Kenneth J. Peasley 64, passed away peacefully at his home on September 7, 2011 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. After graduating from Tucson's Amphitheater High School, he joined the United States Air Force during which time he served as a Staff Sergeant at the AFB in Yokota, Japan. After receiving an honorable discharge, he enrolled at the University of Arizona where he graduated with a B.S. in Political Science and earned a J.D. degree from the UA College of Law in 1975. A prominent figure in the statewide and national legal communities, Ken served as an Assistant Pima County Public Defender from 1975-1978 where he was responsible for various felony cases. During his time there, he argued more than 25 criminal appeals before the Court of Appeals and Arizona Supreme Court. He made his greatest contribution to the people of Pima County from 1978-2002 as Felony Prosecutions Supervisor in the Pima County Attorney's Office where he supervised homicide and gang prosecutions and was responsible for officer-involved shooting cases and training for local law enforcement agencies. He prosecuted hundreds of felony jury trials, including approximately 140 murder cases. His greatest joy came from working as the Legal Advisor for the Pima County Sheriff's Department from 2002-2003. After retiring from the PCAO in 2003, Ken worked with various attorneys on a variety of legal cases until just days before his death. Ken was a respected, dedicated and hard-working representative for victims and all Pima County citizens and was twice recognized for his outstanding work with "Arizona Prosecutor of the Year" awards in 1994 and 1996. He also was recognized as "Prosecutor of the Year" by the International Association of Arson Investigators (1996) and received the "Regional Vice President's Award for Excellence in the Trial of Capital Cases" from the Association of Government Attorney's in Capital Litigation (1999). Ken lectured for the National College of District Attorneys, the West Virginia Prosecutors Association, the New York Prosecutors Training Institute, the Colorado Attorney General's Office and the Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association. From 1991-2000, he taught Advanced Trial Practice for the UA College of Law. In addition, he served as an adjunct professor for Pima Community College where he taught a variety of legal assistant courses on criminal procedure and trial practice. Also, Ken instructed grand juries on homicide responsibility and justification; was an instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy; and regularly taught law enforcement agencies on various topics, including Miranda Rights, defenses, courtroom criminal procedure, and statutory offenses. As important as work was to Ken, his family was always number one. This is his greatest love. Ken is survived by the love of his life Nancy, his wife of 28 years; loving children: daughter, Allison and twin sons, Kevin and Kyle. He is also survived by sisters, Val Roy (Ron) of San Diego and Sharon Moody of Midland, Texas. Ken will be greatly missed by his family and many, many true and lifelong friends. A celebration of Ken's life will be held Friday, September 16, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 1946 E. Lee, Tucson, AZ. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to University Medical Center Dept. of Pediatrics UAF, 1501 E. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85724-5073. Arrangements entrusted to ADAIR FUNERAL HOMES, Avalon Chapel, 742-7901.
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Adair Funeral Homes - Avalon Chapel
8090 North Northern Avenue
Oro Valley, AZ 85704
Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Sept. 11, 2011