Arapio's lawyers files appeal to 9th Circuit for jury trial

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PHOENIX (AP) -

Lawyers for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio filed an appeal Friday night requesting a jury trial in his criminal contempt-of-court case.

In a 77-page petition to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Arapio's attorneys said U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton has erred in twice denying the ex-lawman a jury trial.

On Thursday, she set new dates for his bench trial in Phoenix - June 26-30 and July 5-7.

The trial had been scheduled to start on April 25, but Bolton said she reluctantly agreed to a delay after Arpaio's lead attorney quit the case last week.

Arapio's new lawyers said their client is entitled to a jury trial, but Bolton "will not entertain any further demands" for one.

They also said Arapio's case would be "damaged or prejudiced in a way that is not correctable on appeal" if Bolton rules from the bench.

Bolton previously concluded the jury trial requests were made after a deadline for pretrial filings had passed.

Arpaio, 84, faces the misdemeanor contempt charge for letting his immigration patrols continue after a judge in a racial profiling case had ordered them stopped.

The former six-term sheriff of Arizona's most populous county has acknowledged prolonging the patrols but insists his defiance wasn't intentional.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to six months in jail.

The 2011 order forbids sheriff's deputies from detaining people based solely on the suspicion that they are in the country illegally.

The judge presiding over the profiling case had concluded that Arpaio's officers continued to detain such immigrants over a 17-month period and turned them over to federal immigration authorities.

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