The victim of a former Congressman Raul Grijalva staffer, Jonathan Sparks, learned this week that party affiliation does carry privileges in some Pima County courts.
Represented by the head of the Pima County Public Defender’s office, Joel Feinman, Daniel Brito appeared in court this week to plead guilty to a 5th degree open felony – assault on an incapacitated person, which will be reduced to a misdemeanor charge in 3 years for good behavior.
The 34-year old Sparks will receive no restitution from Brito, despite incurring nearly $200,000 in medical expenses as a result of Brito’s attack.
On May 6, 2019 Judge Aragon relieved Brito’s private attorney and appointed Feinman personally to represent the defendant. It is unusual for the head of the Public Defender’s office to take a case at all; however, according to our legal sources, Feinman must have chosen to personally handle Brito’s case.
Court watchers were shocked when Brito was selected to be represented by Feinman. However, the two men share a political allegiance. Still, it is unclear how Brito qualified for indigent defense. Currently, Brito is a Russian TV- America immigration reporter and lobbyist.
Brito, reportedly a member of ANTIFA and the Democratic Socialist Party, has shown income statements to others of over $103,000. One would think that a salary of over $100K would preclude a person from obtaining a publicly funded defense, as Mr. Sharp learned, political affiliation does carry privileges.
This case began one year ago, on November 4, 2018, when Sparks peacefully carried a sign reading “Jobs Not Mobs, Vote Republican this Tuesday” on 4th Avenue in Tucson. Brito came up from behind Sparks and proceeded to physically assault him including grabbing his red MAGA hat. Brito walked away from the scene as Sparks lay on the street screaming in pain, with his foot dangling from his ankle which was broken in 4 places.
Brito then returned and resumed his physical attack again, hurling crude insults including but not limited to, calling Sparks a NAZI and other foul, disgusting names. Brito carried on kicking and punching as Sparks was on the ground.
Witnesses came to Sparks’ aid and held Brito back until police arrived.
Sparks’ supporters say that Brito is not simply a hat thief. They argue that Britos’ attack is a hate crime. A hate crime that confined the mild-mannered Sparks to a wheelchair for two months. Brito caused grave bodily injury that will last a lifetime along with mental trauma that accompanies such an attack. The foundation of Sparks’ body was compromised, broken, weakened and the potential for pain and re-injury remains great.
Sparks came close to losing his foot from lack of blood flow, but Feinman showed no concern for the welfare of his client’s victim.
When reading his statement to the court, Sparks was stopped by Judge Aragon. Three times, Sparks was prevented by the judge from reading his request for a trial by jury into the official record. The public defender and attorney assigned by the Pima County Attorney’s office had long decided a jury trial was not necessary and the victim would have no say in the matter.
Sentencing is to take place November 12, 2019 at 10:00 am in Judge Aragon’s Pima County Superior Court.