September 24, 2009
Chief of Police
Phoenix Police Department
620 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
RE: NOTICE OF CLAIM PUSUANT TO
A.R.S. § 12-821.01
Decedent: Sophia Nunez
Date of Death: April 10, 2006
Dear Mr. Harris,
This firm represents the heirs of Sophia Nunez.
This letter shall serve as a Notice of Claim pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-821.01. The heirs of Sophia Nunez intend to pursue litigation for Sophia’s wrongful death against the above-named recipient of this claim letter if the following claim is not accepted.
This Notice of Claim letter contains a fair and accurate description of the recipient’s intentional, reckless and grossly negligent conduct. The full and complete facts regarding this claim are in possession of the Phoenix Police Department. This Notice of Claim will serve, however, as a reasonable foundation for representatives of the Phoenix Police Department to fully and completely investigate the circumstances of the claim and reach an informed decision about whether to settle.
This Notice of Claim letter also contains a fair, reasonable, and firm demand for compensation. Based on the particular facts of this matter and our research regarding wrongful death settlements and awards, we believe the amount demanded for Sophia’s heirs is reasonable and will be accepted if offered by any recipient of this Notice of Claim letter.
The nature of the claim is a wrongful death action pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-611 et seq. At the time of her demise, Sophia was not married. Her mother, Marie Nunez will bring this action for and on behalf of herself, as Sophia’s surviving mother, Sophia’s father, John Nunez, and Sophia’s 3 surviving children, Krystal Gonzalez, age 24, Unique “Nikki” Martinez, age 20, and Gilbert Martinez, age 9.
Gilbert Martinez maintained a close and loving relationship with his mother. As he was Sophia’s only male child, and much younger than his siblings, Sophia focused her attention on the young man to the point of perhaps spoiling him. As a result, Gilbert maintained a very close and loving relationship with his mother. The loss Gilbert suffered as a result of his mother’s death has been traumatic.
Gilbert’s trauma is immense, as he discovered his mother’s remains at the family home when he was 8 years old. Gilbert witnessed the aftermath of the violent death his mother sustained, and is a memory that continues with him to this day. Imagine a young 8 year old boy trying to administer artificial respiration to the remains of his murdered mother.
Unique “Nikki” Martinez, born August 25, 1989 was 17 years old at the time of Sophia’s death, and was living with her mother in the family home. Nikki was supported by Sophia, as she was a full time student at Westview High School. Subsequent to Sophia’s death, Nikki graduated from high school and now pursues her education at Glendale Community college.
Krystal Gonzalez, born November 12, 1984 moved from the family home shortly before her mother’s death. She is a high school graduate, and while Krystal pursued her education at a local community college, she now is employed Well Fargo Bank and works full time. While living with her mother and for a short time thereafter, Krystal was supported by her mother.
Each of Sophia’s daughters maintained a close and loving relationship with their mother. Each daughter relied on their mother for emotional as well as financial support and has suffered a deep emotional loss as a result of Sophia’s untimely passing.
Maria Nunez, Sophia’s mother also had a very close and loving relationship with her daughter. Sophia called her mother daily to discuss the current family situation, and sought Maria’s counsel for all things related to Sophia’s life. Maria is not employed at this time, but maintains the family home where she raised all her children. After Sophia’s untimely death, Maria has continuously participated in grief counseling at a counseling center in Good Samaritan Hospital on a weekly basis. Maria still grieves over the loss of her daughter.
John Nunez divorced Maria some years ago, but remained close to his daughter. John and Sophia communicated frequently and each remained interested in the others activities. Even with the dissolution of the Nunez marriage, the father continued to remain close to his daughter.
While he has not participated in grief counseling, John continues to feel the loss of his daughter.
Librada “Libby” Rocha is Sophia’s older sister. Throughout their lives, the sisters maintained a close and loving relationship wherein they communicated frequently and shared their lives with enthusiasm. Libby has suffered the loss of her sister equally to the loss suffered by the other claimants.
At the time of her untimely demise, Sophia was 37 years old. As described above, she had 3 children. All of those children except her oldest daughter, Krystal lived with her at the time of her death.
At the time of her demise, Sophia provided financial and emotional support to all of her children. Sophia was employed by Qwest as a manager engaged in employee training. She was employed for some years by Qwest and earned a reasonable salary of approximately $44,874 in 2005, the year before her murder. Additionally, Sophia owned a home in west Phoenix that had a listing price after the murder of $259,900. This 1,735 square foot home served as the residence to herself, Gilbert and Nikki. Obviously, Sophia was a hard working, responsible working parent supporting her children.
Sophia maintained a close emotional relationship with her children. Her children looked to her for support and comfort in their daily lives, as all children do. Sophia provided the usual routine services a mother does by providing a clean, safe, home environment and serving as an example of hard work to her children.
Obviously, all of Sophia’s relatives were and continue to be devastated by the tragic loss.
Sophia was a responsible and honest person who was brutally murdered in the family home. The loss to the dependents of love, comfort, and companionship is immense. The economic loss suffered as a result of her absence, both as a wage earner and manager of the family, is substantial.
On September 20, 2005, Mark Goudeau (“Goudeau”)
At that time, police were not aware that Goudeau was responsible for the September 8, 2005 murder of Georgia Thompson outside her Tempe apartment. Goudeau shot Thompson in the head a single time. Police also did not realize that Goudeau previously committed sexual assaults in Phoenix on August 6, 2005, August 14, 2005, and September 15, 2005.
After the sexual assault on September 20, 2005, Goudeau’s crime spree continued with a September 28, 2005 robbery in Tempe and sexual assault and robbery in Phoenix, then a November 3, 2005 robbery and sexual assault in Phoenix. Goudeau was also responsible for a string of three separate robberies in Phoenix on November 7, 2005. On December 12, 2005, Goudeau murdered pre-school teacher Tina Washington, who was on her way home from the preschool where she worked....
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Mr. Victor has provided criminal attorney representation in Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix and all of Arizona since 1994. As an attorney in Phoenix he has been consistently interviewed by the press as a legal expert. He has been quoted numerous times on television, radio and in newspapers. Mr. Victor has presented many lectures on the criminal justice system. He has lectured to judges, prosecutors and police officers.
Marc J. Victor has represented clients in more than a thousand major felony cases including first and second degree murder, sex cases, gun cases, major drug cases, complex white collar cases, federal appeals, and other complex state and federal matters. Jury trial experience includes several murder trials including death eligible matters as well as complex sex cases. Marc J. Victor has represented clients in many high profile and media attention cases.