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A parked vehicle and an electrical box were damaged Saturday after a woman allegedly struck them with her vehicle and fled the scene, according to police.

The incident reportedly took place near a home on Big Dipper Drive in Province around 5 p.m., May 26.

Witnesses told the Maricopa Police Department a vehicle hit and subsequently pushed a Ford pickup truck approximately 10 feet into an electrical utility box owned by Electrical District No. 3.

The suspected at-fault vehicle was described as a silver SUV being driven erratically in the area.

The truck received damage to its rear passenger-side corner, taillight and bumper. The electrical box was “broken off from the concert base it was on,” according to an MPD police report.

About an hour later, MPD officers located a vehicle in the Villages subdivision matching the description given by witnesses. They eventually made contact with the alleged driver, Rebecca Wallace, at a residence on Ryans Trail.

There, officers noted damage on the passenger side of Wallace’s Chevy Equinox that “matched the damage to” the Ford pickup in Province.

Police said Wallace allegedly admitted to being involved in the accident. However, she then reportedly told an officer she no longer wanted to speak to police.

“(Wallace) was also found to be impaired,” the report alleged.

MPD forwarded charges of class 6 felony criminal damage for the estimated $1,000 worth of repairs to the truck and utility box; failing to fulfill duty on striking an unattended vehicle, a class 3 misdemeanor; and striking a fixture on a highway, also a class 3 misdemeanor.

A DUI charge is pending on the results from Wallace’s blood sample, according to the report.

Carlos Soliz (PCSO photo)

Witnesses to a verbal fight between a motorist and his pedestrian girlfriend told police the man drove in opposing lanes of traffic while pursuing her.

The May 16 incident initially occurred on Maricopa–Casa Grande Highway at approximately 11:36 a.m.

Police arrested Carlos Soliz, 38, at the Pershing Road intersection after independent witnesses reported his alleged reckless behavior behind the wheel.

A Maricopa Police Department report alleges Soliz pursued the woman and “left the roadway to block her safe passage on the sidewalk,” causing an unreasonable inconvenience and hazard to traffic.

The woman then attempted to run to the opposite side of the roadway. Soliz allegedly exited his vehicle near the highway and Pershing Road and continued to verbally fight with his girlfriend, according to the report.

“(Soliz’s) behavior became serious and disruptive when he prevented her from walking past him until they had a conversation about issues in their relationship,” the reporting officer wrote.

The officer goes on to allege in the report that Soliz’S behavior would have continued against the victim if police hadn’t intervened.

MPD forwarded charges of disorderly conduct (class 1 misdemeanor), obstructing a highway (class 3 misdemeanor) and reckless driving (class 2 misdemeanor) against Soliz and later transported him to Pinal County Jail.

Betty Davis (PCSO photo)

A caller alerted police to a “possible sex offense” involving two allegedly nude people off the side of a local road.

Officers with the Maricopa Police Department responded to the Heritage District area of Garvey Avenue and Loma Road Wednesday around 6:46 p.m. The report refers to the intersection as a “lightly traveled road.”

Going off notes received from the call, MPD was prepared to assess the report of a man and a woman “out in the open naked” in the area near a white van.

“The caller reported the female appeared to be struggling,” according to the report.

However, once on scene, officers found a man wearing pants and a woman fully clothed.

The couple told police they had been “making out” consensually.

After the interviews, officers concluded no crime occurred.

That was before a wants and warrants check was performed. Officers discovered the woman, 43-year-old Betty Davis, was wanted on a valid warrant for failing to pay out of Mesa Justice Court with a $600 bond.

MPD transported Davis to the Pinal County Adult Detention Center.

Michael Moore. (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa man faces felony charges stemming from a shooting Saturday afternoon. As reported earlier, a neighborhood in Desert Cedars was shut down by law enforcement during the investigation.

Michael Moore, 25, is accused of shooting a female in the hand. Maricopa Police Department is still looking for a weapon.

MPD was called to the 44000 block of West Buckhorn Trail at around 1:50 p.m. May 19. Officers found a female with a gunshot wound to her left hand.

She reported told officers she was a passenger in a car being driven by a friend and they were retrieving mail at the address. A single shot was fired into the back window, hitting her hand. She gave officers the description and location of the suspect.

Officers saw a male matching the description getting into a vehicle. They conducted a “high-risk stop,” and Moore was taken into custody without incident.

The female was transported to a hospital. No one else was injured during the event.

Moore was booked in the Pinal County jail on charges of aggravated assault, endangerment and possession of drugs. MPD stated there was “no clear motive,” which is still being investigated.

Moore is scheduled for a hearing in Pinal County Superior Court on May 22.

Miguel Figueroa. PCSO photo

The man accused of killing his wife with a sword in 2016 will face 25 years to life in prison after admitting guilt in court Monday.

Miguel Figueroa pleaded guilty May 21 to the first-degree murder of Olivia Figueroa near the Heritage District in Maricopa.

As part of the plea deal, a kidnapping charge was dropped.

Figueroa also admitted guilt in the attempted aggravated assault of his son with a .22 caliber gun in the same incident. He agreed to serve six years in the Department of Corrections as part of the plea on that charge.

Pinal County Judge Kevin White said Figueroa’s admittance to the two counts resulted in an automatic violation of his probation, stemming from two drug paraphernalia possession convictions in 2015.

The disposition on the probation violation will be heard during sentencing June 18 at 1:30 p.m.

However, sentencing may be delayed by the defense counsel in a future motion which would ask to continue the court date in lieu of hiring an expert to identify the mitigating and aggravating factors in the probation case.

Figueroa’s plea comes nearly two months before his trial date in July. White vacated the trial Monday.


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Tony Suares. PCSO photo

Medical crews transported a local woman to the hospital Monday evening after she sustained injuries at the hands of her husband, according to the Maricopa Police Department.

Tony Suares, 37, allegedly caused temporary “but substantial disfigurement” to his wife’s face during an argument that turned physical May 15 at 6:02 p.m. in Alterra.

An MPD police report states Suares struck the victim in the face approximately 10 times with his closed fists.

The reporting officer observed multiple contusions on the woman’s forehead, nose, upper lip and both cheeks.

Suares allegedly screamed profanities while abusing the victim, which reportedly caused her to fear for her life. He was arrested on suspicion of class 4 felony aggravated assault and disorderly conduct, a class 1 misdemeanor.

During questioning by officers, the suspect said he blacked out and denied remembering anything before or after the assault. But Suares allegedly told police his wife “said something to set him off, causing him to punch her,” according to the report.

MPD transported him to the Pinal County Jail, where he remained in custody as of Wednesday afternoon.

Kenneth Davis. PCSO photo

The Maricopa Police Department assisted in taking a sexual assault suspect into custody last week.

Kenneth Marzette Davis Jr., 27, was arrested May 3 at a home on West Griffis Drive in The Villages after the Avondale Police Department requested help from MPD.

Davis reportedly has a nationwide, extraditable warrant issued out of Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office in Cleveland, Ohio, according to an MPD report.

“It was stated they had an open sexual assault case they were investigating and wanted to interview (Davis),” the report states.

Avondale detectives interviewed Davis after his arrest. He was later transported to the Pinal County Adult Detention Facility.

Davis was booked on the outstanding warrant and a sexual assault charge, a class 2 felony.

A Pinal County Superior Court judge will decide Davis’ bond eligibility May 10. The suspect’s extradition status will be heard in court the next day.

Multiple witnesses at a local tavern reported observing a man “placing his hands on or around the throat” of a juvenile over the weekend.

The Maricopa Police Department arrested William Bentley May 5 on suspicion of two aggravated assault charges related to strangulation against a minor, child abuse and endangerment.

The incident reportedly occurred at approximately 7:27 p.m. at True Grit Tavern, 20800 N. John Wayne Parkway.

According to witnesses, the child had been with his mother and two other juveniles at the establishment since 11 a.m.

Hours later, Bentley gave a statement to police after being read his Miranda rights.

“He said when he got to the bar where his girlfriend and the three juveniles (were), including the victim, they had dinner and the victim was ‘acting up,’ so they decided to leave,” according to the police report.

Witnesses told police the mother and Bentley yelled and screamed at the victim inside the bar.

Bentley said the child became disruptive. He allegedly admitted to grabbing the child, taking him behind a pillar and holding the victim’s wrists against that pillar.

Statements from the day-shift waitress and other tavern witnesses to the incident expand beyond Bentley’s account.

“(The witness) said Bentley had his hands around the juvenile’s throat and the juvenile was lifted off the ground,” the report states.

One witness said she ran to the pillar and yelled at Bentley to put the child down.

Crews transported the boy for a medical evaluation. The victim allegedly told medical staff Bentley “placed his hands around his throat and lifted him up,” according to the report.

The victim also informed medics of throat pain and sore arms.

Marcos Martinez is accused of the brutal murder of Vicky Ten Hoven. (photos PCSO/Facebook)

The man accused of killing his grandmother earlier this year will undergo a mental examination to determine his competency to stand trial.

Pinal County Superior Court Judge Dwight Callahan ordered Marcos Jerell Martinez to a “full Rule 11 examination” in court Wednesday morning.

Martinez, with a full beard and long hair, appeared in a brown jumpsuit for his hearing May 2, but his cooperation with counsel has apparently been an issue.

Callahan recently approved a motion by the defense team to visit with their client at the door of his jail cell after concerns were filed that Martinez repeatedly “denies or refuses” to meet with attorneys, according to court documents filed in April.

The first-degree murder suspect submitted to a rule 11 pre-screening in March where a doctor recommended a full examination.

The state and the public defender’s office both nominated psychologists to fulfill the order.

Those results are expected to be reviewed in court June 27 at 9 a.m.

After the mental examination review hearing this summer, attorneys for Martinez are expected to file a motion to remand the case to a second grand jury for a new probable cause determination.

A grand jury indicted Martinez in February of premediated first-degree murder, punishable by death or life in prison, after the Maricopa Police Department forwarded additional charges of tampering with evidence and unlawful use of means of transportation in the same case. Martinez is held in the Pinal County Detention Center on a $1 million secured bond.

Martinez stands accused in the Jan. 28 blunt-force trauma death of Vicky Ten Hoven in Rancho El Dorado.


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Humberto Martinez-Herrera. PCSO photo

A domestic dispute in the Villages resulted in an arrest after police reportedly discovered a semi-automatic rifle and other firearms in the home of a prohibited possessor.

Officers with the Maricopa Police Department arrested Humberto Martinez-Herrera, 39, April 23 at approximately 11 p.m. after his wife placed an emergency call alleging her husband was intoxicated in their garage and was refusing to turn down the volume of his music.

Martinez-Herrera is reportedly a felon who is not permitted to own firearms, according to an MPD report.

Upon arrival on West Oster Drive, law enforcement interviewed Martinez-Herrera in the garage where he gave police permission to search for the guns. The report alleges MPD found one AR-15 rifle, one scoped rifle, one shotgun and a loaded pistol “within (Martinez-Herrera)’s reach in the garage.”

Police also discovered several rounds of ammunition in plain view, according to the report. Martinez-Herrera originally told police the guns belonged to his brother.

The report states he admitted to never restoring his right to possess firearms.

Martinez-Herrera eventually told police he purchased the AR-15 at a local gun show and recently fired it at a local gun range, according to the report.

The suspect’s wife also provided a digital image to officers that purportedly showed Martinez-Herrera shooting the rifle at the range.

Police forwarded one class 4 felony charge of weapons misconduct against Martinez-Herrera for “possessing a deadly weapon or prohibited weapon if such person is a prohibited possessor.”


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Jose Valenzuela is accused of the June 2015 murders of Tina and Michael Careccia. PCSO photo

A capital murder case nearing its third anniversary remained without a scheduled trial date Monday in court.

Murder suspect Jose Valenzuela’s new lead defense attorney, Bobbi Falduto, argued her team would need until August 2019 to be prepared for trial.

Special Prosecutor Gary Husk said he was “troubled” by the requested 15-month continuance.

“That extraordinary delay is unwarranted,” he told Pinal County Superior Court Judge Kevin White in court.

Husk said the belated trial is difficult for the family of Tina and Michael Careccia, the couple Valenzuela is accused of murdering and then burying in his yard in 2015, “and, I, quite frankly, can’t blame them,” Husk added.

Husk said prosecution could be ready for trial in six to eight months. However, White’s judicial schedule is clogged with three capital cases around that time.

White suggested trial take place in September of this year, when his docket opens, but Falduto maintained her team needed more time.

“Judge, I’m not going to avow that I can do that, I just know I can’t. It’s right around the corner,” Falduto said.

Falduto cited her recent appointment in the case as one reason for her request for additional time to prepare. In late January, she took over for James Mannato, the former public defender who retired early this year.

Additionally, Falduto revealed she would present a new defense theory in trial.

“Mr. Mannato had the case at a certain posture, and I actually disagreed with his posture, so we have revamped some of the case strategy,” Falduto said.

Monday, Valenzuela’s attorneys motioned the court for access to counseling records of their client’s son, who may have been an eyewitness in the case, Falduto said.

White ordered the records be subject to protective orders and non-disclosure to the public.

Michael and Tina Careccia lived with family members two streets away from the man charged with their murders. (Instagram)

Falduto has until June 8 to submit a memorandum objecting to the state’s request for disclosure of those records. Husk has until June 22 to file a response.

The defense team also argued it would need additional time to interview an out-of-state witness and a medical examiner.

“Our defense team has met about once a week to get me updated and to update everyone else. Everyone’s taken on certain tasks so we are working this as quickly as possible,” Falduto said. “There’s a lot of amount of discovery, and I think some of the experts that we have spoken with are going to be key to putting forth our defense.”

With a September trial not an option, White said his schedule could accommodate a trial date next July.

Nevertheless, the judge held off from affirming a specific date in court April 30. The case is subject to reassignment under a new judge as White takes on a different assignment in the courts July 1 this year.

White said he’s inclined to keep the case, but he will consult with the schedules of the criminal judge and presiding judge in the event the case is handed over.

Valenzuela’s next hearing in court will be June 25 at 3 p.m.


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Miguel Figueroa. PCSO photo

 

The first-degree murder trial for the man accused of killing his wife with a sword in 2016 was rescheduled Monday afternoon.

Miguel Figueroa would have stood trial next week, but “unfinished” DNA disclosure reports from the state prompted defense attorneys to request a new date.

The state did not object and indicated the results could be disclosed later this week.

Judge Kevin White scheduled the new trial for July 18 at 9 a.m. It’s expected to last seven days and be juried by 12 people.

The reports in question center on DNA from the defendant and his alleged victim, as well as nail clippings, evidence from the presumed murder weapon and “defensive wounds,” said Figueroa’s defense counsel, Scott Johnson.

White vacated next week’s trial to allow Johnson and co-council Mark Benson time to “digest” the information included in the DNA analysis ahead of trial.

The judge attempted to schedule the new trial before his upcoming judicial reassignment July 1. However, multiple, upcoming trials and conferences reported between the state and the defense prevented a sooner trial date.

The state alleges Figueroa stabbed to death his wife, Olivia, in a desert area near Maricopa’s Heritage District two years ago.

Figueroa will be in court again May 21 at 1:30 p.m. for a status review hearing.


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Photo by Mason Callejas

A man initially accused of firing a weapon toward The Duke at Rancho El Dorado was cited and released Wednesday.

Identified as Arbray Beshear, he was taken into custody at his home in Desert Park Court when a neighbor complained he was shooting a gun from the back side of his house. Maricopa Police determined the weapon was a pellet rifle, according to MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado.

Beshear, described in his 70s, was cited with as-yet-unidentified misdemeanor charges and not booked after officers discussed the case with the Pinal County Attorney’s office, Alvarado said.

A neighbor called police Wednesday morning with a report of shots fired near the golf course and also alleged Beshear had made threats when told to stop shooting. MPD responded by blocking streets in the area of the incident until they made contact with Beshear and took him into custody.

Undray Crew (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa man is facing multiple charges of disorderly conduct and indecent exposure after he reportedly stripped his clothes and ran through a neighbor’s backyard in Senita last week.

The incident began April 18 when officers responded to a domestic dispute on North Tonya Street at 9:40 a.m.

Family members told police Undray Crew, 40, had been violent toward his brother and mother. Crew was also accused of attempting to throw a metal bench into the family home’s sliding glass door and shattering a side window with his fist.

A Maricopa Police Department report stated Crew disrobed and left the residence when he got word law enforcement was on its way.

Crew then allegedly jumped a neighbor’s fence and ran through the backyard.

MPD received “multiple” calls about a man running nude, including one neighbor who reported to be “alarmed by the sight of (Crew’s) nakedness.”

Police forwarded 10 charges against Crew, including two counts of domestic violence assault, domestic violence criminal damage, six counts of disorderly conduct and one count of indecent exposure.

Police informed a local homeowner last week that two people had been illegally living in a structure attached to their home in the Heritage District.

It’s not known how long Crystal Tow, 37, and Carl Schwarz, 36, allegedly lived in the “storage closet” on North Condrey Avenue, but now they are both facing trespassing charges.

The couple had not been discovered until April 5 when the Maricopa Police Department responded to a report of possible trespassing. That’s when officers purportedly found Tow and Schwarz arguing in the backyard of the residence around 6:45 a.m.

“Carl stated he and Crystal had been living in the attached storage closet in the back of the home, as they had been kicked out of their previous residence,” the police report stated.

Drugs allegedly also were discovered.

A search of Tow’s purse and backpack revealed syringes and glass pipes, two of which tested positive for fentanyl and methamphetamine, according to the report.

Police allege Tow admitted to using methamphetamine the morning of her arrest and knowing she and Schwarz did not have permission to live on the property.

The homeowner was unaware of the uninvited guests because the house was uninhabited while it underwent renovations.

MPD forwarded first-degree criminal trespassing charges – class 6 felonies — against Tow and Schwarz after their arrests at approximately 7:33 a.m.

Tow is also tagged with additional charges of third-degree burglary, a class 4 felony; possession of a dangerous drug, a class 4 felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class 6 felony.

Both were later transported to the Pinal County Jail.

Kourtney Burlison (PCSO photo)

Police say they found dangerous drugs on a woman they found sleeping behind a dumpster Monday.

Kourtney Burlison, 29, was arrested on suspicion of criminal trespassing and possession of meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia outside Fry’s Marketplace March 26 at approximately 7:33 a.m.

A Maricopa Police Department report stated the drugs were in “unmeasurable quantities” and were found along with two glass pipes inside Burlison’s sweatshirt pocket. Officers found Burlison after responding to a call for a welfare check on a person sleeping behind a Fry’s dumpster.

Burlison was reportedly trespassed from Fry’s Marketplace Feb. 21 and had two shoplifting citations filed against her in the Maricopa Municipal Court in February and March.

The officer arrested Burlison on the trespassing charge. A subsequent search of Burlison by the officer produced “two glass pipes with burnt residue, one small baggy of green substance later positively tested for marijuana and a small bag with a small clear rock later positively tested for methamphetamine,” according to the report.

After being read her Miranda rights, Burlison reportedly invoked her right to remain silent.

MPD transported Burlison to the Pinal County Jail where she could face a maximum penalty of six years behind bars, if convicted on all charges.

Alisha Lewis (PCSO photo)

An alleged argument over rent led to an assault charge and jail time for a Maricopa woman Monday evening.

The Maricopa Police Department responded to a residence on North Miller Way in the Maricopa Meadows subdivision March 19 around 6:26 p.m.

Alisha Lewis, 30, told officers she confronted her female roommate about a rent payment earlier that evening.

“(Lewis) further stated she became angry with (the victim) and admitted she initiated a physical fight with (the victim),” the report alleges.

The reporting officer noted multiple abrasions on the victim’s face, as well as a small scratch under her left eye.

Lewis, who has no prior violence convictions, was booked into Pinal County Jail on charges of assault, a class 1 misdemeanor; and disorderly conduct, also a class 1 misdemeanor.

Lewis remains in custody at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center in Florence.


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Andres Ortega (PCSO photo)

Police arrested a man last week for allegedly assaulting an officer at a local restaurant.

Andres Alonso Ortega, 37, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault against a peace officer and resisting arrest March 14 at Domino’s Pizza, 20046 N. John Wayne Parkway.

A caller prompted help from the Maricopa Police Department at 9:58 p.m., alleging Ortega was being “very aggressive” and was “threatening to beat them.”

The report doesn’t identify whether the caller was a Domino’s employee or customer.

Ortega was highly intoxicated, combative and “verbally assaultive” with officers once they arrived, according to the report.

Maricopa Fire/Medical Department also arrived to assist Ortega, who the report states was complaining of stomach pain.

The report alleges Ortega hit an officer’s hand “in an aggressive manner” while the officer attempted to assist him in receiving medical attention from MF/MD.

Ortega then refused to get inside a patrol vehicle and “had to be hobbled in order to be transported,” according to the report. Hobbling is a restraint used by law enforcement to secure a person’s wrists and ankles behind their back.

Police transported Ortega to Banner Casa Grande Medical Center for a medical evaluation for his stomach pain before eventually booking him into Pinal County Jail.

Ortega has a lengthy arrest sheet, including prior arrests for aggravated assault against a peace officer and resisting arrest in 2011. The assault charge was dismissed by the court, according to Pinal County Superior Court documents.

Ortega pled guilty to disorderly conduct (fighting) in 2017 and a subsequent domestic violence complaint was dismissed in Maricopa.

In 2017-18 throughout Maricopa and Phoenix, Ortega was allegedly charged with multiple criminal trespassing violations, criminal damage, disorderly conduct (noise), assault and public liquor consumption.

Shawn Hill (PCSO photo)

 

A traffic stop led to a drug arrest early this month for a man with a misdemeanor warrant.

Maricopa Police Department arrested Shawn Hill on drug charges March 1 at 1:25 a.m. at the Ancon Avenue and Edison Road intersection in Acacia Crossings neighborhood.

A warrant check from his Indiana driver license confirmed Hill had a misdemeanor warrant out of the Maricopa/Stanfield Justice Court. The report did not specify what the warrant was for.

Prior to the arrest, an officer reported Hill stated he was in possession of drugs and a pipe.

“He stated he had the drugs in his underwear,” the police report alleges.

Of the items allegedly removed from the area, included: a clear glass pipe with white and brown residue, a small clear baggie containing meth, additional small clear baggies, a pink bag containing a lighter, a multicolor glass pipe and a small jar of marijuana, according to the report.

The officer also reported finding a weigh scale inside the vehicle “next to the seat where Hill was sitting.”

The scale purportedly had a white, powdery substance on it.

MPD transported Hill to Pinal County Jail and forwarded charges of possession of a dangerous drug, a class 4 felony, possession of drug paraphernalia, a class 6 felony, and possession of marijuana, class 6 felony.


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Nicole Knight (PCSO photo)

Maricopa Police arrested a woman last week after allegedly discovering nearly two pounds of marijuana in her shopping cart.

Nicole Knight, 37, was allegedly pushing 1.6 pounds of marijuana in a cart near the Honeycutt Road and Maricopa Groves Parkway intersection March 9, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

The incident began when an MPD officer noticed Knight allegedly jaywalking across Honeycutt Road around 6:30 p.m.

While speaking with Knight, the reporting officer “noticed an odor of marijuana emanating” from the cart, according to the report.

Knight purportedly showed the officer a small of amount of the drug in a sheet of paper she had on her person. The officer then placed Knight in custody and stated her Miranda rights, according to the report.

Afterward, the officer searched the cart and discovered a large, black plastic garbage bag that reportedly contained the additional marijuana.

The police report states Knight claimed the drug was for personal use and denied ever selling marijuana.

Police forwarded a single charge of possession of marijuana against Knight, a class 6 felony.


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Miguel Figueroa Sr. (PCSO photo)

The attorney for the Maricopa man accused of using a sword to kill his wife in 2016 said Monday his client is ready for trial.

Miguel Figueroa will stand trial May 8 in front of Pinal County Superior Court Judge Kevin White and a 12-person jury.

The state alleges Figueroa kidnapped and assaulted his son and wife, and then stabbed his wife Olivia to death in a desert field near Maricopa’s Heritage District in December 2016.

Defense attorney Mark Benson said the first-degree murder trial could last five to seven days.

Benson said his client had previously proposed to avoid trial by suggesting a lesser plea.

“Just for the record Mr. (Figueroa) did offer a plea to take class two murder and 25 years, but the state was not interested,” Benson said.

Figueroa also apparently underwent a psychological evaluation in recent months.

A report by Psychologist Carlos Vega in early February said Figueroa has a history with depression, suicidal thoughts, auditory hallucinations and substance use disorder, but “his cognitive and memory functioning are intact.”

Figueroa takes medication for depression, according to the report.

The report goes on to say “Miguel has a factual and rational understanding of the nature of the proceedings against him. He will be able to assist counsel in the preparation of his own defense and does not require further Rule 11 examination.”

March 12 was Figueroa’s first appearance since he reportedly refused to attend his court date last month.

In February, White had discussed possibly rescheduling Figueroa’s May trial date due to a full docket, but the judge affirmed the May date this week.

Figueroa’s next day in court will be April 30 at 2:30 p.m. for a status review hearing ahead of his trial.


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Arthur Eric Magana and Gustavo Olivo are charged with murder. PCSO photos

Pinal County Superior Court Judge Kevin White vacated a trial date for teen co-defendants accused of first-degree murder and armed robbery Monday.

Arthur Eric Magana and Gustavo Olivo appeared together, with their attorneys, March 12 after appearing separately last month.

The document prompting the trial’s postponement is a motion to sever the case submitted recently by James Soslowsky, Olivo’s defense attorney.

Prosecutor Patrick Johnson is expected to review the motion and file a response within days. If Johnson objects to the severance, an oral argument will be scheduled.

The teens allegedly shot to death 20-year-old Wyatt Miller in an unincorporated area of Maricopa in 2016. They pled not guilty to the murder charges.

Since then, they have appeared jointly in most court hearings. If their case is severed, separate trial dates would likely follow.

With their original trial date of April 10 tossed, White said a new trial date could be set for May – pending the severance issue and the possibility of a plea.

White ordered Magana, Olivo and their attorneys to meet with prosecution for a settlement conference, where plea deal negotiations could take place.

The conference is ordered to occur some time before the teens’ next court date on April 23 at 1:30 p.m.


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This story has been corrected to indicate the name of the victim.

Kathryn Sinkevitch will be tried for the murder of her former boyfriend. PCSO photo

 

The trial date has been vacated for the woman accused of killing her ex-boyfriend in his garage in 2016.

Kathryn Sinkevitch’s first-degree murder trial was set to begin May 8 but might not be heard until November.

Defense attorney Bret Huggins requested the trial be moved due to a capital case he is representing around the same time as Sinkevitch’s original trial date.

Judge Kevin White granted the motion after prosecutor Shawn Jensvold made no objection. Jensvold said a date in November is possible.

Sinkevitch, 34, of Tempe, was charged with the murder of 31-year-old Michael Agerter in December 2016. Agerter had a child with Sinkevitch and was reportedly seeking custody of the newborn.

Agerter’s family was present in court, the child in the care of others outside the courtroom.

Throughout the brief hearing, Sinkevitch frequently turned and smiled at those sitting in the gallery when cries of a child were heard echoing down the hall.

Jensvold told White Agerter’s family is requesting the release of his vehicle, which is still in police custody. Huggins said he does not anticipate objections on his part concerning the vehicle’s release.

The case is subject to cyclical reassignment of rotating judges this year, but White said he may “keep the case.”

Sinkevitch will appear in court April 9 at 1:30 p.m. when the trial date may be re-set.


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Hezekiah Turner. (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa man was arrested on a slew of charges last week after police said he assaulted an officer and failed to pay for his food at a new restaurant.

Hezekiah Turner, 21, was arrested inside Denny’s Restaurant Feb. 27, just one day after the eatery opened.

The arrest reportedly stemmed from an incident earlier that day at the same location. A Maricopa Police Department report states Turner allegedly walked out of the establishment around 2 a.m. with his to-go order without paying his $31.57 food bill.

Officers were unable to locate Turner after employees and a witness who recognized Turner spoke to police.

Denny’s management later called authorities again around 11:30 p.m., Feb. 27. Turner was back, and he was ordering more food.

Four officers arrived and briefly detained Turner. The police report states Turner told police he had money and would pay for his current order and the one from earlier.

The restaurant manager requested Turner be trespassed after his payment and Turner reportedly agreed.

“Once Turner was at the main cash register to pay for his food, he made statements to the manager as to his employees being stupid and at fault for not telling him he needed to pay for the food,” the police report states.

The manager told police he wanted to press charges against Turner after the comment.

Police attempted to secure Turner by “grabbing both of his arms,” in an attempt to handcuff him, but Turner of being combative, loud and disruptive, according to the report. Customers were inside the restaurant at the time.

“Turner was not compliant with officers and ultimately went to the ground,” the reported stated.

During the floor scuffle, one officer injured his left hand attempting to secure Turner.

Officers eventually cuffed Turner and escorted him outside of the building and into a patrol vehicle.

Turner was transported to Pinal County Jail on charges of aggravated assault against a peace officer, (class 6 felony), three counts of resisting arrest (class 6 felonies), disorderly conduct (class 1 misdemeanor), and theft (class 1 misdemeanor).

Last June, police forwarded charges of aggravated domestic violence against Turner after he allegedly racked up his fourth domestic violence charge in 14 months.

Turner remains in Pinal County Jail custody on a $1,000 bond.


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Shawn Main. PCSO photo

Testimony concluded Friday in the two-part Chronis hearing surrounding the blunt-force trauma death of 3-year-old Tiana Capps in 2015.

The defense team for Shawn Main, the woman charged with Tiana’s murder, called the special hearing months ago to require the state to establish probable cause in the death-penalty case.

Pinal County Sherriff’s Office Homicide Detective Michael Benedict testified March 2. The first portion of the hearing was held in January with testimony from a medical examiner.

A portion of Benedict’s testimony expanded on an allegation of a note allegedly written by Main the day after Tiana’s death. Prosecutors previously alleged the letter exonerated Main’s wife Maria Tiglao and the children’s biological mother, Tina Morse.

The three adults lived together with Morse’s four children in unincorporated Maricopa. Tiana was pronounced dead at Banner Casa Grande Medical Center Nov. 19.

Deputies allegedly discovered the note at Main’s residence Nov. 20 after they responded to a missing person’s call from Tiglao, according to court documents.

Written on lined paper, the note reads in part:

“To whom it may concern:
November 2015
I, Shawn Main, take full responsibility in the death of Tiana Capps. She would never have died if I sought medical attention the first night she was falling. Whether I thought it happened from her acting out on purpose or not, had I not let my pride get in the way, she would still be here alive. Neither Chris Tiglao nor Tina Morse had any knowledge of what was happening when Tiana was falling over and over. Nobody else had any contact with her so that leaves me responsible for her alleged sexual abuse as well. I am not worthy of keeping my life when she never had a chance to live hers.
Shawn Main”

After searching the property, Benedict said deputies found Main in a detached garage.

At that time, Benedict was in Tucson at Tiana’s autopsy.

“I received a text message from patrol while I was at the autopsy that Ms. Main had tried to take her own life,” Benedict said. “She was being transported to the hospital.”

Benedict further testified that photos taken of Main included “pretty substantial injuries to her forearms.”

Main eventually recovered from her injuries and was interviewed at her home Dec. 5.

In response to a counter by the Defense Attorney Chester Lockwood, Benedict testified Main had stayed consistent in her explanation of the bruising on Tiana’s forehead during all three police interviews prior to all three women’s arrest on Dec. 24.

Benedict said Main never evaded questioning by detectives.

Prosecutors have until March 12 to file a memorandum with the court regarding the Chronis hearing. The defense is expected to file a response a week later. The state can submit a rebuttal by March 23.

Possibly delaying the upcoming trial is Main’s “major surgery” that has yet to be successfully scheduled, Main’s defense said in court.

The four-week trial is set for July 31.

Main will appear in court for a pre-trial hearing April 2, pending a confirmed surgery date.

Ronald Bragonier. PCSO photo

The indictment against an accused sex offender could be challenged if the case is remanded to a new grand jury, according to court documents.

Ronald Bragonier, 55, pled not guilty to a six-count indictment Dec. 15. 

Grand jurors accused Bragonier of various counts of sexual conduct and molestation crimes against a minor between April and November of last year, including the furnishing of obscene materials.

Indictment Charges:

  1. Dangerous Crime Against Children in the first degree – Class 2 felony
  2. Dangerous Crime Against Children in the first degree – Class 2 felony
  3. Dangerous Crime Against Children in the first degree – Class 3 felony
  4. Dangerous Crime Against Children in the first degree – Class 2 felony
  5. Dangerous Crime Against Children in the first degree – Class 2 felony
  6. Furnishing harmful items to minors – Class 4 felony

Todd Nolan, Bragonier’s attorney, has until March 20 to file the remand motion. That’s also the day Bragonier is scheduled to appear in Pinal County Superior Court for a change of plea/trial setting.

State law says,

“A defendant may challenge a grand jury proceeding only by filing a motion for a new finding of probable cause alleging that the defendant was denied a substantial procedural right or that an insufficient number of qualified grand jurors concurred in the indictment.”

The Maricopa Police Department arrested Bragonier Nov. 28 on suspicion of sex crimes against a minor that allegedly occurred for months and crossed state lines last year.

Bragonier remains in custody in Pinal County Jail on a $500,000 bond.



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Arthur Eric Magana and Gustavo Olivo are charged with murder. PCSO photos

The teens charged with the murder of 20-year-old Wyatt Miller appeared separately in court Monday in a hearing two months ahead of their trial date.

Co-defendants Gustavo Olivo and Arthur Magana are charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery in the 2016 shooting death of Miller in an incident south of Maricopa.

Attorneys for the defendants are prepared for an April 10 trial, but that date could be pushed back due to the heavy trial case load for the judge assigned to the case.

Judge Kevin White said he has three capital cases going to trial around the same time, including Olivo’s and Magana’s trial.

Magana’s attorney, James Soslowsky, is currently in the middle of representing a separate murder trial. He said Magana’s case could still be ready for the April trial, pending what could be a major change to the case.

“There’s a couple of issues that I need to take a look at,” Soslowsky said. “One primary concern for the trial date is whether or not I’m going to be filing a motion to sever.”

That motion would create separate trials for the defendants. State law requires counsel to file the motion 20 days before trial.

Soslowsky requested the case return to White’s court room in two weeks, when the attorney said he would be better prepared to discuss a possible change in the trial date. John Schaus, Olivo’s attorney, later made the same request of the judge.

White scheduled a status review hearing for both defendants March 12 at 1:30 p.m. The judge said a possible alternate trial date could be May 1.

“That’s just a consideration and not something I’m pushing for,” White said.

Witness and evidence lists have been building in the case since September.

Prosecutors named three Department of Public Safety forensic scientists and an officer as witnesses five months ago. Document evidence submissions included law enforcement reports, DNA examination report, latent print examination report, controlled substance examination report and a serology examination report.

In January, forensic scientist Aaron Brudenell was added as a witness expected to testify as a firearms expert. Brudenell’s firearms examination report and another report by a detective on the case were also submitted as evidence.

An investigator joined Shaus in Olivo’s case “to assist in preparation of this case” in December.

White approved Goodyear-based DiCarlo Associates LLC, a private investigation company that “has done over 250 criminal defense cases…including approximately 15 capital murder cases” since 2004, according to court documents.

Schaus has requested reimbursement of reasonable expense incurred through the firm’s hiring which costs $45 per hour.

Miguel Figueroa. PCSO photo

The man accused of killing his wife, Olivia Figueroa, with a sword in 2016 was absent for his court date Monday morning.

Representing Miguel Figueroa during the status review hearing in Pinal County Superior Court was public defender Mark Benson.

“Your honor, on the next matter, I do not have a client here,” Benson told Judge Kevin White Feb. 26.

Figueroa has been in custody inside Pinal County Jail since his arrest in 2016. When White prompted the attorney for explanation on his client’s absence, Benson said it was not due to illness or other similar circumstance.

Benson said he was told by law enforcement that Figueroa did not wish to appear in court.

“According to them, the sheriffs, (Figueroa) said, ‘I have trial in May. I’ll show up then,” Benson told White

However, the judge’s upcoming docket is slammed with upcoming trial dates near the time of Figueroa’s. Benson and prosecutor Kristen Sharifi agreed Monday to meet March 12 to discuss “revisiting” Figueroa’s trial with his client present in court.

Attorney and prosecutor had also met with White in his chambers prior to the hearing to discuss the matter.

“Based upon our conversation in chambers, I will speak to Miguel,” Benson said. “I will get him (here) in two weeks so we can discuss the trial setting,” Benson said.

In January, court documents reveal Figueroa’s attorneys, Benson and Scott Johnson, motioned for a Rule 11 psychological evaluation for their client that was later granted.

Benson said he recently submitted the evaluation to the court. White said Monday morning he has since reviewed the report. The results of the evaluation have not been made available to the public.

A grand jury re-indicted Figueroa Dec. 20 on the same four charges from 2016: first-degree murder, kidnapping and two counts of aggravated assault.

He pled not guilty to all counts nine days later.

Figueroa is scheduled to appear in court ahead of his trial for a status review hearing March 12 at 1:30 p.m.



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Told not to have any contact with victim's family

Marcos Martinez (PCSO photo)

The man the state says is responsible for the blunt-force trauma death and stabbing of his grandmother pled not guilty to one count of first-degree murder Friday.

Marcos Jerell Martinez entered a Pinal County Superior Court room Feb. 16 for his arraignment in front of Judge Lawrence Wharton.

Representing Martinez is Public Defender Paula Cook, although Martinez indicated the duration of her representation could be brief because he might be able to afford his own attorney in the future.

After the defendant’s plea, Wharton ordered Martinez to have “absolutely no contact” with family of Vicky Ten Hoven, his grandmother.

Shackled and dressed in a navy-blue jumpsuit, Martinez told the judge he had a question.

“No contact with the family of Vicky Ten Hoven?” he asked Wharton.

“That’s correct,” the judge said.

The Maricopa Police Department originally forwarded charges of second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and unlawful use of means of transportation soon after the Jan. 28 alleged homicide in Maricopa.

But a grand jury formally indicted Martinez on a single count of first-degree murder Feb. 7, alleging the suspect caused the death of Ten Hoven “with premeditation, intending or knowing that his (…) conduct would cause that death,” according to the indictment document.

First-degree murder is a class one felony and is punishable by death or life imprisonment, according to state law.

Martinez has been in custody since his arrest in Chandler on Jan. 30 where he was eventually extradited to Pinal County Jail. He remains in custody on a $1 million bond.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for April 3 at 9 a.m. at the Pinal County Superior Courthouse.


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Dylan Halladay (PCSO photo)

An argument over a game of pool at a local bar led to one man getting pistol whipped and another being arrested Wednesday, according to Maricopa Police Department.

MPD responded to reports of shots fired at True Grit Tavern on John Wayne Parkway just after midnight Feb. 14.

They would later arrest 26-year-old Dylan Halladay on multiple weapons charges and disorderly conduct for events he allegedly confessed to committing against another patron early Valentine’s Day morning.

According to a police report, the incident began when Halladay was playing pool. At some point, a bar patron approached him and “told (Halladay) to stop hitting the pool table with the pool stick.”

Halladay told officers he felt disrespected and told the patron to apologize to him and his girlfriend. When that didn’t happen, the police report alleges Halladay left the establishment and retrieved his 9 mm firearm from his vehicle and brought it with him back inside the bar.

The police report alleges Halladay approached the man he argued with earlier and “hit him in the head with the butt of the firearm.”

Halladay is then reported to have exited the tavern at which time he argued with a person not named in the report.

During that verbal altercation, the report states Halladay “fired two rounds in the air and fled the scene in his vehicle.”

Video surveillance provided to MPD from the bar owner corroborates statements made by witnesses and Halladay himself, according to the report.

At one point in the video, the report states several patrons can be seen ducking for cover after the weapon discharges.

After the investigation, police served a search warrant at Halladay’s residence and found the 9 mm handgun, allegedly used in the assault, located on an entertainment center in the family room of the home.

MPD arrested Halladay at 8:06 that evening where he allegedly “gave a detailed confession to detectives.”

Halladay was booked into Pinal County Jail on one count of aggravated assault with a firearm, a class 2 felony; disorderly conduct, a class 6 felony; discharge of a firearm, a class 6 felony; and firearm where prohibited, a class 2 misdemeanor.


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