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April 2012 Archives

Late Thursday afternoon, US Airways employees thwarted a prisoner’s attempt to escape at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, reports.

John Riebesel was being extradited from Detroit to Yavapai County on drug charges. He reportedly used the trip as an opportunity to attempt an escape from police custody.

On Wednesday morning, Phoenix police arrested a suspect in the shooting of an ITT Technical Institute counselor that took place in the parking lot of the institute’s West Valley Campus, The Arizona Republic reports.

Carlos L. Webb was arrested on suspicion of shooting a 30-year-old woman and threatening his ex-girlfriend on Tuesday night at the campus. Webb was a student at the school.

On Tuesday, police arrested 31-year-old J’Jamar Washington on suspicion of second-degree murder. Washington is suspected of shooting and killing Carl Scott on Sunday night in front of Scott’s 2-year-old son, The Arizona Republic reports.

Police found 29-year-old Scott with a gunshot wound lying in the middle of the street near 36th Avenue and Colter Street. Scott later died of his injuries at a nearby hospital.

Local police and the FBI are currently investigating the disappearance of 6-year-old Isabel Mercedes Celis from her Tucson home, The Arizona Republic reports.

Mercedes was last seen by her family in her bedroom at 11 p.m. on Friday. At 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, her parents discovered she was missing. Authorities have requested that the girl’s family remain away from their home, while a police investigation of the home is underway.

On Wednesday night, a bicyclist was shot while trying to help a victim of armed robbery, reports. According to police, the assailant is still at large.

At around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a 21-year-old woman was walking along Virginia Avenue in Phoenix when a black male between 20 and 25 years old attempted to rob her at gunpoint.

On Monday evening, an unruly passenger assaulted a flight attendant on a U.S. Airways flight from Los Angeles to Phoenix, reports. A man heading to Houston saved the day by restraining the man.

Ben Harwood Rose said that mid-flight an angry male passenger ran down the aisle and tried to push the beverage cart into a flight attendant. Rose stepped in and subdued the man before the attendant could be injured.

On Monday, Mesa police arrested a man who threatened to kill his neighbors with a knife because he believed God had told him to do so, The Arizona Republic reports.

Richard Thomas Hess told police that the neighbors were trying to kill him with poisonous gas. Police booked Hess on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of threatening or intimidating, and one count of criminal damage.

On Friday, former Phoenix Police officer Chad Michael Goulding was sentenced to 45 years and 9 months in jail for a series of bank robberies he was convicted of committing, Fox News reports. In February, Goulding was found guilty of 16 counts of armed robbery, 61 counts of kidnapping, 5 counts of aggravated assault, and 5 counts of theft.

Goulding reportedly robbed five banks around the valley at gunpoint in the span of six months in 2006. However, it took investigators four years to arrest the man.

Would you feel safe if guns were allowed in libraries or at public pools? A new bill that's awaiting Gov. Jan Brewer's approval would allow just that, reports.

The bill, sponsored by Republicans, would allow firearms in Arizona's public buildings. The bill's sponsors argue that allowing law-abiding citizens greater freedom to carry firearms will serve as a deterrent for criminals.

On Tuesday morning, a jury acquitted Freddy Payan of charges stemming from the 2010 shooting of a 6-year-old boy in Phoenix, reports. Payan was facing charges of aggravated assault, endangerment, making threats, shooting at a building, and being affiliated with a street gang.

In October 2010, a shot fired from the street hit 6-year-old Josel Flores in the chest while he slept. Flores survived the attack, but his assailant is still at large.

Phoenix police are currently seeking help in determining the identity of the man who shot and killed Peter Marquez, a Walmart manager, while robbing the store early Saturday morning, The Arizona Republic reports.

On Monday, police released surveillance photos of the suspect entering the Walmart. He is seen wearing a dark gray hooded sweatshirt, jeans, and sunglasses. The suspect may have been wearing a mask, according to authorities.

Julian Titcomb, a 22-year-old former basketball coach at a Phoenix elementary school, was sentenced on Thursday to six months in jail and lifetime probation for having sex with a 14-year-old student, the Phoenix New Times reports. Although in March 2011 Titcomb was charged with 8 counts of sexual conduct with a minor, he pleaded guilty to three counts of child abuse in February.

Titcomb met his victim while volunteering as a basketball coach at Saint Catherine’s Elementary School in 2010. The two became Facebook friends, and Titcomb soon suggested the idea of being “friends with benefits.”

On Tuesday, Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s negotiations with the Department of Justice ended before they began when “America’s toughest sheriff” refused to agree to a court-appointed monitor who would oversee the settlement agreement, The Arizona Republic reports. In December, the DOJ accused Arpaio’s department of violating the civil rights of Hispanics by racially profiling and denying important services to Hispanic inmates.

If negotiations cannot resume, the DOJ will likely commence a lawsuit against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

On Tuesday, Angela Simpson was sentenced to life in prison, plus an additional 14 years, for the murder of Terry Neely. The murder was one of the most gruesome in Phoenix history, according to

In August 2009, Simpson lured Neely to her apartment with promises of drugs and sex where she then tortured and killed the man. Last month Simpson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, but expressed no remorse over the killing.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is currently under investigation by the FBI, according to The Arizona Republic. Horne allegedly illegally worked with an independent expenditure committee that raised over $500,000 in 2010 to run disparaging ads against Horne’s Democratic opponent.

A whistleblower who worked for Horne brought the accusations to light in February by filing a complaint with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office. The office then forwarded the complaint to the FBI.