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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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Nicholas Amado (PCSO photo)

Maricopa Police arrested an alleged convicted felon Friday after they say a search of his vehicle yielded drugs and weapons.

Nicholas Amado, 38, of Casa Grande was arrested on multiple dangerous drug charges just after midnight on Feb. 9 at the Circle K convenience store on John Wayne Parkway and Bowlin Road after a call alerted authorities to an unconscious driver parked at a gas pump.

According to a Maricopa Police Department report, an officer found Amado “slumped over the center console” inside a blue 2002 Chevy Tahoe.

Amado stirred at the sound of the officer’s fist pounding on the driver’s side window and eventually opened the vehicle door. The officer reported smelling the “strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.”

The report states Amado denied having weapons in the vehicle and also said he was not in possession of a medical marijuana card.

As Amado exited the vehicle at the officer’s request, the report states two $20 bills were on the driver side floorboard. The officer offered to let Amado collect the cash before it blew away.

According to the report, the officer observed Amado “rummaging under the driver seat and pull(ing) out a large wad of money” before the officer walked him over to a police vehicle.

After the officer told Amado he would search the vehicle due to the marijuana odor, the report states Amado allegedly admitted to having marijuana in the ashtray of the SUV.

The officer’s search of the vehicle alleges the discovery of that and more, including:

  • One “tennis ball-sized” bag of methamphetamine, weighing 18.3 grams in the driver seat
  • One bag of methamphetamine, weighing 18.2 grams under the driver seat
  • One bag of marijuana, weighing 1.4 grams in the dashboard ashtray
  • One bag of marijuana, weighing 0.9 grams in a backpack behind the driver seat
  • One clear plastic bag of crushed/powdered methamphetamine in the same backpack

All of the drugs later field tested positive on the TruNarc scanner, the report alleges.

The officer reported Amado is a “convicted felon who was in possession of two firearms.”

Inside the vehicle, the officer reportedly found two weapons, an H&K .22 caliber MP5 rifle and a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, both with accompanying ammunition.

A pill bottle containing eight oxycodone hydrochloride opioid pills and a black digital scale were also allegedly found in the vehicle.

“I located binoculars, off-road equipment and a medical first aid kit,” the officer wrote in the report.

After the search, the officer states he told Amado he was under arrest, walked over to Amado and “grabbed his left and arm and told him to place his hands behind his back.”

The report alleges Amado instead pulled away from the officer and ran through the parking lot.

A second police officer assisted in successfully placing Amado in custody, but the report states the suspect continued to resist while officers attempted to handcuff him.  

Police transported Amado to Pinal County Jail on one count of resisting arrest, a class 6 felony; one count of possession of dangerous drugs, a class 4 felony; one count of possession of dangerous drugs for sale, a class 2 felony; one count of transport dangerous drugs for sale, a class 2 felony; one count of possession of marijuana, a class 6 felony; and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a class 6 felony. He is also charged with misconduct involving weapons, a class 1 misdemeanor; prohibited possessor in possession of firearms, a class 4 felony; possession of weapons in commission of drug offense, a class 4 felony; and possession of prescription medication without prescription, a class 1 misdemeanor.



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

Eight months before Vicky Ten Hoven was killed  in her Maricopa home, police reports state the grandson accused of her murder had been “involuntarily committed.”

May 22, 2017, a Chandler Police officer was dispatched on a “mental health pickup order” to retrieve Marcos Jerell Martinez from his hospital room inside Chandler Regional Medical Center, according to a report from the Chandler Police Department. The report did not indicate the reason behind Martinez’s admittance to the hospital.

After placing Martinez in handcuffs, the officer transported him to a behavioral health and substance abuse treatment facility in Mesa.

CPD spokesman Seth Tyler said the mental health pickup order was signed by a judge and approved by a supervisor. He said individuals are typically “mandated” to stay 72 hours at the facility but are often released before then.

Details as to the cause of Martinez’s alleged committal and its duration were not included in the report.

Martinez, 23, was said to have lived with his grandparents in Maricopa on occasion and also stayed at two homes in the Valley where his parents are said to live separately, according to Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado.

His contact with law enforcement appeared to be non-violent prior to late January when he became the person of interest in his grandmother’s death.

Sixty-two-year-old Vicky Ten Hoven was discovered by her husband in a pool of blood on her kitchen floor on the evening of Jan. 28. Her vehicle was also missing from the home.

The Maricopa Fire/Medical Department pronounced Ten Hoven dead 15 minutes after receiving the emergency call. An autopsy conducted by a Pinal County medical examiner one day after Ten Hoven’s death revealed a brutal homicide.

Court records say the ME located five stab wounds to Ten Hoven’s head, describing wounds to her face and neck. Blunt force trauma was determined as the cause of death.

Ten Hoven also sustained numerous defensive wounds consistent with fighting back, and the ME advised officers the victim’s attacker should have scratch marks or lacerations, according to the report.

MPD detectives found blood spatter throughout the home the night of the alleged murder as well as numerous bloody knives with broken blades and handles.

The report also alleges evidence was present at the scene to support a charge of attempting to destroy evidence. A mop had been used to clean areas of the residence and a discolored comforter was discovered inside a washing machine that emitted “a strong odor of bleach.”

Despite the alleged attempt to conceal the crime, the report says detectives located a blood trail that led from the kitchen to a bedroom identified as belonging to Martinez.

MPD described the victim’s grandson as a person of interest in the case and obtained a warrant to monitor the “pings” from his cellular phone in an attempt to locate him.

Officers arrested Martinez just after midnight Jan. 30 inside his grandmother’s missing vehicle. He was parked in an industrial area near 2290 Yeager Drive in Chandler and was found after authorities were alerted to his phone’s ping from a nearby cell tower.

Officers reported observing blood inside the vehicle “in plain view.”

Authorities also noted injuries to Martinez including a freshly stitched index finger, lacerations to his left hand’s fingers, palm and thumb, and an apparent injury to his hip.

As police detained Martinez, he allegedly told an officer, “There is evidence on my phone,” according to the report.

The report also says stains consisted with the appearance of blood were found on Martinez’s shirt and shorts. Ten Hoven’s vehicle and Martinez’s clothing were impounded as evidence.

MPD is forwarding charges of second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and unlawful use of means of transportation.

Martinez is being held on a $1 million bond in Pinal County Jail. There has been no grand jury indictment.



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Brandon Gray. (PCSO photo)

 

A Maricopa man was arrested Feb. 1 on charges of kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly holding a woman against her will and threatening her with a knife at her Mesa apartment Jan. 22.

Brandon Gray, 28, is accused of forcing his ex-girlfriend to restrain herself with zip-ties while holding her at knifepoint, according to a Mesa Police report.

The victim returned home from work to find Gray waiting at her apartment, where he allegedly threatened her while confronting her about text messages and pictures he had found on her phone, the report says.

Gray was responsible for babysitting their kids while the victim was at work, but instead Gray allegedly took the children to a relative’s house in Maricopa and then returned to the Mesa apartment and confronted the victim. 

The report says Gray pulled a knife from his hoodie and told the victim to get on her knees and instructed her to put zip-ties around her wrists. The victim pretended to struggle with the zip-ties for long enough that Gray became frustrated and told her to “forget it.”

After spending what she said was more than an hour on her knees, the victim asked to use the restroom. While in the bathroom the victim claims she could see Gray through the open door putting on blue latex gloves and then garden gloves over them.

Gray then allegedly entered the bathroom with the gloves on his hands and attempted to reconcile with the victim, the report says. Fearing for her life, the victim agreed to reconcile, she later told police.     

Using the victim’s car, Gray then drove the victim toward Maricopa to retrieve their children, according to the report. The victim was able to convince Gray she needed to stop at a relative’s house on the way. While there, the victim left a note indicating the danger she was in. That relative then notified another relative, who lives in Maricopa.

While proceeding to Maricopa, the victim, still fearing for her life, also allegedly sent a text message to the second relative saying, “I want you to know I love you so much.” After realizing they were heading toward Maricopa, the victim again was able to convince Gray she need to stop at the second relative’s home to retrieve items for work.

Believing they had reconciled, Gray dropped the victim off at her relative’s Maricopa home while he went to one of his relative’s homes to pick up the children.

When Gray returned with the children, the victim convinced him to allow the children to enter the home to visit with the relative. While he waited in the car, they called 911. 

The Mesa Police report states Maricopa Police responded and initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle Gray was in. Gray allegedly admitted to some of details as the victim described, but claims he did not threaten the victim nor force her to her knees and order her to restrain herself with zip-ties.

A “consent” search of the vehicle was conducted, and a Walmart bag was found containing a buck knife, wrapper to a roll of duct tape, blue latex gloves and black zip ties. Gray alegedly admitted the items were his and but that he intended to use the items to “hang clothing in his car and to make repairs on his car.”

Gray allegedly further admitted to having the knife in his pocket while confronting the victim about the text messages and photos.

However, the Mesa Police report said, Gray was not arrested that night.

The victim and Mesa police returned to her apartment the next morning. Officers located a pair of blue latex gloves together with garden gloves, turned inside out.

The victim was able to break her lease and move out of the apartment. While moving out, the victim found a roll of black duct tape matching the brand of wrapper found in the Walmart bag, a bottle of kerosene and cedar wood chips often used to mask odors.

Based on the additional evidence found at the victim’s apartment, Mesa Police concluded they had probable cause to charge Gray with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.

Maricopa Police arrested Gray Feb. 2 at a home in Maricopa.

He was booked in Pinal County Adult Detention Center and later transferred to a Maricopa County Jail.

If convicted, Gray faces a presumptive sentence of 16 years in prison.

Susana Huff (PCSO photo)

A woman is accused of assaulting her boyfriend with sporting equipment during an argument Feb. 2.

Susana Huff, 44, allegedly caused injury to the victim’s right arm after striking him with a golf club after a verbal argument between the pair turned physical, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

The incident reportedly occurred at a home in The Lakes at Rancho El Dorado subdivision around 9:20 a.m. Friday.

The victim is said to have defended himself by placing Huff on the bedroom floor.

Huff is then accused of “continuing the attack against (the victim)” by punching him in the face with a closed fist, “breaking his eye glasses and causing a bleeding injury to the bridge of his nose.”

MPD later arrested Huff and transported her to the Pinal County Jail on assault and criminal damage charges. She could face up to one year in jail if convicted.


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Joshua Husick (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa teen was arrested on multiple charges Jan. 24 after allegedly brandishing a gun during a confrontation with another driver on Farrell Road.

Joshua Husick, 18, was arrested around 3:30 p.m. near Porter and Farrell roads, according to a report from the Maricopa Police Department.

Husick, originally detained by Ak-Chin Police, allegedly admitted, “I’m not gonna [sic] lie, I did pull my gun out,” the report says, though he did not “pull it out on [the driver].”

Husick’s said, according to the MPD report, he was driving westbound on Farrell when the other driver “stopped really hard” and threw a cup at Husick’s car, a red Jaguar. 

At that point, Husick admitted, he pulled out “his piece” but did not point it at the other driver. Instead, he said he held the barrel of the pistol and put the handle outside of the window with the barrel pointing back at himself.  

Additionally, the report says, Husick stated he did not fear for his life during the incident. 

The other driver allegedly told Ak-Chin PD Husick was driving in front of them when the incident took place, and that the confrontation with the gun was the culmination of an initial “road rage incident,” which was not described in the MPD report.

Husick was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center and formally charged with misconduct involving weapons for being a minor in possession of a handgun, disorderly conduct, and threatening and intimidating.

If convicted, he could face as many as three years in prison.


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Lamar Hannon (PCSO photo)

A man was arrested recently after police found him asleep underneath a bed in his ex-girlfriend’s house.

Lamar Hannon, 34, is charged with first-degree criminal trespassing after police reports say he broke down the front door of a residence in Senita on Jan. 29.

Police reports indicate the victim was once in a relationship with Hannon and had an active order of protection against him.

The incident began Monday just before midnight when the victim and a friend arrived home to find their door was broken down.

Officers responded shortly after and found Hannon “passed out” in a bedroom “partially underneath a bed.” The report did not indicate whether the man was intoxicated.

When roused, Hannon allegedly began to yell at officers.

“Ya’ll are going to have to kill me today. I didn’t do s—,” the police report alleges Hannon said.

Hannon was arrested without incident and booked into Pinal County Jail.

In addition to the trespassing felony, police are recommending additional charges of criminal damage and interfering with judicial proceedings. Hannon could face a maximum penalty of four years behind bars if convicted.


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

The lead public defender in a high-profile Maricopa double-murder case has retired, possibly postponing the already belated trial for as long as another year and a half. 

James Mannato, former lead attorney for Jose Valenzuela, announced in court Wednesday he has officially retired from the public defender’s office and is seeking a replacement who could need considerable time to familiarize themselves with the case. 

Mannato filed a request Jan. 18 for a specific attorney, Bobbi Falduto, to replace him in the case. Given the complexities of taking over a capital case, Falduto said, the soonest she could imagine a trial to start would be “a year or year and a half.”

Falduto came highly recommended by the Public Defender’s Office in Maricopa County, having served the office from 2000 to 2017, Mannato said. 

Additionally, “she has the qualifications and temperament to do this kind of job.”

During her tenure with Maricopa County, Falduto was part of the defense team in a landmark Arizona case known as Chronis v. Steinle. The decision reached in the case established what is known as the Chronis Rule, which guarantees the right of a defendant in a capital murder case to “request a determination of probable cause as to alleged aggravating circumstances.”

Falduto’s appointment, though summarily approved by Judge Kevin White, is not yet official, thus she declined to comment on the case.

Special prosecutor Gary Husk, also brought into the case after proceedings had begun, said a year and a half would be “abnormal.”

“I was very much in the same situation when the conflict occurred,” Husk said. “And, it took me about six months to get ready.”

The conflict Husk refers to occurred in 2016 when Kent Volkmer was elected Pinal County Attorney. At the time of his election, Volkmer was attached to the case as a special guardian, thus creating a conflict of interest for PCAO. 

Additionally, Husk said, “the victims’ families are very concerned about a one-and-a-half year delay on top of what’s already occurred.” 

If the trial date is pushed back another year and a half, that would mean nearly four years had lapsed between the time of the alleged murders and the trail start date. 

Increasing the likelihood of any extensive postponement, Judge White is leaving his criminal assignment in March.

This means another judge would be stepping in and likely needing time to familiarize themselves with the case before trial began. 

Valenzuela stands accused of murdering husband and wife Michael and Tina Careccia in June 2015 and then burying their bodies next to his home in Thunderbird Farms, an unincorporated community just south of Maricopa. 

He faces two counts first-degree murder, both punishable by death. 

Case Timeline

 

Marcos Martinez (PCSO photo)

In recent months, a man accused of murder and his younger brother have had brushes with the law in Arizona.

A memorial fund has been set up for Vicky Ten Hoven at gf.me/u/gh62d5 to help with funeral expenses.

Marcos Jerrell Martinez, 23, is accused of killing his grandmother, Vicky Ten Hoven, Sunday evening. According to Maricopa Police Department, Martinez and his brother Dorin, 22, occasionally lived with their grandparents in Rancho El Dorado.

Jan. 25, police responded to the home on a report that Dorin Martinez had assaulted his grandfather after a dispute over the television. The TV controls had been “locked down,” and the grandfather told Dorin to unlock the controls and to respect his belongings.

According to the police report, Dorin pushed his grandfather (also described as his step-grandfather), who fell on the floor, and then punched his grandfather in the head “causing a laceration” to his scalp.

MPD described Dorin as special needs and the grandfather as “pre-Alzheimer’s,” and Dorin was cited but not taken into custody.

Since May, Marcos Martinez has had four cases in Maricopa Municipal Court. Those charges involved drug use and possession, speeding, failure to stop at an accident and failure to appear. None of those cases involved physical violence.

Marcos was arrested in Chandler early Tuesday morning on charges of second-degree murder (a class 1 felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison), unlawful possession of a vehicle (a class 5 felony punishable by up to 2.5 years) and tampering with evidence (a class 6 felony punishable by up to 2 years).

 

Marcos Martinez was arrested early Tuesday morning after his grandmother, Vicky Ten Hoven, was killed in her home Sunday. (Photos MPD/Facebook)

The grandson of a woman killed in Maricopa has been arrested in Chandler.

Vicky Ten Hoven, 62, was found deceased on her kitchen floor on Sunday around 7:40 p.m. by her husband, and a vehicle was missing. Maricopa Police Department announced they were seeking Marcos J. Martinez, 23, as a person of interest in the case.

Ten Hoven had been a Realtor with HomeSmart Success since May 2017.

Martinez’s arrest was announced Tuesday morning at a press conference by MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado. He said Martinez was found in an industrial area in Chandler at 1 a.m. in the missing vehicle. The arrest of Martinez was without incident, he said.

Martinez was further identified as a grandson of Ten Hoven, one of two grandchildren occasionally living in the house on Bunker Drive in Rancho El Dorado. Martinez also had a home in Gilbert, according to MPD.

Alvarado said police did not believe the crime was random because there was no forced entry to the house or other noticeable disturbance. 

“We did find biological evidence, physical evidence in the vehicle that linked him to the crime scene and to the death of Ms. Ten Hoven,” Alvarado said.

Martinez has been charged with second-degree murder and possession of a stolen vehicle. He was booked into Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s Fourth Avenue  Jail awaiting extradition to Pinal County.

MPD did not release information on the direct cause of death or likely weapon.


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Maricopa Police are awaiting the results of an autopsy in a suspicious death case Monday after the deceased was found early Monday morning in a Rancho el Dorado home from an unknown cause.

Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said the death is being treated as suspicious because the deceased was not known to be receiving treatment for any specific ailment. 

“Typically, when you have some type of a death, you have some kind of a [primary] care doctor that will sign off on a death certificate,” Alvarado said. “In this situation there is no [primary] care doctor so we have to have an autopsy, and the autopsy will determine what they rule [the cause of death] as.”

The deceased has not yet been identified. 

An autopsy is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday. 

This is a developing story. Continue to follow InMaricopa for more updates.


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Akarsh Cholaveti. PCSO photo

The Tempe man charged with manslaughter in the October deaths of Maricopa teenagers Michael and Matthew Voss was arraigned in court Friday morning.

Akarsh Cholaveti, 26, pled not guilty to two counts of manslaughter in addition to one count of aggravated assault and three counts of endangerment in front of Judge Lawrence Wharton Jan. 26.

A grand jury indicted Cholaveti on those charges one month earlier on Dec. 27 in a Pinal County Superior Courtroom.

The grand jury accused Cholaveti of manslaughter by “recklessly causing the deaths” of the Voss brothers Oct. 29. It charged the defendant with one count of aggravated assault “by causing (another passenger) serious physical injury; a broken arm.”  The endangerment charges allege Cholaveti “recklessly endangered” three additional passengers “with a substantial risk of imminent death.”

Police in Maricopa County arrested Cholaveti on a warrant Jan. 17. The defendant later posted a $125,000 bond and was released from Pinal County custody the following day.

Cholaveti’s next day in court is March 13 at 9 a.m. for a pre-trial hearing.

Oct. 29, the Voss family was driving to their home in Thunderbird Farms from church. As they drove west on Papago Road, police said Cholaveti, driving a 2017 black Acura sedan north on Ralston Road, failed to stop at the Papago intersection and drove through the roadway, causing a rollover collision.

Michael Voss, 17, and Matthew Voss, 16, both in wheelchairs, were ejected from the family’s minivan and later died at the hospital after being airlifted from the accident.

Friends and family erected a roadside memorial soon after with candles and stones on the ground arranged in the shape of a heart. Nov. 11, Faith Baptist Church hosted a public memorial at Sequoia Pathway Academy.

Their father, Nathan Voss, declined to comment for this story, but he previously published a prayer on social media

“The 16 and 17 years we got to raise them, we got to watch them grow. And mature. And smile. Those years are so precious and memory-filled, and now those years are over. You have chosen to take them home. To bless them with new, glorious, disease-free bodies.”

Roadside memorial for the Voss brothers at the accident site. Photo by Michelle Chance

Monterrius Smith (left) and Tyrone Jones (right) stand accused of stealing more than $15,000 worth of iPhones from Walmart in Maricopa. PCSO Photos.

Two of three suspects charged in connection with the theft of more than $15,000 in cellular phones from a Maricopa Walmart pled not guilty in court Friday.

Monterrius Smith, 20, and Tyrone Jones, 19, entered pleas of not guilty to Judge Lawrence Wharton of the Pinal County Superior Court after each were charged with multiple counts of theft and burglary for a  Jan. 5 theft of 18 iPhones from the Walmart store located on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

Both stand accused of allegedly entering the store with an unknown third suspect and executing a coordinated heist.

“The males took turns distracting the clerk as they crawled under the service counter and used a pry bar type tool, to open a locked cabinet containing new iPhones [sic],” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said in a written statement.

Smith and Jones are also accused of committing similar thefts from a Casa Grande Walmart, court documents show.  

Both have been charged with theft, organized retail theft and third-degree burglary.

If convicted, each face presumptive prison sentences of eight and a half years in prison.

This is a developing story. Continue to follow InMaricopa for up-to-date information about this case.       

A 22-year-old man was arrested for allegedly assaulting his grandfather over a disagreement regarding access to a television set Thursday morning in Rancho El Dorado.

Maricopa Police Department spokesman Sgt. Hal Koozer said the suspect, Dorin Martinez, is accused of physically assaulting his 73-year-old grandfather at the home they share near the 42000 block of Bunker Drive around 9:54 a.m. on Jan. 25.

“The grandpa locked the TV up, and the grandchild wanted it,” Koozer said.

The victim received a laceration to his face, but declined transportation to the hospital after being treated on scene by Maricopa Fire/Medical Department, according to MPD.

Koozer said no weapons were involved in the physical assault.

Police arrested Martinez and will forward a domestic violence assault charge to Pinal County Attorney’s Office. 

 

Steven Billington (left) and Steve Hamby are accused of having a pound of meth. PCSO photos

Maricopa police arrested two men on multiple drug charges last week after allegedly discovering almost a pound of methamphetamine and syringes which also contained traces of the powerful synthetic opioid, fentanyl.

Steven Billington, 42, and Steve Hamby, 30, were taken into custody around 1:30 a.m. Jan. 19, after MPD allegedly found multiple plastic baggies containing around 28 grams of meth along with a scale, aluminum foil and two hypodermic needles.

The drugs were tested using a laser drug testing kit called Trunarc, which confirmed the substance to be meth, the report says. The Trunarc device was also used to test one of the syringes that contained a brown liquid that tested positive for both meth and fentanyl.

Fentanyl and other more powerful synthetic painkillers have been linked to many of the overdose deaths associated with the opioid epidemic. Typically mixed with heroin, the drug is also being mixed with other drugs like stimulants such as meth and cocaine.

Photo by Mason Callejas

Since the recent uptick in opioid and opiate use, the Trunarc device has proven to be a valuable tool to law enforcement and public health officials when determining if powerful synthetic analgesic like fentanyl, carfentanil and their variants have entered a community.

The two men were initially stopped by MPD for allegedly driving a car displaying license plates which were suspended. The driver – Billington – was cited for also not having a valid driver’s license. During a “tow inventory,” the drugs and paraphernalia were found, the report says.

Billington was charged with transporting meth for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia, which combined carry a presumptive punishment of six years in prison.

Hamby was charged with possession of a dangerous drug, possession of a dangerous drug with intent to sale and possession of drug paraphernalia, which combined carry a presumptive punishment of eight and a half years in prison.

Both Billington and Hamby were booked into Pinal County Jail.


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Shawn Main. PCSO photo

 

The medical examiner who conducted the autopsy of 3-year-old Tiana Capps, whom the state alleges was abused then killed by her caretaker near Maricopa, testified in court Thursday.

Jennifer Chen with the Pima County Office of Medical Examiner said her examination on Nov. 20, 2015, revealed the child suffered at least 12 “impacts sites” to her face and head caused from a blunt force object.

The trauma caused abrasions, contusions, two hemorrhages on the brain and eventually death. Chen listed the toddler’s death as a homicide.

Chen’s autopsy report also found Tiana was “undernourished,” weighed 24 pounds at the time of her death, and had poor dental health and a severe diaper rash.

Prosecutors say Shawn Main is responsible. She’s facing a first-degree murder charge and the death penalty along with multiple counts of child abuse. Thursday’s testimony was part of a Chronis hearing, required in Arizona to establish probable cause in death-penalty cases.

Main allegedly told police in 2015 she was Tiana’s sole caretaker at a home they shared with two other women and Tiana’s three siblings in an unincorporated area of Maricopa. One of the other women was the children’s biological mother, Tina Morse.

The state claims aggravating factors in the case include the girl’s young age and the “especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner” of the crime.

Main’s defense counsel asked Chen whether Tiana could have been asleep or unconscious during the impacts, and if it was possible the toddler could have felt no pain if the latter were true.

Chen said pain levels are subjective, but the child would have had to suffer at least one impact before losing consciousness.

“Generally, head trauma causes pain,” Chen said.

During questioning from both sides, Chen testified she could not determine whether the trauma was caused by a blunt object striking the child’s head or if her head repeatedly hit a blunt object.

Main allegedly made statements to police explaining Tiana had been “falling a lot” before her death and had become “defiant and oppositional,” prosecutor Shawn Jensvold said in court.

“(The child’s) injuries were not consistent with a simple fall,” Chen said.

The defense pointed out during questioning that the autopsy report did not list any defensive wounds on the child’s hands and forearms.

In response to prosecution, Chen said Tiana would “likely not” be able to defend herself against an adult because of her age and that an undernourished body causes “a person to feel weaker, tired, with less energy.”

Chen’s testimony also included questions from prosecution about a note allegedly authored by Main after the autopsy report.

In it, Jensvold said Main allegedly “exonerated the other two adults that were in the house.”

Testimony from the detective on the case is expected to reveal more about the note and other details when the hearing continues March 2 at 8:30 a.m. at the Pinal County Superior Court.


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Everton Williams. PCSO photo

A man was charged with aggravated assault after allegedly biting a Maricopa Police officer Jan. 6 while being transported to jail on charges of allegedly threatening to shoot a woman and marijuana possession.

MPD records show Everton Williams, 30, allegedly bit the officer during transport when officers attempted to put Williams in a “spit mask” after he “became combative and began spitting in the car.”

Williams was initially arrested around 1:15 a.m. after an officer investigating an alleged threat he made against a woman sitting in her car.

At around 12:30 a.m. the alleged victim was sitting in a car in her driveway when a man fitting Williams description allegedly approached her and threatened to shoot her, according to the report.

The victim claimed she did not know Williams and no motive was mentioned in the report.

After receiving word of the incident, MPD was able to identify and locate the vehicle Williams was a passenger in at the intersection of Smith-Enke and Porter roads.

During the traffic stop, MPD records indicate officers smelled an odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle. The vehicle was then searched, and marijuana was found in the “passenger compartment.” Williams allegedly admitted it was his despite not having a medical marijuana card.

Additionally, Williams admitted to speaking with the woman, though he denies making any threats.

The police report gives no indication any firearms were found.

While being transported to jail in Florence on charges of threatening and possession of marijuana, Williams allegedly became combative and began spitting in the police vehicle. After officers pulled over and attempted to restrain Williams he bit the officer’s middle finger, according to the report.

The officer was wearing gloves and only sustained minor bite marks not requiring medical attention.

Williams is being held at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center on a $10,000 bond.

If convicted, he could face as many as 9 years behind bars.


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Three suspects were photographed by surveillance cameras leaving Walmart after 18 iPhones were stolen.

Three male suspects are wanted by Maricopa police for questioning in a Jan. 5 theft at Walmart, during which more than $15,000 in cellular phones were stolen.

MPD is calling this the getaway car.

Around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning three males were captured on surveillance footage entering the store, and allegedly distracting the sales clerk while brazenly stealing a total of 18 iPhones from behind the electronics counter.

“The males took turns distracting the clerk as they crawled under the service counter and used a pry bar type tool, to open a locked cabinet containing new iPhones,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said in a written statement.

The suspects then exited the store and fled in a white four-door sedan.

The Maricopa Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspects and asks that anyone with information regarding the theft or the identities of the suspects to please contact them on their non-emergency line at 520-568-3673.


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Jonah Honie

A man was arrested Dec. 29 on multiple charges related to drug possession and driving with an open container of alcohol after an officer stopped the man for allegedly flicking a cigarette butt out of the window of a vehicle he was driving.

Maricopa Police arrested Jonah Lewis Honie, 22, Friday night after an officer investigating the alleged littering incident found an open container of alcohol in the suspect’s vehicle and methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia on his person.

At around 11 p.m. the officer spotted Honie allegedly toss the butt in the area of John Wayne Parkway and Rancho El Dorado, the report says.

During the traffic stop, the officer noticed an open bottle of Southern Comfort on the floorboard of the back seat. The bottle was allegedly within reach of the driver, prompting Honie’s arrest, the report says.

During a search, a small “jewelry box” containing nine “small individually wrapped plastic ziploc [sic] style bags,” containing a substance later positively identified as methamphetamine, was allegedly found in Honie’s front pocket.

A small digital scale with white and brown residue was also allegedly found in Honie’s back pocket.

During a post-Miranda interview, Honie allegedly admitted “he intended to sell the baggies of methamphetamine to provide for his four children.”

He was booked into Pinal County Jail and later released.

In all, he was charged with littering, possession of an open alcohol container in a vehicle, possession of a dangerous drug for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia.

If convicted Honie could face up to five years in prison. 


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David Goff (left) and Seth Rodriguez were arrested after being accused of shoplifting at Walmart. PCSO photos

After being arrested on shoplifting charges last week, a woman was also booked on possession of drug paraphernalia after police allegedly discovered a meth pipe on the woman’s person, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

During processing at the Maricopa Police Department on Dec. 19, Jolene Wilson, 35, told officers she had the meth pipe hidden in her “belly roll.”

Police allegedly found more paraphernalia on one of Wilson’s alleged shoplifting accomplices, 26-year-old David Goff.

“Upon searching Goff, an empty syringe was discovered which was described by David as his syringe for ‘shooting up heroin,’” the police report alleges.

Wilson and Goff were arrested alongside 24-year-old Seth Rodriguez after a trip to Walmart, where the trio is accused of stealing over $600 worth of merchandise at approximately 3:25 p.m. on Dec. 19.

Items allegedly stolen from the store include a television, hoverboard, tools and toys. The incident was caught on camera by a loss-prevention store associate.

As Wilson sat in the driver seat of a silver sedan outside Walmart, the police report states, surveillance cameras recorded Goff and Rodriguez leaving the store with merchandise in their carts they did not purchase.

“The two male suspects entered the vehicle and all three fled the scene with the trunk to the vehicle still open,” according to the police report.

Approximately three minutes later, officers spotted the vehicle turning north onto White and Parker Road from Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. MPD later pulled the sedan over at White and Parker Road and Lococo Street.

The report alleges Wilson told responding officers on scene she and her two passengers were driving from Coolidge to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, “which was the opposite direction of where the car was driving.”

During the traffic stop, the Walmart loss-prevention employee was transported to the scene by MPD where she positively identified Goff and Rodriguez as being involved in the shoplifting.

All the stolen merchandise was discovered by officers inside the trunk of the sedan, according to the report. Goff allegedly admitted to shoplifting after the suspects were interviewed and read their Miranda rights.

All three were arrested on shoplifting charges and transported to the Pinal County Sherriff’s Office Jail. Goff and Wilson were also booked on possession of drug paraphernalia.



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88 pounds of marijuana seized

Jorge Gonzalez is accused of trying to smuggle marijuana. PCSO photos

Pinal County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man near Stanfield Wednesday morning on charges of smuggling roughly 88 pounds of marijuana.

Jorge Gonzalez, 32, was arrested around 6:30 a.m. on a stretch of Highway 84 between State Route 347 and Interstate 8 after deputies attempted to stop the vehicle he was in for moving violations.

PCSO spokesperson Navideh Forgahni said deputies attempted to stop the green Ford pick-up truck after it was spotted speeding and rolling through a stop sign in the area.

As the truck pulled over, Forgahni said, six passengers, including the driver, fled into the desert.

Deputies found Gonzalez hiding under a large sheet of plywood in the bed of the truck alongside several bails of marijuana.

Customs and Border Patrol later found and arrested two of the six individuals who fled, Forgahni said.

CBP did not immediately provide the identities of those arrested.

All who fled were wearing camouflage, she said, “which is an indication of human and drug smuggling.”

Earlier this month PCSO recovered 150 pounds of marijuana in a similar traffic stop where five individuals immediately fled from the scene.

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb addressed the issue in a video uploaded to social media Dec. 21, saying how, as a result of the cooler weather, this kind of crime seems to be on the rise.



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The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spearheaded a county-wide drunk driving task force Dec. 14-17 resulting in more than 30 DUI arrests, and another 16 for various other crimes.

PCSO deputies and law enforcement from other agencies made a total of 266 contacts with drivers during the four-day period, which resulted in 14 misdemeanor DUI arrests, nine drug-related DUI arrests, two aggravated DUI arrests and one extreme DUI arrest.

These numbers indicate during the time of the taskforce, an average of 1 in 9 Pinal County drivers is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

On Dec. 15 PCSO made more than 45 contacts in Maricopa alone.

The task force also issued 39 citations county-wide for various traffic infractions and other crimes.

Law enforcement agencies all across the valley tend to increase DUI enforcement around the holidays. However, regardless of the time of year, InMaricopa.com encourages all who drink to drink responsibly and to never get behind the wheel.



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Anthony Wyant faces several charges and Monique Quiroz is accused of attempted forgery in an incident at Wells Fargo. PCSO photos

A man was arrested Saturday at Wells Fargo in Maricopa for multiple charges stemming from an alleged forgery attempt in an incident that sent a police officer to the hospital.

Anthony Wyant, 51, of Mesa was arrested Dec. 16 at approximately 10:53 a.m. when he reportedly attempted to flee questioning by police regarding an attempted check forgery by an accomplice, 35-year-old Monique Quiroz of Casa Grande.

According to Maricopa Police Department records, Wyant first became “passively resistant” when police responding to investigate a check forgery in progress inside the bank asked him to exit the front passenger seat of the vehicle he was waiting in.

A warrant search was conducted for Wyant, revealing an outstanding warrant for failure to appear, the MPD report says. After further requests to exit the vehicle, he continued to refuse to comply at which point, the report alleges, Wyant put the vehicle in drive from the passenger seat and drove over a walkway, colliding with signage in front of the bank.

As a result of the incident, one MPD officer was injured. The officer was treated and later released from Chandler Regional Medical Center.

During further investigation, the MPD report says, the owner of the vehicle, a Scottsdale woman, stated neither Wyant nor Quiroz had permission to use the vehicle. Furthermore, the report alleges, Wyant provided an alias in an attempt to interfere with an investigation.

In all, Wyant was charged with nine separate offenses, including three counts of criminal damage, two counts of endangerment, aggravated assault, vehicle theft, false reporting to law enforcement and resisting arrest. He is being held at the Pinal County Jail in Florence on a $10,000 bond.

If convicted, Wyant faces more than 20 years in prison.

Quiroz was also arrested and charged with two counts of forgery. If convicted, she faces up to three years in prison.  She, too, is being held at the Pinal County Jail on a lesser $5,525 bond.



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Ched Bayles

A man and woman were arrested for shoplifting Saturday, just days after the man was arrested for allegedly assaulting and stealing from the same woman.

Ched Bayles, 28, and April Rarrick were arrested Dec. 16 for reportedly stealing multiple items from Fry’s grocery store, including a case of beer.

According to Maricopa Police Department reports, at around 8:50 p.m. Bayles, Rarrick and a third party, identified as Duane Antone, allegedly attempted to drive an electric shopping cart containing multiple items out of the store without paying.

The trio abandoned the cart in the parking lot and fled when an off-duty police officer attempted to stop them, according to the report.

Security camera footage allegedly shows Bayles grabbing a case of beer from the basket as he fled. Few minutes later, another off-duty officer saw Bayles riding a bike while holding the case of beer. Unaware of the incident, the officer did not attempt to contact Bayles.

Contact was eventually made with Bayles roughly half an hour later, though he was not in possession of the beer at the time, the report said. He was searched “incident to arrest” and was found to have other items in his backpack allegedly taken from Fry’s.

Rarrick was arrested around 9:15 p.m. when contact was made with her during what the report says was an “unrelated incident.”

Both were charged with theft and booked into Pinal County Jail.

Antone was not located at the time of the report. It is likely a warrant will be issued for his arrest.

Less than a week prior to this incident, on Dec. 11, Bayles was arrested when Rarrick called police to report he had allegedly slashed the tires of her bike and stole several items from her after grabbing her violently and sitting on her chest. As a result of that incident, Bayles was charged with assault, theft and criminal damage.



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Shawn Main. PCSO photo

Attorneys for the state will call a medical examiner as witness in a special January hearing for Shawn Main, the woman accused of causing the death of 3-year-old Tiana Rosalie Capps in 2015.

Monday, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Kevin White rescheduled a “Chronis hearing” for Jan. 18, after its original date was vacated Dec. 1 due to a full court docket.

Main’s attorneys requested the hearing ahead of her trial in July, when she will be tried for capital murder. The hearing permits such defendants to “request a determination of probable cause as to alleged aggravating circumstances,” according to Arizona Supreme Court Law.

During the status review hearing Dec. 18, Prosecutor Vince Goddard revealed the state’s argument in the future Chronis hearing will be based on two aggravating circumstances: the victim’s age and the offense allegedly being heinous, cruel and depraved.

The hearing is scheduled to last two hours with the state’s main testimony coming from a medical examiner.

“I think the state’s case would be about 45 minutes, and that’s almost 100 percent going to be the medical examiner,” Goddard said during the hearing Monday.

The autopsy performed by Pima Medical Examiner’s Office two years ago showed Tiana died from repeated blunt-force trauma Nov. 19, 2015, while in the care of Main.

After her death, Tiana’s three surviving siblings were taken into protective custody and had been also reportedly subjected to abuse and neglect.

On Christmas Eve that year, Main and two other women living in the household were arrested: Main’s wife Maria Tiglao and the children’s biological mother Tina Morse.

Main, Tiana’s caretaker, was subsequently charged with murder while the other two women were charged with varying counts of child abuse.

The Chronis hearing is set for Jan. 18 at 8:30 a.m. at the Pinal County Superior Courthouse.



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