Valenzuela indicted for murder; county may seek death penalty (video)


A grand jury returned murder indictments against Jose Ignacio Valenzuela Jr. in the deaths of Michael and Tina Careccia.

The indictment is two counts of first-degree murder. Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles provided few other details in a brief press conference Monday afternoon.

As previously reported, Valenzuela, 38, of Maricopa, is set to be arraigned Friday at 8:30 a.m. At the arraignment, Valenzuela can enter a plea. Voyles’ office will seek a court date or other information on “how to proceed on the case,” depending on that plea.

Voyles said his office will review the facts of the case to determine whether to seek the death penalty.

“The standard procedure on any first-degree murder case is that within the statutory requirement, my office and I will review the case and review the facts of the case," he said, "then make a determination as to whether or not this is a case that is deemed worthy of pursuing the death penalty on.”

They will make a decision within 60 days.

Voyles said he is counting on the thorough investigations of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office for facts on which to seek justice for the Careccias.

“As far as talking about the facts, I’m not going to talk about the facts. Given the fact that this is an ongoing case and the defendant is innocent until proven guilty," he said. "All the facts will be brought out during trial.”

Sheriff Paul Babeu said earlier Valenzuela had “in effect” confessed to the murder of the couple.

“I won’t even talk about any confessions,” Voyles said. “There is a time for all that, and when that time comes, we’ll talk about it then.”

Arizona Revised Statutes violations cited in grand jury indictment for a Class 1 felony on each death:
13-1105(A)(1)(2)  First degree murder; classification
13-1101 Definitions
13-610 DNA testing
13-701 Sentence of imprisonment for felony; presentence report; aggravating and mitigating factors; consecutive terms of imprisonment; definition
13-702 First time felony offenders; sentencing; definition
13-705 Dangerous crimes against children; sentences; definitions
13-712 Calculation of terms of imprisonment
13-801 Fines for felonies