EX-POLICE OFFICER-MURDER TRIAL
Ex-Phoenix officer pleads guilty to manslaughter
PHOENIX (AP) - A former Phoenix police officer has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a deal that spares him another trial on charges of second-degree murder and animal cruelty.
Richard Chrisman was convicted of assault in September, but the jury failed to reach verdicts on the other counts.
Under the deal with prosecutors, Chrisman pleaded guilty Wednesday to the lesser offense of manslaughter and faces seven to 14 years in prison.
Sentencing for the assault conviction and the manslaughter charge is set for Dec. 20. He faces five to 15 years in prison for the assault, but both sentences will run concurrently.
Chrisman was charged after he shot and killed an unarmed man and his dog during a 2010 domestic violence call. He says it was self-defense, but his partner testified Chrisman was unprovoked.
Arizona police: Detective in US illegally resigns
PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona's state police agency says one of its detectives has resigned following the discovery that she was in the United States illegally after being brought from Mexico at a young age.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves says Carmen Figueroa apparently was told by her family that she was born in the United States, though she was actually born in Mexico.
Graves says Figueroa's status was discovered during processing of a passport application by a brother serving in the U.S. military.
Graves says Figueroa resigned Monday but would have been fired if she hadn't stepped down. He says a criminal investigation continues.
Figueroa worked for DPS in southern Arizona and was with the department for 10 years.
Her status was first reported by Tucson television station KVOA.
Verdict not reached in sentencing of Ariz. inmate
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Jurors deliberating the sentencing for Arizona inmate John McCluskey have failed to reach a unanimous verdict.
That means the judge will sentence McCluskey to life in prison for murdering a retired Oklahoma couple during a multistate crime spree that followed a 2010 prison break. A sentencing date has yet to be set.
It ends a four-month trial. McCluskey shot and killed the couple from Tecumseh, Okla., as they passed through New Mexico while on vacation.
Prosecutors portrayed the McCluskey as a dangerous killer who deserved nothing less than execution.
The defense painted him as a broken man with a low IQ who suffered a hard life of abuse.
Couple found dead in Phoenix in murder-suicide
PHOENIX (AP) - A couple has been found dead inside their west Phoenix home in what authorities are calling a murder-suicide.
Phoenix police say 52-year-old Manuel Olivas fatally shot his common-law wife before turning the gun on himself Wednesday morning.
Police say Olivas and 52-year-old Maryann Valenzuela Fernandez had a common-law marriage of nearly 30 years.
Investigators say Olivas reportedly got into a bedroom argument with his wife, who called out to her brother for help.
The brother told authorities that he ran to the bedroom and forced the locked door open just as Olivas was firing the fatal shot.
He says Olivas threatened him with the gun, but then turned it and shot himself.
Officers arrived at the home about 9:30 a.m. Olivas and Fernandez both were declared dead at the scene.
ARIZONA CHILD ABUSE
New team for botched CPS cases reports progress
PHOENIX (AP) - An independent team created by Gov. Jan Brewer to oversee more than 6,550 ignored child abuse and neglect reports says they've assigned more than 1,200 of those cases to social workers.
The so-called CARE team also announced Wednesday that they've verified that more than 550 reports from the past four years have now received responses. Nearly 200 children have been visited by police or social workers.
Wednesday's report comes as the team created by Brewer 10 days ago begins reassessing all the reports. Police in Flagstaff, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix are sending officers to see some of the children identified in the reports.
Convicted killer testifies in temple killings case
PHOENIX (AP) - A notorious Arizona murder case is in court again as a third trial continues with key testimony against a man charged with killing nine people at a suburban Phoenix Buddhist temple in 1991.
Allesandro "Alex" Garcia, who is serving life in prison for the killings, told jurors Wednesday that defendant Johnathan A. Doody was the mastermind of the plan to kill the victims, including six monks, to steal money and valuables.
Doody was found guilty in 1993 and sentenced to 281 years in prison, but an appeals court threw out his convictions in 2011 after ruling investigators improperly obtained his confession.
Doody went on trial again in August, but jurors failed to reach a verdict. Garcia pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison in exchange for testifying against Doody.
Ex-Suns star Chambers arrested on suspicion of DUI
PHOENIX (AP) - Phoenix Suns broadcaster Tom Chambers has apologized to the NBA team and its fans after being arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Scottsdale police say the 54-year-old Chambers was pulled over Saturday night after an officer saw a pickup truck weaving in a bicycle lane.
A police report says there were two opened bottles of beer inside the vehicle and Chambers refused to take a field sobriety test.
Police say Chambers consented to a blood draw, was booked and released pending the results.
Chambers was a four-time all-star forward in a 16-year career that ended in 1997. He played for the Suns from 1988-1993 and helped Phoenix reach the NBA Finals in 1993. He now works as a studio host for Suns' televised games.
Suns officials declined comment on the arrest.
FORMER COACH-SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Ex-Goodyear coach is accused of sexual misconduct
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) - A former wrestling coach at a Goodyear high school has been arrested on suspicion of sexual misconduct with a student.
Goodyear police say 25-year-old Kyle Curtis DeBerry was taken into custody Wednesday.
DeBerry coached at Desert Edge High School until August 2013 when school officials suspended him and reported him to the police.
Authorities have been investigating the allegations against DeBerry for the past several months.
Police say he's accused of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and assault.
Other details of the case haven't been released.
DeBerry was been booked into the downtown Phoenix jail.
Police didn't immediately know if he has an attorney yet.
Arizona sees rise in health marketplace enrollees
PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona is seeing an increase in its number of residents who enrolled in the online health insurance marketplace that's a key part of the nation's new health care law.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says Wednesday that 3,600 Arizonans had chosen plans through the marketplace from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30 - less than 9 percent of those eligible.
An earlier report by the agency said only 739 Arizonans enrolled in the online marketplace from Oct. 1 through Nov. 2.
Nationally, the new markets have picked up their pace of signups since encountering paltry enrollment in the program's first month.
Still, the number of enrollees nationwide is less than one-third of the 1.2 million people officials had originally projected would enroll nationwide by the end of November.
Phoenix man changes plea in plot to kill wife
PHOENIX (AP) - A Phoenix businessman accused of plotting to kill his wife over a contentious divorce has pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping.
Maricopa County prosecutors say 75-year-old Fred B. Knadler changed his plea in the case Wednesday. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 10.
Knadler was arrested in January 2012 after he allegedly conspired with and paid one of his employees to kill his wife and bury her body in the desert.
Knadler is owner of Arizona Shower Door Inc.
Phoenix police say he allegedly wanted to avoid losing millions of dollars in a divorce.
Investigators say Knadler allegedly gave the employee a cash down payment with the promise of an additional $10,000 when the job was done plus an additional $10,000 each year he maintained his silence. The killing didn't occur.
Former Tempe officer pleads not guilty in scandal
PHOENIX (AP) - A former Tempe police officer accused of having sex with a drug trafficking suspect has pleaded not guilty to hindering prosecution and participating in a prohibited act by a public employee.
Maricopa County prosecutors say Jessica Dever-Jakusz entered her plea Wednesday. Her next scheduled court date is a Jan. 22 initial pretrial conference.
Authorities say Dever-Jakusz allegedly had sex with a man who was a target of an undercover drug investigation and told him he was under investigation.
She resigned from the police department in October.
Police say Dever-Jakusz worked undercover with other Tempe narcotics detectives in an operation that targeted the sale of illegal drugs in and around downtown restaurants and bars.
Authorities say Dever-Jakusz's revelations to the drug suspect on Oct. 10 scuttled a five-month undercover investigation.
SEXUAL ASSAULTS SUSPECT
Glendale man pleads not guilty to sexual assaults
PHOENIX (AP) - A Glendale man accused of sexually assaulting two women he met on the internet has pleaded not guilty in the case.
Maricopa County prosecutors say 40-year-old Ryan Robert Raths entered his plea Wednesday. His next scheduled court date is a Jan. 16 initial pretrial conference.
Raths was arrested last month on suspicion of four counts of felony sexual assault.
Court documents list Raths as an employee of the Washington Elementary School district.
Glendale police say Raths is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in September 2004 in an apartment where she went to meet him.
He's also accused of assaulting a 29-year-old woman at his apartment in October 2007. She had just moved to Arizona from California.
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