protect her.”
He made a comment about Arizona being a capital punishment state, and wanted the case tried as such, which drew an objection from defense attorney Brad Rideout that was sustained by Judge Rick Lambert.
“I felt, given his confession, the charges brought were not where they should have been,” McCarty said.
He also described washing his father’s blood off the walls of the travel trailer, crying all the while. “I hope you never have to do that,” he said.
McCarty said his father’s death has changed his life, changed his daughter’s life and changed his sister’s life. “I don’t know what else to say,” he concluded in his testimony.
In his closing argument, Rideout pointed out that first-degree burglary is a dangerous offense, but asked if there was a dangerous instrument in Wallace’s possession during the time of entry. The murder weapon in the crime was never recovered. Wallace, who initially confessed to the killing, told police he drove McCarty’s truck to the Colorado River and threw the weapon into the river, then abandoned the truck near some railroad tracks.