Man accused of Dollar General robbery claims judge is prejudiced against him
KINGMAN –Anthony Scott Axton, accused of the Dollar General robbery, had his trial that was set for Tuesday, July 23, vacated due to requesting his case be moved from the court of Judge Billy Sipe.
Axton, 33, is alleged to have participated in an armed robbery of the Dollar General at 3665 Andy Devine Ave. on or about July 1, 2018. According to law enforcement, that incident involved shots fired at Kingman Police Department officers. He faces charges that include two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
While Axton faces dozens of other felony counts for his reported participation in burglaries and robberies throughout the Kingman area, it is the above case which the state chose to take to trial.
However, Axton now claims that Judge Sipe is “prejudiced” against him. In court documents, Axton quotes the judge twice from a judgment and sentencing hearing held for codefendant Francis William Allison in June. The judge rejected Allison’s plea deal, which would have seen him serve between 21 and 28 years in prison.
“‘Quite frankly, I believe that every single one of the defendants in these cases that committed these crimes should spend the rest of their life in prison and should receive sentences that’s (going to) guarantee that is (going to) happen,’” the document reads in quoting the judge from the June proceeding.
Another statement made by the judge at the same proceeding is also cited in Axton’s request.
“‘The numbers I come up with doesn’t matter at all because I’m the type of judge that I don’t pick a number that I think is appropriate and then figure out how to get there. I simply start with the presumptive prison sentence, as the legislature requires, and weigh any aggravating and mitigating circumstances to then decide what is the appropriate sentence.’”
Based on the above comments, Axton believes the judge has already decided to give him a life sentence without hearing evidence at trial.
“Judge Sipe has already made sentencing decisions prior to any evidence being presented against him,” the submitted document reads. “Judge Sipe has made his position clear regardless of his claim to be analytical and not aim for a specific number. He found a number for Mr. Axton, and that number is the rest of his life. He has stated that he will give Mr. Axton a life sentence without hearing any evidence at trial or aggravating or mitigating circumstances.”
Axton will be in court for a hearing regarding his request at 1:30 p.m. July 30.