Former County Attorney in botched prosecution

A judge has dismissed the case against a man who admitted to murder in Apache County after the court found the Apache County Attorney’s office infringed the man’s constitutional rights by talking with him without his attorney present. Former La Paz County Attorney Martin Brannan was the lead prosecutor in the case and is now being subjected to a Bar probe.

“The Court is appalled by the outrageous and unethical behavior of the Apache County Attorney’s office,” wrote Superior Court Judge Donna Grimsley in a January 18th ruling. The ruling dismissed all charges against 23-year-old Joseph Douglas Roberts.

Roberts walked free on Wednesday night, after confessing to participating in the murder of one 72-year-old man and helping to burn the body of another murder victim. He was charged with first degree murder, conspiracy, auto theft, mutilating a human body, concealment of a dead body, tampering with evidence and five counts of hindering prosecution.

County Attorney’s office investigator Brian Hounshell visited Roberts in jail and made references to accepting an offer of 25 years, avoiding possible life in prison or the death penalty. The judge said the meeting was approved by Apache County Attorney Micheal Whiting and the prosecutor in the case, former La Paz County Attorney Martin Brannan. They did not notify Roberts’ lawyer of the meeting.

In her ruling, Judge Grimsley said, “Mr. Hounshell knew that the Defendant had an appointed lawyer and the prosecutors who authorized the visit knew that the defendant had a lawyer. None of the three made any attempt to contact the Defendant’s lawyer.”

Bar complaints were filed against Whiting and Brannan. Arizona Bar Association spokesman Rick DeBruhl is quoted as saying that the complaints were deemed to be supported by sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation, which is ongoing.

The charges against Roberts cannot be re-filed.


  1. Typical Brannan…

  2. Is anyone surprised?

  3. No surprise. Let’s not forget our current County Attorney was friends with Martin Brannon, even rode together to the Meet The Candidate events together. Sam Vederman also had some ethical “challenges” when he was a public defender.

  4. Michael Roth, who can the good citizens get to run against Sam Vederman?

  5. LapazAZ: Good question about who can defeat Vederman.
    Roth: The piece is not about Vederman, it is about Brannan (not Brannon). Vederman convicted you of a crime by jury, that is why you try to shift the focus of the story to Vederman, when the story is about Brannan and Brannan’s misdeeds. Bitterness is transparent and joyless.

  6. “M”,
    I was hoping I could draw you out. Why don’t you just tell everyone who you really are?

    Yes the County, that’s you and me folks, spent tens of thousands of dollars to convict me of a misdemeanor. Sam Vederman, you must be proud of your awesome powers to stifle dissent and stop free speech. Uncle Adolph would be proud of you!!!!

    Folks, Sam Vederman needs to go just like ALL of the Supervisors and Dan Field too.

    LAPAZAZ, I don’t know who to get to replace Vederman. If we get rid of Dan Field, his wife would probably be interested. I’d take her over dishonest Sam any day. Michael Frame might be interested but that would be like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I’m curious, do you have any suggestions?

  7. Maybe it’s time to re-think Double Jeopardy.

  8. Been thinking about that! Thanks for the link!

  9. Michael Roth, who knows I am not certain about a replacement for Sam Vederman becuase La Paz does not have many lawyers. I bet no one will run against him.

  10. M, who did you support for DA? Vederman, Brannan or Field? It appears you support Vederman and I want to know why?

  11. I bet someone will, probably a shill or two to try and keep the current Powers That Be in control………………… unless someone good steps up! (Are there any good lawyers in La Paz County willing to step up?)

  12. The story was about a previous county attorney..

  13. Same “stuff”, different piles

  14. It isn’t enough that Brannan was run outta town on a rail but we have to kick him when he is down. Who knows all the facts of this case? I love that the way of La Paz county is you are judged by the SEVERITY OF THE ACUSATION and not on the merit of the facts. This county wallows in the misgivings and troubles of others. What a sad thing to be known for.

  15. Lost,
    He was’nt run out of town on a rail. He could’ve stayed around if he wanted to. And how is this kicking him when he is down when he was the one denying a man his right to have his attorney present while they send him to prison? We either have rights or we have masters.

  16. Mike, you of all folks know the follies of the press and how it can lead public perception. Like I said, we don’t know all the facts. Who is to say that Brannan denied this man his right to an attorney? Seemed to have better served the accused man didn’t it? Brannan received meritorious service medals for his duty flying CH-47 Chinooks in the first Gulf war. He also declined to participate in the case against Yakima. I am surprised the Headline didn’t read, “Brannan supports Murder” or “Previous La Paz County Attorney kills baby seals”. I mean, who knows, maybe he does. Right?

  17. Lost in La Paz- Just to be clear. What fact in the above story do you wish to dispute?

  18. Lost,
    Not so sure. He did deny or participated in the denial of his rights or this wouldn’t have happened. And I don’t give anyone a free pass just because they were employees of the Military Industrial Complex. That’s just a short term job for most people. He did pass on Yakima though. Even a blind hog finds a truffle or two every now and then…

  19. Lost: You are probably Marty Brannan or family, if you know what aircraft he flew (assuming he did fly during that war),

    Roth: MIC? Sounds like your stuck in the 1960-70’s anarchist mind set.

    LaPazAZ: The Quartzsite town attorney could run against vederman. Heard that lawyer is doing good job for the Town.

  20. “M”,
    1960’s 1970’s anarchist mindset???? WTF! This is the new America, where someone who disagrees with or questions what their government does is an anarchist. Anarchist NO! American YES!!!

    And for what it’s worth, the Quartzsite Attorney is doing an excellent job of limiting free speech, advocating and advancing tyranny, and all around trampling on our God given rights. Right out of Sam Vedermans playbook. She would make an excellent La Paz County Attorney. (She’s from Yuma) It would be akin to electing Holly Irwin. After all, Holly was for all intents and purposes a California resident. Had a business there, ### ##### #########. No wonder Dan Field wanted her to get elected!!! If you are compromised in this county you get promoted. Once promoted you can do all kinds of things like give high paying cushy jobs to your family and friends, and bully anyone who questions what you are doing.

    Why don’t you just tell everyone who you are? Why do you have to hide? Afraid it will hurt your business?

  21. John,
    Why did you delete the most truthful part of my post? Why John? Why?

  22. I deleted the part where you accused someone of doing something illegal. The rest of your diatribe is intact.

  23. I don’t dispute and “facts” of the story. I am suggesting that we don’t know all of the facts. They are not in the story. Did Brannan DIRECT the investigator to talk to him without an attorney? Highly unlikely. Did the investigator screw up and talk to the guy on his own? We are not given all the facts. Just that a screwup by an investigator resulted in his superiors being investigated by the BAR. Stuff like that happens all the time. Oh well, with the AZ court of appeals Mandate being released I believe past County Attorneys are going to be the least of La Paz Counties worries.

  24. Those are good questions. What we do know is that the Bar is investigating because they believe the complaints are “supported by sufficient evidence” to prompt it.

  25. John, is it still illegal if it’s true? Or is the truth you like to protect corrupt public officials?

  26. The latter. I love corrupt public officials. You got me!

  27. You must because you sure go to great lengths to protect them

  28. Roth – Your lack of credibility shows. Anyone around here in Salome who knows Brannan and Vederman knows they would not have traveled to any events together not even one. Are you that desperate? Why can’t you disagree without making things up?

    M – you go girl!

    La Paz AZ – you are blind to reality!

    Lost – I fly model airplanes…does that count?

  29. Billy,
    😉 , did you notice my writing style? how did you know? lol…
    How is D? Havn’t talked to you guys in over a year. I don’t have your #’s Lets meet this weekend at Geo’s Octotillo this Sat. at 7p like old days!!
    btw, love your comments! See you soon. xo

  30. M – D is doing as well as expected, the accident was bad. Bouse this Sat. is fine with me and its my treat. Back to Roth…if he made up one simple thing, what else is he making up? He loves to throw stones, but who knows what skeletons he has in his closet. I’d love to see his tax returns wouldn’t you?

  31. Billy Wayne,
    Fail! Vederman even told me so. Nice try you guys

  32. Roth – Youve been exposed! Unlike you I do my homework…hopefully I’ll expose more of your bogus info. You think no one is paying attention to the details.

    How do you earn money or is being the self proclaimed “Quartzsite Patriot” your full time job?

  33. Yes, trying to save my community is my full time position. I don’t have a job, which stands for Just Over Broke. I haven’t had one of those in 20 plus years. The only thing you’ve exposed is yourself, along with your Parker buddy. I actually do my homework instead of repeating other peoples lies… good luck with that

  34. Roth – you got caught by me just own up to it and move on.

  35. Caught? At what???? And no I won’t move on. You sound like the crooked politicians and police that have been telling me to leave La Paz County since I started exposing them.

  36. Michael Roth- You must have forgotten Sam Vederman ran against and beat Martin in the Republican Primary for the County Attorney Position. Friends they are not. Get your facts straight if you want anyone to take you seriously

  37. Then Sam Vederman lied to me (again?) because he told me they did. I even helped Sam get elected. I ran for Board Of Supervisors. I WAS at ALL of the meet the candidate events. I talked to ALL of the candidates. Sam and Martin were NOT enemies. They sat next to each other. You should know that being his mom!!! Quit covering for your son…

  38. Roth you are outted by SamsMom and caught again. Like a poor markman, you keep missing the target.

  39. Wrong “M”! Fail again! Just because you say it doesn’t make it true. This isn’t vedermans court where you get freebies for being his friend. Why don’t you tell everyone who you really are and stop hiding behind a skirt!

  40. Roth – I dont want you to leave this county. Anyone that wants you outta here must not like your comedy. You are the best free entertainment we have in this county. (Just dont move to Salome) Your constant accusations against everyone reduce your credibility to nada.

    BTW…just because you say it…we know its not true.

  41. Thanks Billy Wayne. Any relation to John? BTW, you started the accusations with me first. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Hypocrite much?
    I like Salome and have thought about buying out there.Now that I know it would irk you I might consider it more. If I move out there maybe you and your “girlfriend” ‘M” could come visit and I’ll teach you two what being a real American is all about.

  42. Roth – I get it now. When you speak of others its the truth and when others speak of you its accusations. You were caught the way you claim you expose others and you dont like it. Most of what you write about is how everyone else is lying and corrupt and you never back it up with facts. Now you have been exposed and you will deny it but at least its out there and everyone else can make their own determination.

  43. M, you never answered me about who you supported for DA. I want to know.

    Roth, you have lost me after reading all of this. You seemed to have a good head on your shoulders but I have done my checking the past few days. Unfortunately your statements were verified as being false.

    Lost, not only do I fly model airplanes, I flew paper airplanes as a kid.

    Billy, I was blind to reality. I am glad I spoke to some people in the know to get the facts straight.

  44. lapazaz which statements were verified and who verified them?

    Billy Wayne, why do you support the corrupt regime here and why is anyone who is against the thugs bankrupting our county always attacked? Sounds like your are on the wrong team!

  45. Roth proves hes a real American at If that is not scientific enough for you, try

    Brannan was a great deputy county attorney. Then he was elected. He lost who he was once he was elected and seems to not have found himself yet. Both he and the county attorney approved of the meeting. The meeting should have never taken place without the defense attorney present. Period. Decisions and attitudes like this is why Martin lost his bid for re-election.

  46. RR, You write: “He lost who he was once was” and ” seems to not have found himself yet”………… this is not a therapy session where we all go to mamby pamby land to hold hands and speak to our feelings and our lost selves.
    Brannan was a Chief Deputy CA responsible for prosecuting a MURDER case, not a speeding ticket. Now the case is dismissed because of Brannan. Or is the excuse, “I was just following orders”?
    Brannan could have stopped the ‘meeting’ (aka violation of defendants right which gets murderer a dismissal) by not agreeing to it.
    “Great” Deputy County attorneys do not conduct business this way; please stop the spin and the revision of history.
    Billy, Roth, and all others, do you agree?

  47. R.R., what do you think about Brannans replacement?

  48. M, I’m sorry if you did not understand my prose. I’ll make it simpler. Martin as Deputy County Attorney good. Martin since being elected County Attorney bad. I’m not revising history. Martin was an excellent Deputy County Attorney for La Paz. That is why we, the people of La Paz, elected him. Then, as La Paz County Attorney, he failed to live up to expectations, which is why he wasn’t re-elected.

    Roth, I think it’s difficult for you to be objective about Sam since you were tried by his office. Sam has done a better job than Martin. I think Sam has done well in his first two years in office, and will continue to improve in the remaining two of his term. He has refiled on the cases Martin dismissed due to “lack of prosecutorial resources” and taken more cases to trial in two years than Martin did in four.

  49. R.R. I disagree. I was there when he was campaigning and even had meetings with him. He lied! He lied to me and as soon as he was elected it was obvious to all that he was part of the Club. The same Club that has done nothing for La Paz County for most of its 25 years. There’s a reason why our county is in the shape it’s in. I don’t care if he is better than Martin. Martin stunk it up pretty bad and Sam is repeating. That’s like saying Obama is not as bad as Bush!!! (Or vice versa) My trial was a political show trial and everyone around here knows it. It was a farce. A waste of taxpayer dollars. ALL CHARGES AGAINST ME WERE ORIGINALLY DROPPED BY Matt Newman, the Towns prosecuting attorney. Then the corrupt Chief Of Police we have in Quartzsite went up and misled the grand jury, which will indict a ham sandwich if the CA is going along with it. I’ve talked to people who were on the grand jury and they’ve told me their feelings about what happened. But it doesn’t much matter at that point does it? Once indicted they’ve got a 50/50 chance at a conviction. They wanted to get me on the Felony Resisting Arrest to shut down my political activism but that didn’t work for them and now I am being tried again in Quartzsite for Misdemeanor Resisting Arrest. This again is going to cost the taxpayers thousands, if not tens of thousands more dollars that could be put to better use than political persecutions. I think I know Sam Vederman very well, thank you very much!

  50. Then Sam is doing what we expect him to be doing. Prosecuting crimes. If you stop committing crimes, you will not only have less interaction with Sam, but with the police as well. You seem to be the first to pick up a stone, but the last to look in a mirror. My guess the reason the charges were dropped in your case is a matter of procedure and not of evidence. Lower courts do not try felony cases, which yours was.

  51. M, sorry for the prose again. I’ll break it down again. Roth seems to be the first one to point fingers at other peoples indiscretions, but does not recognize his own.

  52. R.R. If your idea of crimes is exercising your right to free speech, and speaking out against corrupt cops, I’m guilty as charged. With people like you and your friends around no wonder America and La Paz County is in the shape it’s in! Sad!!! At least I can look myself in the mirror knowing I tried to do the right thing for my fellow human beings.

  53. Roth, as I said I did my checking with people that really know what takes place with the courts. They all said Sam Vederman is doing good as DA and I am not just saying this to argue with you. They said he has done everything he said he would do when he ran for office and that includes starting the first drug court this county has ever had. Apparently he has turned the DA office around from being a bad office to a good office and they are impressed the way things have been turned around quickly. The things you say do not match up with the facts.

  54. lapazarizona,
    That’s a very vague non-answer to my question above “what statements were verified and who verified them”. You didn’t verify anything and only responded with fluff about how you heard from people who you believe know what’s going on. What people? Who? What do they do here? Are they part of the La Paz County Justice System?

    I’m not arguing with you either, but what’s worse is how you guys accept tyranny by limiting free speech in the most sacred of places, Town Hall, and you also allow the tyranny to be enforced by those who swore to uphold and protect the Supreme Law Of The Land.
    In another era, limiting speech and having the police and courts doing the enforcement was called Nazi. Now that’s is cool to not think we forget about history.

    NO, Sam Vederman is not doing what he promised to do. Did he swear an Oath when he took office? Does that Oath mean anything nowadays? What
    happened to the Bill of Rights in this country? Or, is that selectively allowed like laws are selectively enforced for members of The La Paz Plunderers Club. Sam Vederamn is the most political of animals. He has already gone over to the dark side, probably a long time ago.

    Sam also promised me when he was campaigning he would fight bad checks, but when I followed through on our discussion he did not! I had one vendor here in Quartzsite commit felony check writing and Sam Vederam and his office did absolutely nothing. What’s the point of spending taxpayer dollars on newspaper ads promoting the wonderful County Attorney Bad Check program, then when a citizen gets screwed by bad checks, you do nothing?? WTH! It makes perfect sense when you realize the Club Members ruining this county don’t want ordinary citizens to speak up, or have the “Justice System” work for them, not against them like it is now. The plunder that happens here is too lucrative for them to give a damn about you and your worthless rights.

    Instead of doing his job as he said he would, Sam chose to spend taxpayer dollars on cases like mine. And have you noticed A LOT OF THESE
    CASES ARE ENDING IN MISDEMEANORS. Makes those stats mentioned by someone else here about Sams productivity worthless when you consider the end results!

    Also, a little birdie (OK a lawyer with 20+ years experience) recently told me something that proves “Honest Sam” Vederman was ALWAYS like this. Apparently he had some “Ethical Challenges” when he was a public defender. Do some research for yourself OUTSIDE of the little click down at the courthouse.

    What La Paz County needs is Critical Thinking, NOT Group Think!

    P.S. The war on drugs is a joke man, wake up! That’s just a gimmick to appease the non-thinking masses! That’s why the Drug Court was instituted, to make you think your local government was doing something
    productive. But do you ever stop and think if what the government is doing is the right thing? Prohibition doesn’t work. We’ve already proven that in this country. Just because people with fancy sounding
    titles tell you it’s the right thing doesn’t mean you should stop thinking.

    Peace to all of you!

  55. Roth said many “cases are ending in misdemeanors.” Including his. Sounds to me like he should be thanking Sam instead of blasting him.

    I conducted research outside of this courthouse click you speak of. I don’t know the technical term, but the term I use is Arizona Bar Complaints. I checked a couple of different ways for complaints againt Vederman. Guess what I found? Nada. Zero. Zilch. There was not a single complaint filed against Vederman. If your little birdie knows of ethical issues against Vederman and failed to report them, then maybe it’s not Vederman who has the ethical issues. Bottom line, your little birdie sucks. And you complain about other peoples sources and lack of critical thinking. Please refer to previous comment about stones and mirrors. It yet again applies.

    If you were exercising your rights legally there would be no issue. By the way, I have yet to see your YouTube video you claim vindicates you. I wonder why? You are not a revolutionary. You do not speak for your fellow human beings. You speak for yourself and on behalf of your three Quartzsite friends.

  56. I’ll tell this little birdie what you said. He knows more about La Paz County “Justice System” than you do. And who are my 3 quartzsite friends? You don’t know anything about me except what others have told you. Good luck with that

  57. Not too worry fellas this story is gonna be old news in the morning when the supes show up to their offices to hear that the US Marshall’s have executed 8 Writs of Garnishment on various County financial institutions Friday pertaining to a court Mandate to pay Yakima. Thought that Dan Field said the residents of the County would feel no effects of this case. hmmm. Wonder if they gonna make payroll with IOU’s?

  58. Roth, you will not change your mind and that is your right. That is really what makes this country great. You criticize with cryptic statements. A 20 year plus attorney told you Vederman had ethical challenges? What does that mean? Why dont you just say what the ethical challenges are? You just throw mud and hope some sticks. At least now we know its more than the case against you its also about him not processing a bad check case for you. You have something against him and that is a fact but you should admit it.

  59. I submit that anybody who has knowledge of the crap that happened to Roth would agree he has ample reason to have issues with Vederman. He was truly screwed over on the taxpayers dime. The Q site gubment is completely corrupt.

  60. Lost – C’mon…Roth had his day in court and he had the best lawyer in this county according to the people here. Of course he even got to tell the jury his side of things because I am sure he could not have sat there without speaking. They did not buy his bill of goods. The people in Salome know what happened. We know people in Quartzsite to. They all 100% voted to convict him thats the only way he could have been found guilty. I also doubt the claims of money. I have been to board meetings many times over the years to speak out about Salome issues and I have heard all the issues and the facts is people are on salary the judge prosecutors defense attorneys clerks cops and the trials take place when the court is open anyway. Everyone is getting paid the same whether they deal with Roth or not. Dont be fooled by Roth who was already caught and exposed previously.

  61. Billy Billy Billy. Common sense isn’t one of your better traits is it?

  62. Uh, ok lapazarizona, I DID admit it.

    R.R., you think that if the bar association doesn’t cover it, it doesn’t happen. Nothing could be further from the truth and you know it. Nice attempt at spin though. Your wife or the average voter buys what you are saying. Keep it up, you could be the next Sam Vederman

    Thanks Lost In La Paz. Finally some common sense in a sea of moronity

  63. Roth, if Sam Vederman lies and is corrupt and abuses his powers and a 20 plus year attorney told you he has ethical challenges it should be very easy for you to file a complaint against him with the state bar. Instead of the mud you throw write a bar complaint against Sam Vederman.

  64. Unlike you lapazarizona I have dealt with the Arizona State Bar. I really don’t want to do it again. Life is really too short for that kind of a fight. A lawsuit is one thing, proving and prevailing that an attorney needs to get spanked by their own is quite another. Sam Vederman is not worth my time. I just think he is a terrible County Attorney and an even worse human being

  65. So I take it you won’t be voting for him in ’12? Why is it that you always have an excuse for why you don’t do something or why it was someone else’s fault when something was done to you. You throw out baseless accusations and tell us to prove you wrong, when it’s you who needs to back up your statements. It’s no surprise that you haven’t filed a bar complaint because you believe it’s…another conspiracy. Next time you’re looking in the mirror after saving all of humanity, try looking for some personal responsibility. You want to make change, but won’t with your empty, angry dialogue. Still haven’t seen that YouTube video posted….

  66. If you want to see video of corruption in action just go to youtube and search for Quartzsite Chief Of Police. That’s the excrement you are defending. Good luck with that!!! We either have our rights or we have masters.

    I’m not going to file a bar complaint because it’s an exercise in futility. (Like talking common sense into you) The AZ Bar is a Club just like the La Paz Plunderers Club you wholeheartedly endorse.

    Tell me RR, is it still a conspiracy if it’s true?

    The only empty thing I see is you and your buddies here that hide behind handles (“M” even hides behind a skirt) because you somehow have a vested interest in the scam called La Paz County Government.

    Didn’t see you out during the last campaigns warning the people about electing tools like John Drum and Holly Irwin. Thank goodness they got elected though or we wouldn’t have Dan Field around to totally bankrupt the County.

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