Former Arizona prisons director pleads not guilty to felony charges from armed standoff




  • In US
  • 2022-06-28 19:25:40Z
  • By AZCentral | The Arizona Republic

Former Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan pled not guilty on Tuesday to two felony charges that resulted from an armed standoff with police in January.

Ryan appeared remotely at the Maricopa County Superior Court in front of Commissioner Richard Hinz for a not-guilty arraignment and initial appearance with his attorney, Craig Penrod.

A grand jury indicted Ryan in April on two felony charges - disorderly conduct involving weapons and unlawful discharge of a weapon - after officials said he pointed his gun at police during an armed standoff at his Tempe home on the evening of Jan. 6.

Seven homes surrounding Ryan's residence were evacuated during the January incident. A tactical armored vehicle, SWAT team, negotiators and robot were used by police in the standoff. Police officers who responded to the incident said they feared for their lives after they say Ryan pointed a handgun at them and refused to drop the weapon.

Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan looks on during a job fair for inmates on Oct.
Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan looks on during a job fair for inmates on Oct.  

Ryan's wife told police that her husband drank "half of a large bottle of tequila" that evening, and admitted her husband was a heavy drinker, especially in the past two years.

Hinz released Ryan on his own recognizance on Tuesday, and ordered him to not possess any weapons, abstain from drugs and alcohol, and to not have any contact with witnesses or investigating officers connected to his case. A pretrial conference was scheduled for Aug. 9.

Public defenders reacting to the way Ryan's case has been handled said there is an "outrageous" disparity compared with the way their clients in similar situations have been treated by police.

Have a news tip on criminal justice issues? Reach the reporter at jjenkins@arizonarepublic.com or at 812-243-5582. Follow him on Twitter @JimmyJenkins.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Ex-Arizona prisons Director Charles Ryan pleads not guilty in standoff

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