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Convicted killer Christopher Clements accused of possessing 'deadly weapon' prior to Celis trial

Christopher Clements court trial.jpg
Posted at 5:41 PM, Aug 15, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Convicted child killer Christopher Clements appeared in court Monday for pre-trial proceedings related to accusations that he possessed a sharpened pencil on the eve of his murder trial in February.

According to court documents, a corrections officer discovered the pencil during a "routine body cavity inspection." The state is alleging the sharpened pencil is considered a "deadly weapon" and "dangerous instrument," while defense is arguing discriminatory intent, stating:

"Mr. Clements is a member of a class of 2,100 inmates incarcerated at PCADC [Pima County Adult Detention Complex] that are permitted to possess, use, and or obtain pencils and other writing instruments to take notes regarding their cases, highlight their disclosure, draft jail grievances, draft court pleadings to access the courts, to write letters to their attorneys, families, and friends, to do artwork, etc."

Attorneys for Clements attempted to have the charges dismissed, calling the accusation of prison contraband "selective enforcement," and writing "Mr. Clements is probably the only inmate in the history of PCADC to be prosecuted for having a 'sharpened pencil,' pursuant to A.R.S. §13-2505(A)," in their motion.

At that point in time, Clements had already been convicted and sentenced in 2022 for the kidnapping and killing of 13-year-old Maribel Gonzalez.

The Celis trial, which began the day after the pencil incident, ended in a hung jury. Clements is facing a re-trial for the Celis murder in February of 2024.