TUCSON — The attorney for the City of Tombstone will spend almost a month in the Cochise County Jail as part of a plea agreement in an assault case that occurred in March 2019.
Paul Randall Bays, who also has a law practice in Sierra Vista, was sentenced Monday afternoon in Tucson by Pima County Superior Judge James Marner. Bays pleaded guilty in February to aggravated assault and unlawful imprisonment.
According to court spokeswoman Krisanne LoGalbo, Bays will serve three years probation, concurrent for both counts, and 30 days in the county jail, with credit for one day.
Bays was ordered to report to the county jail on Tuesday no later than 4 p.m., LoGalbo said.
The incidents occurred on March 8, 2019, when Bays first grabbed a woman’s cell phone through the driver’s side window of her car while the woman was recording him with the device. The second charge occurred after Bays drove his vehicle in front of the woman’s car and blocked her as she was leaving her driveway.
The indictment lodged against Bays in March 2019 lists eight charges, but a plea agreement in August posed by special prosecutor Elizabeth Ortiz of Maricopa County offered to drop six of the eight offenses.
That plea deal was previously withdrawn after Bays violated the terms of his release twice.
Bays was arrested by Cochise County Sheriff’s deputies after authorities said he was involved in an altercation outside the victim’s house, to include shutting a car door on the woman’s arm. Bays was arrested hours after the altercation at his home on March 9, authorities said.
While Bays’ pretrial release conditions included no contact with the woman, Bays was accused of violating that twice, court records show. The most recent offense was last spring when Bays offered the victim $20,000 to drop the case, court records show. He also drove onto her property, which violated a prior protective order, prosecutors said in the complaint.
After the second violation occurred, Ortiz withdrew the plea deal offered in September. In that agreement, the state said it would convict Bays of two “undesignated felonies” that included disorderly conduct and unlawful imprisonment, with probation available.
At a hearing last October though, Bays told Marner that he would face trial even though he could be sentenced to 30 years in prison if convicted. The judge explained the risks of going to trial and the “importance of certainty in plea negotiations.”
Through all the pretrial release violations and court hearings, Bays has remained the attorney for the city of Tombstone.
In October 2019, Tombstone Mayor Dusty Escapule told the Herald/Review that the city would wait to see what happened in court with Bays before deciding his employment status. In February, the mayor said Bays “stays on as long as he has a license to practice law.”
Alberto Rodriguez, spokesman for the State Bar of Arizona, said last week that Bays’ case is under investigation.
In an email earlier this year, Bays’ attorney Joe DiRoberto said: “The State Bar of Arizona will investigate the matter based on his criminal convictions and determine what, if any, sanctions will be imposed. The sanctions range from diversion, reprimand, censure, suspension, and disbarment being the ultimate penalty.”