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Kathryn Sinkevitch (PCSO)

 

A former co-worker of Kathryn Sinkevitch testified Monday overhearing her say “it would be better” if the victim in her first-degree murder trial “wasn’t around.”

Sinkevitch is accused in the shooting death of 31-year-old Michael Agerter on Dec. 16, 2016. Agerter, her ex-boyfriend, was shot and killed in the garage of his rental home in Rancho El Dorado. The two lived separately but had an infant son together.

Jared Cook, now living in Show Low, said he worked at the mortgage company where Sinkevitch was employed at the time of the murder. He was a loan processor but switched to join the support team and worked directly with her.

He told the jury he often heard Sinkevitch talking to her friend Bridget Hopkins about Agerter, the father of her child.

He said Sinkevitch would tell Hopkins, “It would be better if he wasn’t around.” He claimed the two had conversations like this almost daily and sometimes they appeared to be quite serious and it would “make him uncomfortable at times.”

He said he talked to Sinkevitch about shooting guns once at work, and Sinkevitch said she owned a gun.

The day of the murder, he recalled, Sinkevitch and Hopkins were talking a lot in the morning and then she was gone for a while. Cook said Sinkevitch didn’t say where she was going when she left for lunch but said she was gone “two or three hours.”

Cook added a normal lunch break was 30 minutes on a Friday because they were so busy “trying to get work done before the weekend.”

He said when she returned the afternoon of the murder, she was quiet, which was unusual for her.

 

9mm or 40-caliber? Prosecutors questioned witness over handgun in murder case.

 

A man who briefly dated murder suspect Kathryn Sinkevitch took the witness stand in the first-degree murder trial as it entered its fourth day Monday.

Sinkevitch is accused in the shooting death of 31-year-old Michael Agerter on Dec. 16, 2016. Agerter, her ex-boyfriend, was shot and killed in the garage of his rental home in Rancho El Dorado. The two lived separately but had an infant son together.

Nathan Trotter, of Surprise, said he met Sinkevitch on Plenty of Fish, an Internet dating website and application. After knowing each other online for about a week, in early November 2016 they met in person at a bowling alley. He said she had her infant child with her.

“We saw each other a few times after that,” he said.

They were just getting to know each other and were intimate, he told the jury. The relationship lasted until mid-December.

“It kind of fizzled out,” he said.

Trotter said Sinkevitch talked about the “father of her child” and said they were going through a custody battle. He said it affected his willingness to see her again after a while.

“It was a lot more drama than I was willing to get involved with,” he said.

They also talked about guns one day at her house. He said guns are “a hobby of his.” Trotter is also ex-military and was in the U.S. Army infantry.

The day he went to her house, he saw a pistol sitting on the living room coffee table when he entered her home. He picked it up and “cleared it” to make sure it was safe.

There was a round in the chamber and more bullets were in the magazine, he testified.

He said it was a “gray-colored, lower-end” handgun. He said it he believed it was a 9mm handgun, and he carries a 40-caliber handgun. When questioned by prosecutors, he said it could have been a 40-caliber gun.

Prosecutors have not located the murder weapon in this murder case, but it was determined to be a 40-caliber handgun.

Kathryn Sinkevitch (PCSO)

 

Monday, Kathryn Sinkevitch’s first-degree murder trial entered its fourth day with the testimony of Matthew St. Clair of the Phoenix Police Department Trace Evidence Section of the crime lab.

Sinkevitch is accused in the shooting death of 31-year-old Michael Agerter on Dec. 16, 2016. Agerter, her ex-boyfriend, was shot and killed in the garage of his rental home in Rancho El Dorado. The two lived separately but had an infant son together.

St. Clair positively linked gunshot residue to two black hoodies found in vehicles investigators believe were used by Sinkevitch in the commission of the murder. St. Clair analyzes gunshot residue, foot prints and tire tracks, etc., for criminal investigations.

When analyzing gunshot residue, he examines compounds in the bullet’s primer. The primer creates an explosion and expels particles, which are left on hands, clothing and fabric. The compounds are unique to the primer.

“If we find these particles on hands, they have been using a firearm recently,” he said.

St. Clair tested one of the black hoodies in this case July 20, 2017. He sampled the left and right pocket, cuffs and sleeves of the hoodie to test.

He said he found numerous particles on the right and left side of the hoodie but only one “characteristic particle residue” that was directly linked to gunshot residue on the garment.

“This hoodie was in the vicinity of a firearm when it discharged or touched something with GSR on it,” since the hoodie’s last thorough cleaning, St. Clair said.

A second black hoodie was tested July 24, 2017. There were some residue particles on the right and left but not as many as on the other hoodie, St. Clair testified. It had similar particles on it.

Under cross examination, St. Clair said he can’t determine what type of gun left the residue and can’t determine caliber of the weapon. He admitted only “characteristic particle residue” directly linked to a gunshot was found on each hoodie.

Judge Pro Tem Jack Pritt of the Western Pinal Justice Court found Wayne Miller guilty of 14 counts of animal cruelty following a bench trial on Feb. 15. Miller was sentenced on April 10 to 60 days jail and three years’ probation and is not to possess any animals during that time period.
During the trial, evidence revealed Miller had 14 dogs locked up at his rural Maricopa property. Upon executing a search warrant, Animal Control Officers found layers of animal feces, trash, torn furniture, car batteries, and other items littering the property. Additionally, officers noted there was no drinkable water and food was intermixed with feces and trash lining the floor. The dogs were aggressive to one another and were clawing their way at the interior walls that led to the outside. A carcass of one dead dog was food for other dogs on the property.
Deputy County Attorney Chad Heywood prosecuted the case.
“The conditions these animals were kept in was deplorable, and my goal in this prosecution was to make sure no other animals had to suffer the same fate at the hands of this defendant,” Heywood said.
This was the second animal cruelty conviction for Miller. His first conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred in October 2017. He was convicted on his first offense in May 2018.
If you suspect animal cruelty, please contact Pinal County Animal Control at 520-509-3555. For calls after hours, please contact the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

Kathryn Sinkevitch (inset) is accused of murdering Michael Agerter at his home on Sagebrush Trail in 2016.

The second day of Kathryn Sinkevitch’s first-degree murder trial opened with the testimony of Maricopa Police Sgt. Daniel Rauch.

The day was filled with police officers telling the jury about their investigation into the murder of Michael Agerter. During testimony of a Maricopa Police detective, photographs of the murder victim were openly shared to the jury and the victim’s family.

Sinkevitch is accused in the shooting death of 31-year-old Agerter on Dec. 16, 2016.

Agerter, her ex-boyfriend, was shot and killed in the garage of his rental home in Rancho El Dorado. The two lived separately but had an infant son together.

The initial call of shots fired that day came across radio at 2:28 p.m. Police also were told about a white van leaving the murder scene. Rauch testified how he saw a white van at Honeycutt Road turning south on Hartman right after the call came in. He stopped the vehicle with two female occupants in it.

He said the van was stopped based on the description of the suspect van from the murder scene, and he didn’t believe the two women were involved in the shots-fired call.

He then went to the scene of the crime. He was part of the team who cleared the house.

Rauch said he observed at least one video camera on the outside of the house when he arrived at the scene and he noticed a digital video recorder during a search of the house.

He discovered the victim was involved in a custody issue with Sinkevitch during initial stages of the investigation.

Defense attorney Brett Huggins suddenly asked for a sidebar in chambers just 15 minutes into Rauch’s testimony, and Pinal County Superior Court Judge Kevin D. White removed jury. The court was recessed while attorneys from both sides talked.

The sidebar discussion was over linking the Bridgett Hopkins van to Sinkevitch via a license plate reader. The license plate reader linked a van belonging to Hopkins, Sinkevitch’s friend, to the area of the murder. Police believe the van was used in the murder and still have it in the impound lot.

Judge White placed a limit on the prosecution’s questions regarding the license plate reader.

After the jury was returned to the courtroom, Rauch said he got information about Hopkins’ van in Mesa and Sinkevitch’s cellphone information.

Police requested a pinging of her phone to find her from her cell phone provider. Sinkevitch was in Tempe, based on the pings, Rauch said. A team of law enforcement officers drove from Maricopa to Tempe to find Sinkevitch, but her location kept changing.

Sinkevitch was finally located in the area of Hopkins’ house in Mesa, based on the cellphone pings. Officers found Sinkevitch’s vehicle in Hopkins’ driveway, along with the van they believe to be used in the murder, Rauch said.

He said officers put together a plan to capture Sinkevitch in the house, as she was already a suspect at the time. Officers had their guns drawn but not aimed at the suspects when they came out of the house in Mesa, he testified.

Officers detained Sinkevitch to conduct an interview with her, and she was placed in a patrol car after being handcuffed, according to Rauch. She was in the vehicle “for a couple of hours” in handcuffs. She was then taken to the Maricopa Police Department for interrogation.

Rauch said additional search warrants were drafted a few days later to locate Sinkevitch after she was let go. At that point, she was wanted for the murder.

Detective Michael Dennison, a Maricopa Police detective for seven years, testified he was called to the murder scene about 10 minutes after the initial call came in.

He said Agerter was found dead of gunshot wounds. He was slumped over the wheel of his Lexus with the motor running in the garage of his house. Dennison also said Sinkevitch’s name came up as a potential suspect within 15 minutes during a background check of the victim.

Dennison was at the victim’s house for eight to nine hours investigating.

He said there was a DVR in the house, and he viewed the footage from four cameras set up around the house.

He explained the video showing a woman, wearing a hoodie, running in front of the house, into the garage, stay for 10 to 11 seconds and then leaving. The video also shows a white minivan drive away after the shooting.

He said the camera angles were from above and did not recorded the face of the person running into the garage.

He said two 40-caliber shell casings were found in the garage during the investigation.

Dennison said he later viewed an interview with Sinkevitch. She told police she was at work all day and didn’t even leave for lunch.

Dennison said surveillance video from her work contradicts Sinkevitch’s statements of not leaving the building. She is allegedly seen leaving at 12:30 or 12:45 and returning three hours later, about an hour after the murder occurred.

The video from the mortgage company where she worked was also used to get a search warrant of her apartment.

During a search, investigators didn’t find a shoe that fit a shoe print found at the murder scene. The shoes Sinkevitch had on when she was first arrested at Hopkins’ place were also examined. The pattern did not match the print found, but the shoe was the right size, he testified.

No shoes matching the print at the murder scene were found.

Dennison attended the victim’s autopsy, and then also examined data related to Sinkevitch’s cellphone. The data traces the cell phone as it moves.

Her cellphone’s historical data information showed Sinkevitch leaving from work at 12:30 the day of the murder, he said. It tracked her to a location near her apartment in just 15 minutes. It was at that location until 1:30 when the phone was apparently turned off. The data continues missing until 5 minutes before Sinkevitch returned to work at the mortgage company.

Police searched Sinkevitch’s vehicle and discovered two license plates that were not associated with her vehicle or Hopkins’ van. Dennison said the plates were from an area near Sinkevitch’s apartment but did not say if they were stolen.

Prosecutors showed images of the crime scene, including photos of the victim dead in the car. Dennison said two of three gunshots fired hit the victim. One round hit the pillar between the front and rear door. Family members began weeping when seeing the pictures.

Dennison said Sinkevitch’s cellphone disappeared from data collection at 1:13 p.m. that day. He testified that he drove suspected routes he believes Sinkevitch could have driven in the commission of the murder. He drove 27 miles from Sinkevitch’s apartment to Agerter’s house in 35 minutes. He left Sinkevitch apartment at 1:07 p.m. and arrived at 1:42 p.m. during the test on Jan. 12, 2017.

In another test, the following day, Dennison said he tried another route and made the trip in 45 minutes and it was 26 miles.

Dennison also made a test trip from the mortgage company where she worked to Sinkevitch’s house. He made the trip in 10 minutes. His test trips between the mortgage company and Agerter’s house took 47 minutes at 31.8 miles.

He said Sinkevitch was “very capable” of getting from work to her house to Agerter’s house and back to work during the time she left work on the day of the murder. Dennison said he never broke the posted speed limits on the roads he tested.

Dennison examined the ADOT traffic patterns on the day of the murder, and there were no recorded traffic problems on the routes during the timeframe involved.

Maricopa Police Detective Mario Palacios testified he arrived at the scene at 4:15 p.m. that day, and other detectives brought him up to speed.

He spoke with a potential witness in the neighborhood. He viewed the home security video and noted seeing a female walking up to the house wearing a dark hoodie and tan pants. She was gone for 10-11 seconds and was then seen leaving in a hurry on the video. He said part of a white van was visible across the street. When the van took off, he said, it is wasn’t possible to see who was in the van.

Prosecutors then showed the video to the jury.

Palacios said on the day Sinkevitch was arrested, he searched Hopkins white van and found a dark hoodie in the van.

Kyle Sobotik, Sinkevitch’s supervisor at the mortgage company, testified Sinkevitch worked for the support team, helping loan officers with problems.

He said Sinkevitch was a very good worker and he had no issues with her. He also said it was unusual for her to be gone for an extended time when she was supposed to be at work.

Sobotik said Sinkevitch “didn’t seem all with it” the Monday following the murder, which occurred on Friday. He said she “kind of looked like a ghost.”

He said he checked her emails from that Friday, the day of the murder, and found more than a two-hour gap, and “that wasn’t like Kathryn. It kind of stood out.”

He said she also didn’t clock out for lunch that day.

Under cross examination, Sobotik said he didn’t see anything “strange” on the day of the murder in the office but he added he wasn’t looking for it.

Roy Rankin, a co-worker of Sinkevitch, was a member of the sales support staff when the murder occurred.

On the day of the murder, Rankin said he sat next to Sinkevitch and said they interacted with each other all the time. He said she was very knowledgeable and kind of “carried the workload of the team.”

Rankin said Sinkevitch talked about her ex-boyfriend, Agerter, and the custody of the baby. She told Rankin that Agerter was getting a DNA test and added, “she wasn’t very happy about it.”

Rankin said Sinkevitch asked him if he knew anyone who had a baby she could borrow for the DNA tests. Later under cross examination he said she did not think she was joking and, “if I would have had a baby, I think she would have taken me up on it.”

Rankin said Sinkevitch was late back from lunch on the day of the murder and kept to herself after she got back. He said she was clearly distracted that afternoon.

At 5 p.m. when the office closed for the day, Sinkevitch left right away. He said she normally would stay and make sure all the work was done for the day.

The trial will reconvene Friday at 10:30 a.m.

MPD personnel at the scene of the crime in 2016.

 

Kathryn Sinkevitch is accused of murdering ex-boyfriend Michael Agerter in Maricopa.

The jury was seated Tuesday and opening arguments took place before Judge Kevin D. White Wednesday morning in Pinal County Superior Court in the first-degree murder trial of Kathryn Sinkevitch. 

Sinkevitch is accused in the shooting death of 31-year-old Michael Agerter on Dec16, 2016. Agerter, her ex-boyfriend, was shot and killed in the garage of his rental home in Rancho El Dorado. The two lived separately, but had an infant son together 

The 15-member jury, including alternatesis made up of eight women and seven men.  

After lunch, Maricopa Police officer Andy Leach described the murder scene to the jury and explained how officers cleared the house after finding Agerter’s body in his vehicle. He said one of the neighbors had multiple activations on their Ring doorbell and recorded video between 2 and 3 p.m. that day.  

The officer was emailed copies of the videos. One was recorded at 2:27 p.m. and when he was asked what it showed, Sinkevitch’s defense attorney Brett Huggins objected. Defense and prosecution attorneys went into chambers to discuss the objection away from the view of the jury.   

The objection was over the prosecutor asking if the video showed a white minivan driving in front of the neighbor’s house. White overruled the objection after the behindclosed-door discussion.  

The officer said he did see a white minivan on the video drive in front of the house at 2:27 p.m. Prosecutors believe Sinkevitch was driving that minivan. 

The prosecution team showed photographs of the murder scene to the jury and the location of several shell casings in the garage where Agerter was murdered. The photographs also showed a digital video recorder that was installed in the house. 

Huggins had no cross examination of the Maricopa Police officer for the defense. 

The prosecution also called Sarah Marie Cooley, who worked with Agerter at Wells Fargo. 

Cooley said she communicated via text with Agerter the morning he was murdered. She met him for lunch that day and arrived at his house at 11 a.m.  

They ate and talked a while and he told her he was going to have DNA tests that afternoon to determine if the child Sinkevitch gave birth to was his child. She said he seemed frightened of taking the medical tests.  

Cooley said she was supposed to meet up with him that evening and talk about the test. She also provided Sinkevitch’s name to officers at the scene of the murder as she went there when she couldn’t locate him. 

The defense had no cross-examination questions for Cooley. 

The next witness to take the stand was Maikayla Lyon, a neighbor. She told the jury she heard some gunshots the day of the murder 

I heard three loud bang, bang, bangs,” she said. 

After hearing the shots, she then saw a white van drive past in front of her house at a high rate of speed. She said the shots she heard clearly sounded like gunshots from a handgun. 

“I ran out to the street as the van flew by,” she said. 

She said the large side passenger door of the van was open and the inside of the van was dark. She tried to get the license plate number on the van, but it was going too fast. 

She also said she didn’t know the victim or the suspect in the case. 

Under cross examination, defense attorney Huggins got her to say it was a Ford or Chevy minivan she saw. The van police believe Sinkevitch used was a Chrysler. 

Under redirect questioning by prosecutors, the witness admitted she probably could not tell the difference between a Chevy, Ford, Chrysler or Honda minivan. 

Doug Schamberg, who oversees IT operations where Sinkevitch works, took the stand next 

He spoke about RFID badges, which employees use to enter the building, and the surveillance cameras in the building.  

Schamberg discussed company records detailing when Sinkevitch and Bridgette Hopkins were in the building based on the RFID badges opening security doors. He said there was also surveillance video recorded on the day of the murder showing Sinkevitch entering the building using a RFID badge at 3:20 p.m. but her badge was not the one used to open that door, according to the company’s computer system, at that time.  

His testimony indicated Sinkevitch was out of the building at the time of the murder that day and had ample time to return to the office in Tempe.  

Video footage from the surveillance camera at Agerter’s home showed a school bus driving past the house before a figure entered camera range from across the street. It was apparently a female in a hoodie that obscured her identity. 

The person left camera range by walking into the garage. A few moments later, the person left quickly, crossing the street and getting into a white caravan, which left the scene. 

The trial will resume Thursday morning and it is expected to continue through May 6.  

Karla Felix was arrested by Maricopa Police on suspicion of assaulting her boyfriend April 20.

According to a police probable cause statement, Felix was placed under arrest shortly before 7 a.m. after she allegedly admitted slapping her boyfriend “on the face after finding him in bed next to her sister.”

The report continues, “The incident occurred at her mother’s residence, located on North Braden Road. Karla (Felix) continued to try and attack him which caused her to scratch his right arm when he was attempting to defend himself by holding her down.”

The sister told police Karla Felix “became upset with him at Walmart and slapped him twice on the face” about midnight. She told police, while at her mother’s residence Felix came into her room and started an argument with the boyfriend, who was also apparently in the bedroom.

 

Jose Martinez-Romero was arrested by Maricopa Police on April 17 on suspicion of domestic violence assault.

Police responded to a residence on West Nina Street, where a woman told officers her husband, Martinez-Romero, slammed her against a wall and had his hands around her throat.

The incident began, according to the woman, when she confronted him about cheating on her, according to a police probable cause statement.

The report states when confronted, Martinez-Romero grabbed her and “pushed her up against the bathroom door in the master bedroom.”

After he allegedly choked her, she walked out of the room and called police. An officer noted observing “irritated skin on the upper chest portion” of the woman in the report.

Martinez-Romero told police, she “began slapping him with a sandal and punching him lightly on his left side.”

He told police he grabbed her and pushed her against the bathroom door after being antagonized.

According to the probable cause statement, he was arrested and charged for domestic violence due to the visible injuries.

Kathryn Sinkevitch (PCSO)

Pinal County Superior Court Judge Kevin D. White decided the constitutional rights of murder suspect Kathryn Sinkevitch were not violated during the investigation to arrest her.

The decision comes down less than a week before her murder trial, which is set to begin on Tuesday at 9 a.m. in Florence.

Bret Huggins, attorney for Kathryn Sinkevitch, moved to suppress a phone call that police recorded in connection with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 31-year-old Michael Agerter in December 2016.

At an April 10 evidentiary hearing White listened to a defense motion to suppress an audio recording, claiming it was in violation of the suspect’s Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendment rights.

Sinkevitch is accused of shooting Agerter, her ex-boyfriend, in the garage of his rental home in Rancho El Dorado. The two lived separately but had an infant son together.

Judge White made several decisions at the evidentiary hearing on April 10, including precluding any reference to an abortion of the child the two had together and the victim’s drug use and toxicology reports as he did have a medical marijuana card.

White approved evidence in the case related to the defendant’s and victim’s relationship history, the defendant’s knowledge of the victim’s address by hiring a private investigator to find him, paternity tests and protection orders.

White also approved the defense council’s motion for 100 additional hours of a defense investigator’s time.

 

Chad Campbell (PCSO photo)

 

Chad Campbell was arrested April 9 by Maricopa Police for possession of a dangerous drug, methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officers conducted a traffic stop at North Wilson Avenue and Edison Road shortly before 10 a.m.

The driver of the vehicle, Tiffany Jaun, was wanted on a warrant from Casa Grande. She also admitted to having drug paraphernalia in the vehicle, according to the police probable cause statement.

Campbell and Ashley Holt were identified as passengers in the vehicle.

During a search of the vehicle, officers located a 50-milliliter alcohol bottle with a broken pen case protruding from the side. Officers described it as a common device used to inhale drugs.

“Officers also located a small baggy with a white powdery substance within the baggy located underneath the passenger seat,” the probable cause statement reads.

Ashley Holt (PCSO photo)

The substance later tested positive as methamphetamine.

Campbell was arrested, charged and taken to the Pinal County Jail. Holt was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

On Saturday Jeremy Leinen called the Maricopa Police saying someone stole $17 million from his bank account.

“A records check indicated Leinen was wanted for an outstanding arrest warrant issued by the Maricopa Municipal Court for an original charge of misdemeanor trespassing,” a police probable cause statement reads.

Police met with Leinen outside his residence on West Rio Lobo Drive at 7:40 p.m. about the alleged theft and quickly arrested him on the outstanding warrant.

“An investigation revealed Leinen’s claims of the 17-million-dollar theft was unfounded,” the probable cause statement reads.

 

 

A 41-year-old Maricopa man was arrested Sunday for child abuse, disorderly conduct and threatening and intimidating.

Sunday at 1 p.m. Maricopa Police responded to a disturbance. A woman reported her husband was threatening her children.

When officers arrived, the woman opened the door and pointed at her husband, according to the police probable cause statement. The man was taken into custody right away by police officers.

One of the children was interviewed and was crying and hysterical according to the report. The child said the father had been passed out on the couch since early that morning. The father allegedly asked the child to tell him if the mother was “cheating on him.” He allegedly threatened to kill the child if they didn’t tell him.

He is also accused of “flipping-off” the child, according to the police probable cause statement.

The wife and the children were placed on an emergency protection order against the man and he was arrested and taken to the Pinal County Jail.

Kathryn Sinkevitch is accused of murdering ex-boyfriend Michael Agerter in Maricopa.

 

At a Wednesday evidentiary hearing in a Maricopa murder case, Pinal Superior Court Judge Kevin D. White listened to a defense motion to suppress an audio recording, claiming it was in violation of the suspect’s Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendment rights.

Bret Huggins, attorney for Kathryn Sinkevitch, moved to suppress a phone call that police recorded in connection with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 31-year-old Michael Agerter in December 2016.

White took the motion under advisement as Sinkevitch’s case is set for trial later this month

Sinkevitch is accused of shooting Agerter, her ex-boyfriend, in the garage of his rental home in Rancho El Dorado. The two lived separately but had an infant son together.

March 4, Huggins motioned to suppress the audio recording between Sinkevitch and her friend after the murder.

“On Dec. 16, 2016, after work, Kathryn Sinkevitch was invited over to the home of her friend Bridget Hopkins,” Huggins wrote in his motion to suppress. “Bridget lived with her husband and children at a residence in Mesa… Kathryn arrived there and was visiting inside the home.

“Police surrounded the house and arrested Sinkevitch and locked her in the back seat of a patrol car.

“This activity by the police was not supported by either an arrest or search warrant from any court,” Huggins wrote in his motion.

Sinkevitch was taken to the Maricopa Police Department from Mesa and locked into an interrogation room with a video camera running for several hours, according to files.

About 2:30 a.m., according to the motion, Sinkevitch “told police she was tired and needed to sleep. The detectives pushed on. Detectives gave Kathryn her Miranda rights. Kathryn told the police clearly, ‘lawyer, I want a lawyer.’”

Huggins continued, “At no time did police take Kathryn to a magistrate in Maricopa County prior to removing her to Pinal County. At no time did police make any effort to get Kathryn a lawyer.”

According to the motion, Maricopa Police influenced her friend Hopkins into recording a telephone conversation between them by threatening “to charge her as an accomplice to the homicide” if she did not assist them.

“At the police direction, Bridget sent a message to Kathryn asking her to call back,” according to the motion. “When the requested return call came back, police directed Ms. Hopkins to answer on speaker as they recorded and monitored the conversation. Indeed, Bridget conducted the conversation as she had been directed by police to do, in order to obtain incriminating information against Kathryn.”

Huggins maintains that police obtaining this “incriminating information” in this manner was in violation of Sinkevitch’s rights after she made a request for counsel, and an attorney was not present when the conversation was recorded.

Huggins asked the court to conduct a voluntariness hearing as he challenges Sinkevitch’s willingness to give a statement to police. He accused the police of overreaching their authority by using her friend to conduct the questioning.

“In assessing voluntariness, the court must consider the totality of circumstances to determine whether the statements were or were not the product of a rational intellect and free will,” the motion reads.

According the Huggins, the court must decide if Miranda warnings were given and waived by Sinkevitch, in addition to proving that her statement to police was voluntary.

“When a person asks for counsel, police may not question him about any matter until an attorney is present. In this case, Ms. Sinkevitch requested counsel, yet she was not provided with a lawyer. Instead, police sought to get around the express request through subterfuge and buy (sic) using her friend,” Huggins’ motion to suppress reads.

Judge White made several decisions at the evidentiary hearing, including precluding any reference to an abortion of the child the two had together and the victim’s drug use and toxicology reports as he did have a medical marijuana card.

White approved evidence in the case related to the defendant’s and victim’s relationship history, the defendant’s knowledge of the victim’s address by hiring a private investigator to find him, paternity tests and protection orders.

White also approved the defense council’s motion for 100 additional hours of a defense investigator’s time.

The first-degree murder trial of Sinkevitch is scheduled to begin on April 23.

Logan and Ryan Hackney were arrested along with their mother, but charges were dropped against the brothers.

 

When Machelle Hobson (also known as Hackney) was charged with abusing her seven children, her adult sons, Logan, 27, and Ryan, 25, Hackney, were also accused of failing to report her abuse. However, Pinal County Attorney’s Office has declined to press charges against Logan and Ryan Hackney. The brothers had been arrested along with their biological mother, who ran a successful YouTube channel starring the children.

County prosecutors declined to elaborate on the decision not to charge them.

Hobson, 48, was officially charged by a Pinal County Grand Jury with 30 counts on March 25.

She remains in the Pinal County Jail pending the posting of a $200,000 bond. She was first arraigned in Pinal County Superior Court March 19 along with two of her sons in a case of alleged child abuse that involved a popular YouTube channel “Fantastic Adventures.” Most of the wholesome and family-friendly YouTube videos show the children going through superhero training or visiting fantasy lands.

The allegations against Hackney begin on March 13 when officers responded to a child-abuse investigation made by her biological daughter.

The daughter allegedly told police that her adoptive sister disclosed to her that she was being abused at the family’s home on North Donithan Way in the Villages by the mother.

Some estimates are that Hackney could have made as much as $2.5 million in advertising income airing the series on YouTube, based on industry standards for the number of views reported. She admitted to making $10,000 to $30,000 per month from the series in open court.

 

Kenneth Lewis (PCSO photo)

 

After a stint in the hospital, Kenneth Lewis, 43, was booked into the Pinal County Jail April 5 on two counts of criminal damage (recklessly defacing or damaging property of another person) and three counts of second-degree burglary.

Lewis was shot in the shoulder after allegedly breaking into a third house in the Cobblestone Farms subdivision on April 4.

A Maricopa homeowner shot Lewis inside his house Thursday. One of his neighbors, Erik Keen, held him on the driveway of the house until police arrived.

The homeowner shot at Lewis twice, hitting him once. The man is not expected to be charged for the shooting, as police believe it was self-defense.

Lewis is being held on a $5,000 bond and will be back in court April 12 for a preliminary hearing.

 

 

A woman who was protecting three children pushed an intruder out of her house. The intruder was later shot after allegedly breaking into a neighbor’s home down the street.

A Maricopa homeowner shot an intruder, Kenneth Lewis, inside his house Thursday in the Cobblestone Farms subdivision, and one of his neighbors held him until police arrived. The homeowner shot at Lewis, 43, twice, hitting him once in the shoulder. The man is not expected to be charged for the shooting, as police believe it was self-defense.

Police were called around 7 p.m. about an intruder in a house on Garden Lane. One of the residents of the house on Garden Lane was Erik Keen.

Keen said he was asleep upstairs in the house while his girlfriend, Marjorie Trabucco, and three daughters were downstairs when Lewis reportedly entered their house.

“My three daughters and my girlfriend that lives with me saw a guy jump over our back wall,” Keen said. “My girlfriend, Marjorie, went outside, and the guy ran to the side of our house and entered our side garage door and locked it behind him.  From there he went in the house door that goes into the laundry room. Now he’s in my house.”

Keen said Trabucco was locked outside the garage door and had to come back around the house to the back door.

“When she got back in the house, he was in our hallway,” Keen said. “My girlfriend, bless her, went after this guy, grabbed him and started pushing him out the garage door from which he entered. She got him out through the garage.”

Keen said his daughters then ran upstairs and woke him up.

“They said there’s a guy in the house. I got up, and she had him out of the house, and he had taken off down the street,” Keen said. “At that point, I got in my car and I started looking for this guy.”

Keen said he saw the man enter a house on the corner by breaking a window. Keen stopped to confront Lewis, but he took off running, he said.

Lewis reportedly entered a third house, where he was then shot by the homeowner. Despite police reports stating Lewis entered the backyard of the third house, Keen said he saw him slide under the slightly open garage door to enter the house.

“Then he went into a side gate and into the rear of the residence,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said. “He began banging on the sliding door. The homeowner was home and told him to leave. The man continued banging on the door.”

The 68-year-old homeowner went into another room and retrieved a firearm.

“The suspect advanced on the homeowner. Fearing for his safety, the homeowner fired two rounds at the individual, striking him once in the arm,” Alvarado said.

Keen said when he saw Lewis enter the garage of the third house, he didn’t have his phone, had no shoes and wasn’t dressed very well, so he returned home to get better clothing and his girlfriend.

“I drove up to that house again and he was still inside,” Keen said. “We gave the police that address. I heard a big crashing sound and it sounded like glass. I heard no gunshot at all. He came crawling back out from under the garage door. I got out of my car and I tackled him. I held him until the police came.”

Keen explained his actions by saying after the man was in his house, he had to go track him down and put an end to the event.

“I have to give my girlfriend all the credit, because she had no fear,” Keen said. “She went into full mama-bear mode and just went after this guy. They are my kids and not her kids, and she just went right after this guy and got him out of the house. She is pretty brave.”

Keen said he believed Lewis was on drugs and hallucinating wildly.

“He wasn’t violent,” Keen said. “He had delusion fear like there was actually someone after him and chasing him. He was imagining people on the walls. ‘There he is officer, there he is, see him officer.’ He was very [delusional]. We never have seen this guy before – ever.”

Lewis was transported to a “hospital in the Valley” by Maricopa Fire and Medical for a non-life-threatening injury to his arm and will initially be charged with trespassing. He will likely have other charges as the investigation continues.

He is not yet booked into the Pinal County Jail.

 

 

A Maricopa homeowner shot an intruder inside his house shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday in the Cobblestone subdivision.

The intruder he shot was a 43-year-old Cobblestone neighbor named Kenneth Lewis.

According to Maricopa Police Department, the homeowner shot at Lewis twice, hitting him once in the shoulder. He also told Lewis to leave before firing the shots, police said. The homeowner is not expected to be charged for the shooting, as police believe it was self-defense.

“Last night about 7 p.m. we received a phone call about an individual that had entered into a residence located on Garden Lane,” said MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado. “The individual had entered the residence through an unlocked garage and was confronted by the homeowners. The homeowners recognized him as being a neighbor.”

Alvarado said they told the intruder, Lewis, to leave.

Neighbor speaks about break-in that ended in shooting

Suspect moved from hospital to jail

“He complied, however he was making statements that he was being chased and was being shot at,” Alvarado said. “After he left Garden Lane, he made his way to Celtic Lane, where he made entry into another residence that was unoccupied through a service door. For some reason he took a can of food and broke out a window. He exited the window through the garage and cut his leg.”

Then Lewis went to a second house on Celtic Lane, near the house he allegedly had broken into.

“There he went into a side gate and into the rear of the residence,” Alvarado said. “He began banging on the sliding door. The homeowner was home and told him to leave. The man continued banging on the door.”

Alvarado said the homeowner, who was 68 years old, went into another room and retrieved a firearm.

“At that time the homeowner heard glass breaking and someone entered the home,” Alvarado said. “He was confronted with the individual who was in the home. Fearing for his life, he was yelling at the guy to leave. The individual kept making statements that he was being followed and someone was trying to shoot him. The suspect advanced on the homeowner. Fearing for his safety, the homeowner fired two rounds at the individual, striking him once in the arm.”

Alvarado said the homeowner locked himself in a closet and called 911.

“The suspect exited the house through the garage,” Alvarado said. “He exited the garage onto the driveway. Residents from the first home he entered were actively searching for him and located him and held him down on the ground until officers arrived.”

Lewis was transported to a “hospital in the Valley” by Maricopa Fire and Medical for non-life-threatening injury to his arm, according to Alvarado.

Alvarado said Lewis will initially be charged with trespassing, but he expects more charges to be filed as the investigation continues.

The homeowner is not likely to be charged for the shooting, though that is up to the county attorney to decide.

“At this time, it looks like the individual was defending himself because he was in fear for his life,” Alvarado said.

 

Kin Phonasa (PCSO photo)

 

Kin Phonasa, 48, was arrested Monday, April 2, on suspicion of sexually molesting a child with autism.

According to a Maricopa Police probable cause statement, the child reported to police that over the spring break he “did sexual stuff” to her.

After a forensic medical exam at the San Tan Family Advocacy Center, the child alleged he had been molesting her since she was 4 or 5 years old and that it “still happens,” the report states.

Police arrested Phonasa the following day at his residence in Maricopa.

According to the police probable case statement, Phonasa admitted having sexual relations with the girl during an interview with police.

He was booked into the Pinal County Jail where he remains pending the posting of a $250,000 bond. He is charged with one count of molestation of a minor and one count of sexual conduct with a minor.

Benjamin Cantu (PCSO photo)

A 29-year-old Maricopa man was charged by police with fraudulent use of a credit card and possession of drug paraphernalia on March 27.

Maricopa Police responded to the Chevron gas station about a theft. A man told police his wallet was stolen on March 26 about 3:30 p.m. when he was at a car parts store.

He told officers he did not cancel his credit cards, and when he awoke on March 27 he saw two fraudulent charges on his card. Both charges, for $7.69 and $4.57, were at the Chevron shortly after midnight.

The manager of the station provided police with video surveillance footage showing a man using the card. The subject was later identified as Benjamin Cantu.

Police state in their report, “Benjamin (Cantu) can be seen in the video purchasing a bag of chips and a drink in the amount of $4.57 at 0016 hours, then returning a second time and purchasing two more drinks and a bag of chips in the amount of $7.69 at 0019 hours.”

While an officer was at Chevron investigating the crime, Cantu rode in front of the gas station on a bicycle.

“I immediately exited the store and yelled, ‘Benjamin’ loudly. Benjamin stopped his bicycle and turned around, and I told him to come talk to me. Benjamin immediately rode over to me,” the officer wrote in their report.

The officer noted Cantu was wearing the same clothes as the suspect in the video. Cantu acknowledge making the purchases at the store but said the bank card he used to pay for the items was given to him by a friend.

The officer arrested him and, during a search, the officer allegedly found a glass smoking pipe in his pocket. The pipe had a black residue in it.

 

Camille Calvin (PCSO photo)

Two baggies of methamphetamine allegedly were located in Camille Calvin’s pants pockets March 30, but she claimed she didn’t own the drugs or the pants.

Maricopa Police were dispatched to a women’s shelter at 2:56 p.m. about a former client, Calvin, who had been discharged but had re-entered the facility without permission.

Upon arrival, police contacted Calvin, 43, inside the fenced yard of the facility, according to the police probable cause statement.

A records check indicated Calvin was wanted on a warrant. Police arrested her and “found a glass smoking pipe containing a usable quantity of methamphetamine (0.2 grams), two plastic baggies containing methamphetamine (1.5 grams) and a lighter,” according to the probable cause statement.

The substance field tested positive as methamphetamine.

“Calvin admitted knowledge of the warrant, admitted the pipe belonged to her and she used the pipe to smoke methamphetamine. Calvin denied the two baggies of methamphetamine belonged to her and told police they belonged to the owner of the pants she was wearing,” the probable cause statement reads.

She remains in jail pending the posting of a $1,000 bond.

Josiah Shields (PCSO photo)

On March 31 Maricopa Police responded to a disturbance call on North Ibis Way. During the investigation they ended up charging Josiah Shields, 19, with six drug felony charges.

When police arrived about 10:30 p.m. they found Shields and Trinity Olson, 19, standing next to a red 2007 Dodge station wagon parked in the street. Shields told police the vehicle was his and he was picking up Olson at her residence.

Police allegedly smelled “the odor of fresh marijuana emanating from within the vehicle, and a search of the vehicle was conducted,” a Maricopa Police probable cause statement reads.

Officers reportedly found just shy of a gram of marijuana on the driver’s seat and a blue pill that later tested positive as Oxycodone. They also located five cannabis oil cartridges, a glass bong, a red grinder, a package of “multiple silicone objects” used to house cannabis wax and four bottles of Nebula Nectars 500mg THC liquid in a backpack, according to the report.

The report also states officers found “over 350 empty clear cartridges used to hold cannabis oil in smoking devices” in the vehicle.

“It appeared Josiah (Shields) was filling the empty cartridges with cannabis oil to sell for profit,” the report states.

Officers also located $1,125 in cash. After arresting Shields, police also allegedly found 36 unknown white pills, an unknown red pill and a clear capsule with white powder inside located in his pocket.

Trinity Olson (PCSO photo)

He was booked into the Pinal County Jail on charges of narcotic drug for sale, two counts of possession of a narcotic drug, possession of a drug without a prescription, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He remains in the Pinal County Jail pending the posting of a $2,500 bond.

Olson was charged with domestic violence disorderly conduct for disturbing the peace of her mother as she was allegedly outside the mother’s home having a verbal argument with Shields, according to another police probable cause statement.

She was booked into the Pinal County Jail but has been released, according to jail records.

Police gathered at the scene of the arrest behind Fry's. Photo by Jim Headley

After a few tense moments, Maricopa Police arrested Robert Gomez Jr. behind Fry’s Marketplace Monday morning.

Robert Gomez (PCSO photo)

The call started out as an alleged domestic violence assault, but seven police officers eventually converged at the arrest scene, including one undercover officer. At least eight members of Maricopa Fire/Medical units were there to provide aid.

Gomez remains under investigation for the alleged assault, but he was already wanted on outstanding warrants and taken into custody by Maricopa Police.

“We received a phone call initially about a disturbance,” said Ricardo Alvarado, Maricopa Police public information officer. “A domestic dispute between two parties – a male and a female.”

Alvarado said the original report was that the man had left the scene and was traveling in a vehicle and being followed by the woman.

“Our officers located the vehicle as it was turning into the parking lot by Planet Fitness, off Edison,” said Alvarado. “The vehicle continued towards the back alleyway that goes along the back side of the businesses, to include Fry’s Marketplace. As the supervisor went to stop the vehicle, the rear door opened, and the subject exited the vehicle and attempted to flee. He made it about 20 yards and he tried to hide under a tractor-trailer that was parked there in the back.”

Alvarado said a police sergeant was able to call him out of his hiding place without incident.

It was determined that he had several outstanding warrants out of Coolidge and he was arrested immediately by Maricopa Police.

“We are still investigating the call that initiated all of this,” Alvarado said. “What we are investigating now is who the person was that was actually the aggressor in this case.”

The woman who called police and followed Gomez to Fry’s received medical attention at the arrest site. According to Alvarado, she had a cut lip.

“She had jumped in her vehicle and was following him. She was giving us [information] where the vehicle was going. Once our supervisor got involved, she disengaged. She stopped in the parking lot by Planet Fitness.”

She initially refused medical treatment.

“We are currently investigating this,” Alvarado said. “We have one version that says he was the aggressor and we have another version with witnesses saying he wasn’t the aggressor and that he was merely trying to leave and that the female tried to attack him. He apparently pushed her away to get in the vehicle to leave. We haven’t made a determination, yet. He has outstanding warrants, so he’s under arrest for them.”

Photo by Jim Headley

Marcos Martinez. (PCSO photo)

Marcos Martinez, 24, was found competent to stand trial on March 20, as Judge Lawrence Wharton found him mentally competent after reviewing Arizona State Hospital evaluation reports.

Martinez is accused of murdering his 62-year-old grandmother, Vicky Ten Hoven. She was found dead from multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma in her Maricopa home on Jan. 28, 2018.

Prosecutors have until May 31 to determine if they will seek the death penalty against Martinez.

He is scheduled to appear in Pinal County Superior Court on May 24 for a status review and he remains in the Pinal County Jail pending the posting of a million-dollar bond.

Zachary Greenwood. (PCSO photo)

 

Zachary Greenwood, 27, of Maricopa, was arrested March 23 on two counts of molestation of a minor and continued sexual abuse of a child.

The child’s mother reported her suspicions to Maricopa Police Department Saturday night. Early Sunday morning, the mother and her child went to Phoenix Child Help for a forensic medical examination, according to the police report.

During a forensic interview at San Tan Family Advocacy Center, the child described an encounter with Greenwood and indicated previous incidents had occurred.

He was arrested at 12:44 p.m. at home on West Portobello Road in Acacia Crossing and transported to Pinal County Jail. He has a bond-eligibility hearing set for Tuesday.

 

Adam Fox and Winona Wells were both arrested. PCSO photos

 

Adam Fox, 23, and Winona Wells, 55, were arrested by Maricopa Police at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday on suspicion of possession of a dangerous drug, methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphrenia.

According to a probable cause statement filed by Maricopa Police, while patrolling in the area of West Dutchman and Hogenes Boulevard, an officer observed a male suspect wearing a red baseball cap, a black leather jacket and jeans peering over the back wall of a house. The suspect, later determined to be Fox, walked across the front yard of the house and “subsequently jumped over the west side block wall entering into the back yard.”

The officer observed a red Hyundai parked in front of the house, “occupied with a female, later identified as Winona Wells.”

The officer wrote that Fox jumped back over the wall and “began walking towards the passenger door of the red vehicle with a metal object in hand. He noticed my vehicle and placed the metal object on the roof of the vehicle,” the officer wrote in their report.

While the officer spoke with Fox, a second police officer arrived and noticed a plastic container near the passenger side seat.  Wells exited the vehicle while officers continued to search the car.

“Officers located in the center console a glass ‘meth pipe’ with residue and a second ‘meth pipe’ in the glove box,” according to the probable cause statement. “In addition, within Winona’s purse, a small red plastic baggy containing white crystal substance which was later identified with a field test as 0.6 grams of methamphetamine.”

Wells told officers both pipes were hers and the methamphetamine was purchased two to three days ago.

Fox told officers he was kicked out of the house and he was attempting to enter the home to “gather some of his clothes inside.” He said he was not able to contact the homeowner, who is his cousin, by telephone or by ringing the front door bell.

“When questioned about the object on the roof (of the car) he said he would have used it to open the back door of the home,” the probable cause statement reads.

Officers found a small plastic bag in the left pocket of his leather jacket that contained 0.4 grams of methamphetamine.

Wells and Fox were both arrested and taken to the Pinal County Jail.

 

Machelle Hobson aka Hackney (PCSO photo)

Machelle Hobson was officially charged by a Pinal County Grand Jury with 30 counts on Monday.

Hobson (previously going by the last name of Hackney) remains in the Pinal County Jail pending the posting of a $200,000 bond. At an arraignment hearing Friday, she is scheduled to enter a plea to the grand jury indictments of 24 counts of child abuse, five counts of kidnapping and one count of aggravated assault.

“After a full and fair evaluation of all known facts and all known evidence, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office is confident these charges reflect the criminal actions perpetrated by Ms. Hobson. This office is committed to fairly and impartially administering justice for all those involved,” Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer said Tuesday in a press release.

Hobson, 48, of Maricopa was first arraigned in Pinal County Superior Court March 19 along with two of her sons in a case of alleged child abuse that involved a popular YouTube channel “Fantastic Adventures.” Most of the wholesome and family-friendly YouTube videos show the children going through superhero training or visiting fantasy lands.

Hobson was arrested March 15 with her biological adult sons Logan Hackney, 26, and Ryan Hackney, 28. Originally her charges included seven counts of child abuse, five counts of unlawful imprisonment, five counts of child neglect and two counts of molestation of a child. The sons were each charged with seven counts of failing to report abuse of a minor.

After the case was widely publicized last week, the YouTube series grew to more than 800,000 subscribers and over 250 million views as of March 20. Since charges were filed against Hobson, YouTube has taken down the channel.

Machelle Hobson is accused of abusing her five adopted children at this house in Maricopa.

Some estimates are that Hackney could have made as much as $2.5 million in advertising income airing the series on YouTube, based on industry standards for the number of views reported.

The allegations against Hackney begin on March 13 when officers responded to a child abuse investigation made by her biological daughter.

The daughter allegedly told police that her adoptive sister disclosed to her that she was being abused at the family’s home on North Donithan Way in the Villages by the mother.

Machelle Hackney is scheduled to appear in Pinal County Superior Court on Friday, and Logan and Ryan Hackney are scheduled to appear April 8. The two sons remain free on their own recognizance without bond.

 

Devin Myrick (PCSO photo)

 

Devin Myrick was arrested March 18 on charges of domestic violence assault, criminal damage and an outstanding warrant.

Maricopa Police maintain Myrick intentionally assaulted his girlfriend at their residence on West Copper Trail about 5 a.m.

“Devin was woken up to her packing their vehicle with her belongings and their daughter with the intention of leaving for California due to their relationship issues,” an MPD probable cause statement reads. “Devin became enraged and began throwing her belongings out of the vehicle, into the driveway, damaging an ACER computer monitor, ASUS computer monitor and an HP tower computer with a combined value of $100.”

The report continues, “Devin grabbed her by her left arm and began pulling her out of the residence, telling her she needed to leave. During the struggle, she received an injury to her upper lip which appeared swollen, but stated she was not sure how it happened.”

The officer ran a background check on Myrick and found he was wanted on an outstanding warrant in Maricopa.

Myrick was arrested and taken to the Pinal County Jail.

 

Alas Barre was arrested Wednesday for second-degree criminal trespass and disorderly conduct after he was told to stop moving the furniture around inside the Maricopa Veteran’s Center.

On Wednesday, “Barre entered into and remained unlawfully inside the Veterans’ Center Facility located on West Maricopa Casa Grande Highway,” a Maricopa Police officer wrote in a probable cause statement.

Barre had already been “verbally trespassed from the property” Tuesday.

The officer stated it was a clear violation of the trespassing statues.

“While within the facility (he) began to move furniture around and was told to stop,” the report states. “Alas did not stop. Alas continued to engage in behavior which was seriously disruptive with knowledge he was doing so.”

Barre was contacted by police after the event occurred, refused to “answer administrative questions and was later booked at the Pinal County Jail.”

 

Gary Perkins (PCSO photo)

A man was arrested March 18 by Maricopa Police on suspicion of credit card fraud. His girlfriend was also arrested by MPD officers on domestic violence assault and disorderly conduct charges.

According to a Maricopa Police probable cause statement, Gary Perkins was arrested on North Grantham Road on an “active nationwide extraditable warrant for 16 counts of credit card fraud.”

The officer was initially dispatched the area on “a disturbance call between a male and a female.”

After running a background check, they discovered Perkins was wanted on the warrant. He was placed under arrest, transported to the Pinal County Jail and awaits extradition.

Perkins’ girlfriend, Laura Hughley, told officers she was “punched and pushed by her boyfriend,” according to a police probable cause statement.

“Gary had scratches on his left arm and on his right hand. The scratches on his right hand were bleeding,” the officer wrote in the report. “Gary stated he arrived at the listed residence to get tools from a friend. Gary stated he was inside the residence when there was a banging at the front door.”

Perkins told officers he went to the door and saw his fiancée standing outside. He said his girlfriend must have left work early and tracked him to the location.

“Gary said Laura was yelling and cursing at him,” the officer wrote.

Perkins decided to leave to avoid the escalation of the situation and he got into his vehicle to drive away, but she blocked his car with her vehicle and attacked him, he told police.

“Gary said Laura pulled the key from the ignition and broke it off the key ring,” the officer stated in the report.

Perkins told police he didn’t hit her but rather pushed her to get her off him. Two witnesses to the incident confirmed Perkins stories to officers.

“Laura stated she tracked Gary to the listed address through his cell phone. Laura said Gary has previously lied to her, so she arrived at the residence to find out what he was doing,” the probable cause statements reads. “Laura said Gary attempted to leave by getting into his vehicle, which is owned by her. Laura said she got the keys from Gary to prevent him from leaving.”

Hughley told officers she was the one who was pushed and punched. “But the only injury I observed was scratches on her hand which is consistent with Laura and Gary struggling for the vehicle keys,” the officer wrote.

She was arrested for domestic violence assault and disorderly conduct after the officers were at the scene for about a half hour.

Video series may have made millions

Machelle Hackney and two adult sons, Ryan and Logan, face charges. (PCSO photos)

Machelle Hackney, 48, of Maricopa was arraigned Tuesday along with two of her sons in a case of alleged child abuse that involved a popular YouTube channel.

Hackney was arrested Friday with Logan Hackney, 26, and Ryan Hackney, 28. As previously reported, her charges include seven counts of child abuse, five counts of unlawful imprisonment, five counts of child neglect and two counts of molestation of a child. The sons were each charged with seven counts of failing to report abuse of a minor.

Machelle Hackney is being held in the Pinal County Jail pending a $200,000 bond. The sons were released without bond on their own recognizance, according to court records.

Court records indicate the children are aged 3 to 15.

Machelle Hackney, who also goes by her maiden name Hobson as well as other names, allegedly made several of her seven minor children perform in a popular YouTube video series, “Fantastic Adventures.” Most of the wholesome and family-friendly YouTube videos show the children going through superhero training or visiting fantasy lands.

One episode, posted Feb. 6, has two of the children engaged in a food fight, throwing hundreds of dollars in food at each other, yet the seven children were allegedly found by authorities in a dehydrated and malnourished state about a month after this episode aired on YouTube.

After the case was widely publicized this week and the accused and the video channel publicly identified to a national audience, the YouTube series grew to more than 800,000 subscribers and over 250 million views as of March 20. Since charges were filed against Hackney, YouTube has demonetized the channel but initially stated it would not take down the channel unless Hackney is convicted of crimes.

However, at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, the channel was removed.

Estimates are that Hackney could have made as much as $2.5 million in advertising income airing the series on YouTube, based on industry standards for the number of views reported. YouTube is no longer running ads on the channel.

“We take safety on YouTube very seriously. We work closely with leading child safety organizations and others in our industry to protect young people,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a written statement. “When we’re made aware of serious allegations of this nature we take action, which may include suspending monetization, or, upon conclusion of an investigation, terminating channels.”

The allegations against Hackney begin on March 13 when officers responded to a child abuse investigation made by her biological daughter.

The daughter allegedly told police that her adoptive sister disclosed to her that she was being abused at the family’s home on North Donithan Way in the Villages by the mother.

Machelle Hackney is scheduled to appear in Pinal County Superior Court on March 26, and Logan and Ryan Hackney are scheduled to appear April 8.