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New judge selected for Shuffler case

KINGMAN – A local judge has removed himself from the Brady Shuffler case, bringing indefinite sentencing delay for a Kingman community that had been focused on criminal chapter closure. Mohave County Superior Court Judge Derek Carlisle’s case recusal occurred during a March 14 emergency hearing at the Law and Justice Center in Kingman.

Carlisle’s exit brings postponement of the highly anticipated prison sentencing hearing that had been scheduled for Monday, March 18. Judge Carlisle said he discovered possible conflicts while reading material submitted in advance of the sentencing proceeding for Brady Shuffler, 17.

“The Court advises Counsel that based on some of the letters in the mitigation packet; this Court is recusing itself from this matter to avoid the appearance of impropriety,” Judge Carlisle’s minute order stated. Carlisle did not indicate what concerned him about the mitigation letters in open Court, though he provided specifics to attorneys in Chambers.

A number of other local judges previously declared various case conflicts given the involvements of multiple families in the greater Kingman community. Carlisle said it might be difficult to find a local judge that doesn’t have case conflicts before he turned to Phoenix for help.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Suzanne Nicholls has agreed to finish the Shuffler case. 

The Kingman teen faces a punishment range between three and 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault charges for the April, 13, 2023 traffic accident that claimed the lives of two fellow Lee Williams High School student athletes and the serious injuries of two others.

Shuffler also sustained serious injuries when the Dodge Charger he drove in excess of 100 mph rolled in the 3500 block of Louise Avenue.

Judge Nicholls scheduled a March 21 status hearing to address any matters that might be necessary following the change of judge maneuver. Establishing a sentencing hearing date is the primary focus.

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