BIGHORN SHEEP RELOCATION
Tucson bighorn deaths draws criticism of project
(AP) -_ State wildlife officials addressed critics of its sheep-relocation project Friday, saying the effort could still prove successful despite the deaths of more than a dozen bighorns north of Tucson.
Animal welfare advocates have been divided over the transplanting last November of 31 bighorns east from the Yuma area to the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Ben Brochu, an Arizona Game and Fish wildlife manager involved in the project, says the 15 sheep deaths were a surprise.
Friends of Wild Animals, a coalition of local citizens, joined with Supporting & Promoting Ethics for the Animal Kingdom in calling for an end to the project. Both groups plan to protest the issue outside an Arizona Game and Fish Commission meeting Saturday.
Friends of Wild Animals spokesman Ben Pachano says trying to boost populations doesn't justify putting the sheep in a vulnerable position or killing predatory mountain lions. He also disagreed with supporters' assessment that the agency's removal of three mountain lions did little overall damage to the mountain lion population.
Game and Fish spokesman Mark Hart says a handful of mountain lions could easily decimate the entire herd in a year. He says the agency is obligated to remove them, and that could remain the strategy for the next two years.
PHOENIX HOME SHOOTINGS
Police: 2 teens dead in Phoenix murder-suicide
PHOENIX (AP) - Authorities say a teenage boy fatally shot his ex-girlfriend before turning the gun on himself at a north Phoenix home in a murder-suicide.
Phoenix police identified the two as 15-year-old Matthew Bolton and 16-year-old Anastasia "Ana" Greer.
Investigators say both were sophomores at Sandra Day O'Connor High School in Phoenix, and Greer had recently ended their relationship.
Police say the shooting occurred around noon Friday at a home of Greer's friend.
Police responded to a 911 call and found both teens dead outside the home.
Police say Bolton didn't go to school Friday and it was unclear how he got the gun.
UPSKIRT PHOTOS ARREST
Man accused of taking upskirt photos in Tempe
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Police say a man is in custody for allegedly taking upskirt photos of a woman at a Tempe store.
Tempe police say security staff at a Target store reported seeing 26-year-old Patrick Kennamer follow a woman around the store Friday and take multiple photos of her while she was shopping.
Police were notified and contacted Kennamer, who reportedly acknowledged the crime.
The woman told police she was unaware of being followed and photographed.
Police say Kennamer was booked into jail on suspicion of surreptitious videotaping.
Lawyer accused of murder expected to be released
PHOENIX (AP) - An attorney for a California divorce lawyer accused of murder in Arizona says he expects that his client will get released from jail early next week in response to a judge's decision that threw out a jury's guilty verdict in the case and ordered a new trial.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Karen Mullins had granted a request Friday from prosecutors to dismiss the case against 54-year-old Robert Fischer of Irvine and ordered his release from jail. But the judge postponed the effective date of the ruling until Monday, because if it took effect Friday, she would lose jurisdiction of the case and therefore wouldn't be able to rule on a pending issue.
Still, Dwane Cates, an attorney for Fischer, says his client is expected to be released from jail on Monday or Tuesday.
Fischer was convicted in December of second-degree murder in the December 2010 shooting death of his stepdaughter's husband, 49-year-old Norman "Lee" Radder, at the home of Radder and his family in Queen Creek, southeast of Phoenix. Fischer was visiting the family when Radder died of a single shot from Fischer's handgun into Radder's right eye after an evening of drinking.
SHOOTING VICTIM DIES
Shooting victim dies; case tied to police death
PHOENIX (AP) - A shooting victim whose alleged assailant was later killed in a gunbattle with an undercover Phoenix police detective has died.
Authorities say 39-year-old Mario Valenzuela died Thursday of injuries suffered when he was shot Feb. 25 at a Phoenix apartment complex, allegedly by William Ray Thornton.
Members of a police task force were seeking Thornton on Monday in connection with the Valenzuela shooting when a gunbattle erupted at a west Phoenix intersection.
The 28-year-old Thornton died in the exchange of gunfire. One of the undercover officers, John Hobbs, died of his wounds at a hospital.
Another detective, 37-year-old Albert "A.J." Casados, was shot once on his right side and survived. The nine-year police veteran was released from a hospital Wednesday.
Police say neither detective was wearing a bulletproof vest. They say Thornton also was wanted on a probation violation warrant after having been released from prison in January, where he served time for a drug conviction and resisting arrest.
GARBAGE TRUCK FATALITY
Mesa man dies after being hit by a garbage truck
MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say a 71-year-old Mesa man is dead after being struck by a city garbage truck.
Mesa police say the truck was doing its normal rounds about 6:40 a.m. Friday when it struck Gerald Lake, a resident of Palm Gardens Mobile Home Manor.
The driver called 911 and Lake was taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Police say it appears Lake was trying to wheel out his trash from the opposite side of the street where the truck was emptying barrels.
While Lake was wheeling out his trash, police say he crossed in front of the truck and was hit.
Police say there is no sign of impairment for the garbage truck driver, whose name hasn't been released.
2nd suspect arrested in shootout at a Tempe mall
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - A second suspect has been arrested in a December shootout at a Tempe mall.
Tempe police say 20-year-old Perren Robertson Jr. was taken into custody Friday in Phoenix.
He's being held on suspicion of three counts of aggravated assault and one count of endangerment.
Police arrested 20-year-old Voyee Smith on the night of the Dec. 28 shooting.
Smith allegedly got involved in an altercation with another group at the Arizona Mills Mall.
During the fight, Smith and Robertson allegedly pulled guns and began firing at each other.
Police say at least six shots were fired and one of the bullets hit Smith's girlfriend in the arm.
Smith is being held on suspicion of endangerment, unlawful discharge of a firearm within city limits and striking an unattended vehicle.
CASINO ROBBERY TRY-SENTENCE
Phoenix man gets prison in casino robbery attempt
PHOENIX (AP) - A Phoenix man has been sentenced to two years in prison for trying to rob a casino on the Gila River Indian Community.
Federal prosecutors say 26-year-old Darvon Hibbler pleaded guilty in December to conspiring to commit a robbery and theft.
He was the last of four suspects to be sentenced in the attempted robbery of the Vee Quiva Casino on May 31.
Authorities say Hibbler went up to the teller at the cashier's cage and demanded money.
Hibbler reportedly reached into his waistband as though he had a gun.
However, another teller saw what was happening and called for security. Hibbler and a co-defendant left the casino without any money.
Two other people were charged with knowing about the robbery plan and helping Hibbler and the other man escape.
Tempe resource officer accidentally fires Taser
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say a Tempe school resource officer accidentally fired her department-issued Taser during a demonstration, striking a student in the arm with one probe.
Tempe police say the female officer was doing a show-and-tell Friday afternoon for an eighth-grade class at Gilliland Middle School.
They say she pushed a button that tests whether the Taser is working.
Police say the officer then mistakenly pulled the trigger and one of the two probes hit a 14-year-old girl in the left arm.
Since the other probe went into a wall, police say no electrical current was delivered and the student wasn't shocked.
However, the student was taken to a hospital where she had the probe removed.
Police say the resource officer has been removed from the school while the incident is investigated.
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