Valley defense attorney Scott Maasen said he has been hired by family and supporters of Jerice Hunter, the Glendale mom whose 5-year-old has been missing for seven weeks.
"It's not a pro bono case. I was contacted originally by friend's of Jerice and member from the church, I spoke with her father and met with Jerice last Wednesday," said Maasen.
The former prosecutor said he believed that to this point what has been played out in the media is one-sided. He said he felt it was time someone spoke out on behalf of Hunter.
Maasen said he found it very unusual that Hunter was arrested for child abuse, then a week later released without charges ever being filed.
"Normally, if police arrest someone and someone's put in jail, they have a case, you know, they have the goods on someone, so to speak, and they see a judge and that starts the court process," said Maasen. "If they feel they have a case they need to file charges. If they don't feel they have a case they need to let us know that, let the public know that, as well, and let's get back to the focus of finding Jhessye."
Maasen said in every conversation he has had with Hunter she brings up finding Jhessye. He said Hunter wants her daughter found and wants to reunite with her daughter.
Glendale police have said they hold out little hope of finding the little girl alive. They also said the focus of their investigation surrounding the disappearance and possible murder of Jhessye remains on Hunter.
"I haven't seen any reports other than the initial form IV, the initial booking paperwork. So, there are going to be a number of police reports, witness statements, different things that we're going to do independently of what the police department has done in order to look at this case," said Maasen.
Hunter apparently is in favor of Maasen hiring an investigator, to research the case as well as look for Jhessye.
Maasen said he has not yet decided whether to allow his client to submit to a polygraph.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:01 AM EDT2013-06-19 15:01:14 GMT
Cell phone records show the young woman who vanished just blocks away from her Tempe apartment over the weekend made a phone call before she disappeared. Adrienne Salinas, 19, hasn't been seen or heardMore >
Cell phone records show the young woman who vanished just blocks away from her Tempe apartment over the weekend made a phone call before she disappeared.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 3:36 PM EDT2013-06-19 19:36:55 GMT
Gun threat at Arizona Mills Mall
A gun threat forced the evacuation of Arizona Mills Mall Tuesday night. A caller told 911 that someone was pointing a gun at theater-goers while they were watching a movie. The scene is unfolding andMore >
A caller told 911 that someone pointed a gun at theater-goers while they were watching the new 'Superman' movie.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 4:58 PM EDT2013-06-19 20:58:02 GMT
The man suspected of kidnapping three women and holding them captive for years inside his west side is due in court this morning. Ariel Castro will go before Judge Michael Russo at 8:30 a.m. on nearlyMore >
With his head hanging down, suspected kidnapper Ariel Castro went before a judge on Wednesday morning.
Castro refused to make eye contact with anyone, but did answer the judge when questioned. He provided a simple answer of 'yes' when asked normal questions about the proceedings. More >
Friday, May 31 2013 8:01 PM EDT2013-06-01 00:01:34 GMT
A bus driver loses his job over a Facebook post. Here's hold it unfolded. The last week of school in Haralson County, a student told driver Johnny Cook he was hungry, that didn't get to eat lunch at HaralsonMore >
A bus driver recently lost his job over a Facebook post. More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:40 PM EDT2013-06-19 17:40:44 GMT
Jesus Cabrera Molina (Source: CBS 5 News)
A judge has denied bond for man believed involved in the hit-and-run death of a Phoenix police officer.Police say 24-year-old Jesus Cabrera Molina is being held on suspicion of manslaughter and leavingMore >
Maricopa County court officials said Jesus Cabrera Molina, 24, pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and leaving the scene of the crash in the hit-and-run death of a Phoenix police officer.More >