FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 21, 2023
Republican Senators Call on Attorney General Mayes, Governor Hobbs to Immediately Address Imminent Public Safety Threat
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— Senator Anthony Kern and Senator T.J. Shope are calling on Attorney General Kris Mayes and Governor Katie Hobbs to protect the citizens of Arizona by immediately rescinding the release of a seriously mentally-ill patient who was housed at the Arizona State Hospital (ASH) after being found incompetent to stand trial in the brutal murder of his own mother and seven-year-old niece.
Local media reported Thursday that Rodney Aviles was just released from ASH after being held there for more than two decades, but back in February of this year, Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell sent a letter to Mayes saying she has serious community safety concerns and believes Aviles poses an ongoing threat to his family and the community at large. The report went on to mention a 2021 court filing objecting to Aviles' release, citing a doctor's statements that Aviles had no insight into the fact of his mental illness, Aviles has insisted he does not need medication, but that Aviles is expected to need inpatient care for the duration of his life.
"We have a Governor issuing numerous unconstitutional executive orders left and right, allowing taxpayer-funded sex-change surgeries, stripping county attorneys of their prosecutorial powers, protecting a Death Row inmate from execution, acting as a travel agency in transporting illegal immigrants to their preferred destinations, and even focusing on hairstyles of state employees," said Senator Kern. "Now, we have an individual who is clearly an imminent danger to society and being immersed back into the community because of the incompetence of the Hobbs' Administration. Unfortunately, she and Mayes are nowhere to be found when public safety is at risk. When Mayes should be defending our laws and prosecuting the most vile criminals, she's instead advocating for lawlessness. The citizens of this great state and the victims who have been through unthinkable suffering deserve immediate action from these so-called 'elected officials.' Their priorities are completely tone-deaf and out of touch with the needs of our state. Any fallout or further victimization from the release of Aviles will strictly be the result of inaction from Hobbs and Mayes."
"If this man is unfit for trial after murdering his family, he's unfit to be on the streets with the general public and must stay under proper care and supervision," said Senator Shope. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services, I'll be working with my colleagues to bring truly independent oversight of the Arizona State Hospital. This is clearly necessary to keep patients and citizens safe from the winds of politics."
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus