An internal investigation revealed a Tempe officer flat out wasn't doing his job. Reports show he knowingly botched 10 cases.
During the investigation, Officer Tony Trow admitted he was taking evidence home and keeping it in his garage. It was also discovered Trow put off writing a murder report for five years.
Curtis and Chyendall Gibson are the parents of that murder victim, 19-year-old Daron Gibson.
"We think about him not just every day but sometimes every hour, every moment," said Chyendall Gibson.
At times it seemed like the sky was the limit for Daron Gibson. He had graduated high school and was figuring out exactly where he wanted his future to take him. During a night out with friends in July 2007, Daron was shot dead outside Clubhouse Bar in Tempe.
"It leaves you empty. It actually just knocks you to your knees, literally," said Chyendall Gibson.
Five years later the grief that the Gibsons had learned to manage resurfaced. CBS 5 News uncovered the possibility Daron Gibson's killer will likely never get justice.
"What bothers me is (Trow) didn't do his job," Chyendall said. "He didn't do due diligence. He took an oath to uphold the integrity of his badge and the public's trust. Where was that when he was taking this evidence and placing it in his garage?"
An internal investigation revealed from September 2004 to March 2012, Trow stored evidence from five cases in his garage to hide his unfinished work. That included case notes, crime scene photos and even original recordings of interviews. The report from that investigation said those items had been tossed together in cardboard boxes.
It was also discovered Trow didn't write nearly a dozen reports, some dating as far back as 2007.
The report showed Trow also didn't bother to turn in the rape kit of a 17-year-old.
"This is a no brainer," said Marc Victor, a criminal defense attorney. "This is the kind of mistake you have to ask yourself what on earth was the detective thinking?"
Victor said if these cases are based on evidence, it's a good chance all of them could be dismissed.
The Tempe Police Department wrapped up its investigation in May. Trow wasn't fired, he received an unpaid 160-hour suspension.
"Where is the accountability in the department?" asked Daron's Gibson's father, Curtis Gibson. "Where are the checks and balances when you don't do your job and somebody oversees you to make sure it gets done?"
Tempe police Chief Tom Ryff ultimately made the decision to keep Trow on the force. CBS 5 News tried for more than a week to get Ryff or someone with the department to go on camera and explain why Trow still has a job. The station's requests were denied.
Tempe Police Department spokesman Michael Pooley did send a statement that read in part:
"In deciding the appropriate level of disciplinary action, a complete evaluation of Officer Trow's work history was completed, finding overall superlative performance, and no prior violations of departmental policy in his 12-year career."
Even after Daron Gibson's case went cold, the Gibsons said they stayed in contact with Trow.
Over the years, dozens of emails were exchanged.
In one of those emails, Trow stated, "Neither I nor the Tempe Police Department have given up on this investigation in any way. In fact, I have spent a lot of time on this case often at the expense of time in working other cases."
"He wrote that to me while evidence sat in his garage," Chyendall Gibson said. "That's just shameful. Officer Trow does not deserve to wear the badge."
The Gibsons said that in the seven months since the investigation into Trow, the Tempe Police Department never told them their son's case had been botched. Now they refuse to let Daron Gibson's murder be swept under the rug again.
"To stand here and be silent in this situation you become part of the problem not part of the solution. That's why it's very important for us to speak out. We want this fixed," said Curtis Gibson.
It's likely the families of the victims in the nine other crimes still don't know Trow mishandled their cases.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thursday, December 12 2013 8:27 AM EST2013-12-12 13:27:21 GMT
Former Suns star and current broadcaster Tom Chambers has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, Scottsdale police records stated. Chambers, 53, was arrested Saturday at East Pinnacle Vista DriveMore >
The 53-year-old has apologized to the NBA team and its fans after being arrested in Scottsdale Saturday night on suspicion of DUI.More >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:05 AM EST2013-12-11 16:05:29 GMT
Claudia Ann Lucero, Alex Madrid
Mesa police have announced they've made an arrest in the death of a 14-year-old girl whose body was found in a trash container early Friday morning. Officers said they took the victims' mother's ex-boyfriendMore >
Alex Madrid, 31, of Mesa, a convicted felon and the boyfriend of the victim's mother, was taken into custody in connection with the death of 14-year-old Claudia Ann Lucero, who was strangled and sexually assaulted, police said.More >
Thursday, December 12 2013 1:02 AM EST2013-12-12 06:02:20 GMT
Kyle DeBerry (Source: Goodyear Police Department)
A former wrestling coach in the west Valley has been arrested on sex charges, Goodyear police said Wednesday. Kyle DeBerry, 25, was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on charges of luring a minor forMore >
Kyle DeBerry, 25, was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on charges of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and assault.More >
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:42 AM EST2013-12-12 05:42:07 GMT
A California family whose dog went missing during an Arizona camping trip a year and a half ago didn't think they'd ever see him again. But, fortunately, they were wrong. This is video of the emotionalMore >
A California family whose dog went missing during an Arizona camping trip a year and a half ago didn't think they'd ever see him again. But, fortunately, they were wrong.More >
Tuesday, December 10 2013 3:03 PM EST2013-12-10 20:03:34 GMT
A Ponchatoula, La. woman pleaded guilty Tuesday morning after being charged with child desertion. She was accused of putting her child in an ice chest, along with a gas can, and closing the lid. JamiMore >
A Ponchatoula, La. woman pleaded guilty Tuesday morning after being charged with child desertion. She was accused of putting her child in an ice chest, along with a gas can, and closing the lid.More >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 10:46 AM EST2013-12-11 15:46:14 GMT
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Tuesday he will house about 150 military veteran inmates under one roof in a segregated section of the Towers Jail facility. The new military veterans housing unit will featureMore >
"They fight for us overseas, so, we must fight for them here," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "When their duty is done, ours has just begun."More >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:11 PM EST2013-12-12 00:11:25 GMT
At a time when many college students are clamoring for scholarships to help cover the rising cost of tuition, a 25-year-old Grand Canyon University student has turned one down. "I'm not going to allowMore >
A Grand Canyon University student has turned down a $10,000 scholarship to live on campus in favor of living at an apartment complex with the people he serves.More >