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The Latest: Homeless sex offender convictions face review

Posted at 10:16 PM, Oct 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-15 01:16:17-04

The Latest on a state Supreme Court ruling on sex offender registration requirements for homeless people (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

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

The high court on Friday overturned the conviction and seven-year prison sentence of a sex offender who failed to register with authorities. The ruling says lower courts got it wrong when they ruled the man could be prosecuted for not registering within 72 hours instead of following another state law that gives transients 90 days.

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.

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2 p.m.

The Arizona Supreme Court has overturned the conviction and seven-year prison sentence of a sex offender who failed to register with authorities when he left a half-way house and became homeless in Tucson.

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.