Homeless sex offender convictions will undergo reviews

Posted at 5:03 PM, Oct 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-13 20:03:28-04

The high court on Friday overturned the conviction and seven-year prison sentence of a sex offender who failed to register with authorities. 

The high court on Friday said lower courts were wrong in finding that 45-year-old Lynn Lavern Burbey failed to register his new address within 72 hours.

State law says sex offenders with registration requirements must report their new address within that time, but for people who are homeless it is 90 days.

Justice Clint Bolick wrote for the unanimous court that because Burbey was a transient, he fell under the 90-day rule and not the shorter requirement that led to his conviction following his 2014 arrest.

He will now be released from the state prison in Kingman.

A public defender in Tucson says cases involving homeless sex offenders prosecuted for failing to register with authorities will now be reviewed after an Arizona Supreme Court ruling called some convictions into question.

Attorney Sarah Mayhew of the Pima County Public Defender's office says she has a client sitting in prison who was convicted under similar circumstances and the office will review at least several other cases.

Reached late Friday afternoon, a Pima County Attorney's Office spokeswoman said she couldn't immediately comment because top officials were unavailable.