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Maricopa County attorney takes questions on Charles Ryan plea deal negotiations

By Matthew Casey
Published: Wednesday, June 14, 2023 - 5:44pm

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Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan
Alexandra Olgin/KJZZ
Charles Ryan in 2018.

Maricopa County’s top prosecutor spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since KJZZ News first reported plea deal negotiations are underway with a former state prisons director.

Charles Ryan faces felony gun charges stemming from a standoff last year at his Tempe home.

County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said that generally, offering plea deals is a necessity based on criminal-case volume.

Prosecutors review factors such as the charges, the accused, the victim and if it’s likely a conviction can be earned at trial.

In high-profile cases, Mitchell seeks input from her leadership team. But the final decision is hers.  

“I’ve never met Mr. Ryan. I’m not going to give him any sort of consideration that I would not give anybody else that is a member of this community," Mitchell said. 

Mitchell said it would be unethical for her to talk more about Ryan’s case while it is pending. But she will explain her decisions in detail once it is resolved.

Arizona PrisonsLaw Enforcement