Eloy man sentenced to more than decade in prison in case involving armed home invasion

(FLORENCE, AZ) - An Eloy man has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison relating to an armed home invasion in the City of Maricopa.

On June 5th, 2023, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Jason Holmberg sentenced Kristofer Thornhill, 27, to 10.5 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Thornhill pled guilty to Burglary in the First Degree, a Class 2 Dangerous Felony.

In December 2022, the Maricopa Police Department responded to a home for a call of a home invasion robbery. The victim was inside the home when he noticed someone trying to open the doorknob. When the victim opened the door, two men with guns entered the home and told the victims they would not harm them but wanted to know where the 'stuff' was. Later, the victims were able to identify Thornhill as one of the men, and who they reported entered the home with a duffle bag. The second suspect, later identified by the victims as Freddie Madrid, pointed a rifle-type firearm at one of the victims and ordered him to lay on the ground. During this encounter, one of the victims was able to leave the home and seek help at a neighbor's house.

At this point, Thornhill and Madrid left the home and hopped into a waiting vehicle. Responding officers were able to locate Madrid and Thornhill in a Ford Excursion after it left the scene.

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Casa Grande man sentenced to seven years in case involving armed home invasion

(FLORENCE, AZ) - A Casa Grande man has been sentenced to seven years in prison relating to an armed home invasion in the City of Maricopa.

On June 5th, 2023, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Jason Holmberg sentenced Freddie Madrid, 43, to seven years in the Arizona Department of Corrections to be followed by a term of probation.

Madrid pled guilty to Burglary in the First Degree, a Class 2 non-dangerous Felony, and Aggravated Assault, a Class 3 non-dangerous Felony.

In December 2022, the Maricopa Police Department responded to a home for a call of a home invasion robbery. The victim was inside the home when he noticed someone trying to open the doorknob. When the victim opened the door, two men with guns entered the home. Later, the victims were able to identify one of the men as Madrid, who they reported pointed a rifle-type firearm at one of the victims and ordered him to lie on the ground.

One of the victims was able to leave the home and ran to a neighbor's house to seek help. At this point, Madrid and the second suspect, identified as Kristofer Thornhill, left the home and hopped into a waiting vehicle. Responding officers were able to locate Madrid and Thornhill in a Ford Excursion after it left the scene.

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San Tan Valley teen sentenced to life in prison for murder of another teen

(FLORENCE, AZ) - A San Tan Valley teen has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of another teen connected to the sale of a vape cartridge.

On June 22nd, 2023, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Daniel Washburn sentenced Joshua Franklin, 16, to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years, plus an additional 10.5 years.

In May, a jury found Franklin guilty of First Degree Murder, a Class One Felony and Burglary in the First Degree, a Class Two Felony. Franklin was tried as an adult.

In September 2021, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office responded to a fatal shooting at a home in San Tan Valley. The victim was identified as a 15-year-old boy who had been shot multiple times at close range and was found deceased in the front entrance of the home. Investigators learned the shooter left the scene wearing all black clothing and was also in possession of a motorized scooter with a seat. Investigators learned the victim was involved in selling vape cartridges, and they discovered Franklin was upset with what he thought was a defective cartridge purchased from the victim a few days prior. According to a witness, the victim and Franklin were set to meet on the day of the homicide to exchange the cartridge. Social media records revealed the victim had sent Franklin his home address shortly before the murder. Geo location data from Franklin’s cell phone and from social media both showed travel from Franklin's home to the victim’s home, remaining at the victim's home for 2-3 minutes, and then traveling back to Franklin's home on the day of the murder. The timing from the location data matched the timing of eye-witness accounts, the 911 call, the social media chats, and surveillance video obtained from a neighbor's home. Franklin matched the physical characteristics of the person dressed in all black with a black backpack who witnesses saw leaving the scene and was captured on the surveillance video. A scooter and backpack matching those seen in the video and described by witnesses was located in Franklin's bedroom closet.

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Florence man sentenced to decade in prison in shooting case

(FLORENCE, AZ) - A Florence man has been sentenced to a decade in prison in a case where he shot another man following a verbal argument.

On June 5th, 2023, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Steven Fuller sentenced Donald Block, 43, to 10 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections, followed by five years supervised probation. 

Block pled guilty to Aggravated Assault, a Class Three Felony and Kidnapping, a Class Two Felony. 

In March, 2023, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office responded to a call of shots fired in Florence. Initial reports indicated a man was shot during an altercation, and responding deputies found a man laying in the driveway of the home. Deputies were able to locate and stop a black Mercedes Benz that matched the description of a vehicle that fled the scene, and they found Block inside the vehicle. Witness and victim accounts indicated Block and the victim, a 43-year-old man, got into a verbal argument at the home, prior to Block firing a single gunshot. The victim was found with a gunshot wound to the torso. During the incident, Block prevented aid to the victim by dragging him to a rear room of the house after he had been shot and interfered with the roommates' attempts to get the victim out of the house and to call 911. 

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Eloy woman sentenced to 24 years in child abuse case

(FLORENCE, AZ) - An Eloy woman has been sentenced to more than two decades in prison in a child abuse case involving a boy who suffered severe injuries across his entire body.

On May 22nd, 2023, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Steven Fuller sentenced Claudia Genis, 32, to 24 years of flat time in the Arizona Department of Corrections, followed by two consecutive terms of lifetime probation.

Genis pled guilty to Child Abuse, a Class Two Felony and Dangerous Crime Against Children; and two counts of Child Abuse, both Class Four Felonies.

In September 2020, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office responded to Banner Ironwood Hospital reference an eight-year-old boy who had been air-lifted to them in critical condition and showed signs of significant abuse. The boy suffered from multiple injuries including liver and spleen lacerations, scars and abrasions all over his body, multiple rib fractures, internal bleeding, injuries to his chest cavity, fractured sternum, and both old and new injuries to his genitals. Deputies were told by a relative that he fell off his skateboard, however doctors did not believe that to be the case. Genis initially reported she noticed the victim had a puffy eye after playing in the backyard. Investigators obtained a search warrant for Genis' phone and located a search history that included home remedies for injuries to the chest, trouble breathing, and when CPS gets involved. Investigators also discovered a text message that appeared to show an attempt to fabricate a story for law enforcement.

As part of the investigation, the victim eventually disclosed Genis, who was his mom's live-in girlfriend, started hurting him when COVID began and he had to stay home from school. He indicated Genis was the only one who hurt him and that she did things including smash his head against a car window and strangle him. He has now recovered from his physical injuries.

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Mesa man sentenced to seven years for sexually assaulting woman in public

(FLORENCE, AZ) - A Mesa man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for sexually assaulting a pregnant woman at a Casa Grande Walmart.

On May 22nd, 2023, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Daniel Washburn sentenced Andrew Magana, 21, to seven years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

In April, a jury found Magana guilty of Sexual Assault, a Class Two Felony.

In June, 2021, Magana assaulted a pregnant woman who was shopping at a Walmart in Casa Grande. According to court documents, Magana, who was at the store with his girlfriend and young son at the time, ventured to a different part of the store where he located the victim, who was pushing a child in her shopping cart. Magana walked up to the victim and inappropriately grabbed her. The victim was able to knock off Magana's hat and sunglasses before he ran away. The hat and glasses later provided a DNA match to the defendant. Magana was also captured on store surveillance video.

Magana was on federal probation at the time of the incident.

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San Tan Valley man sentenced to 8 years for drug, weapons offenses

(FLORENCE, AZ) - A San Tan Valley man has been sentenced to nearly a decade in prison for multiple drug and weapons offenses.

On April 24th, 2023, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Steven Fuller sentenced Michael Phillips, 51, to eight years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

In January, a jury found Phillips guilty of six felony offenses, including Possession of a Narcotic Drug for Sale exceeding the threshold, a Class Two Felony; Misconduct Involving Weapons during a drug offense, a Class Four Felony; and Use of Wire or Electronic Communication in a drug related transaction, a Class Four Felony.

On July 30, 2021, at approximately 1:00 am, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office deputies conducted a traffic stop on a Dodge Durango driven by Michael Phillips. Phillips appeared nervous. After a deputy found a baggie of methamphetamine in the front seat passenger’s pocket, they conducted a search of the vehicle. During the search, the deputy discovered a camera bag on the front passenger’s side floorboard. He found a baggie containing approximately 40 grams of methamphetamine inside the camera bag, three baggies containing a total of 240 fentanyl pills, a baggie with powder fentanyl, a scale, methamphetamine pipes, and additional small empty baggies. The deputy located a firearm between the driver’s seat and the center console. He also searched a blue Nintendo bag that he found in the backseat. It contained foil with burnt residue and a baggie containing powder fentanyl. The deputy seized numerous cell phones from the vehicle. The data from these phones included numerous drug-related conversations.

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Man sentenced to nearly 50 years in prison for shooting PCSO deputy

(FLORENCE, AZ) - A man who shot a Pinal County Sheriff's Office Deputy while responding to a trespassing call has been sentenced to more than four decades in prison.

On April 28th, 2023, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Jason Holmberg sentenced Jason Forrester, 40, to 48 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Forrester pled guilty to Misconduct Involving Weapons by a prohibited possessor, a Class 4 Felony, and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a law enforcement officer, a Class 2 Felony.

In March, 2022, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office responded to a Dudleyville home after a call alleging Forrester was trespassing on the vacant property. At the time of the incident, Forrester had a warrant out for his arrest. A responding deputy contacted Forrester and shortly after was heard on police radio stating he was involved in a shooting and had been shot and was losing consciousness. The deputy was ultimately air lifted from the scene and taken to a level 1 trauma center.

Responding law enforcement personnel located Forrester, who was also suffering from a gunshot wound. Forrester was also transported to a trauma center. After his release from the hospital, Forrester was taken to the Pinal County Adult Detention Facility. He met with a PCSO detective and provided a statement that he was at the vacant home and when the deputy arrived on scene, the deputy brought up the outstanding warrant and Forrester began to run because he knew he was in possession of a firearm. The evidence and the victim account show this was an intentional shooting. While backing away from the Deputy, Forrester said he was not going back to jail and ran deeper into the property. As he approached a gate he reached into his pocket, removed a firearm, turned to face the Deputy and fired the gun, striking him.

A witness was contacted, and while they did not see the shooting, stated they heard a single gunshot followed by several more gunshots moments later.

The PCSO deputy who was shot was ultimately released from the hospital.

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Coolidge man sentenced to more than 15 years for possessing sexually explicit images of children

(FLORENCE, AZ) - A Coolidge man has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for possessing sexually explicit images of children.

On May 1st, 2023, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Steven Fuller sentenced Brian Patterson, 35, to 17 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections, followed by lifetime probation.

Patterson pled guilty to Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, a Class Two Felony and Dangerous Crime Against Children, and Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Second Degree, a Class Three Felony and Preparatory Dangerous Crime Against Children.

In 2022, law enforcement was contacted by Patterson’s ex-girlfriend. According to court documents, the ex-girlfriend and Patterson had broken up, but Patterson let her know the dog they owned together passed away. Afterwards, the woman received a notification that Patterson uploaded photos to a photo-sharing account via Google that the woman had access to through an old email address. The woman indicated she thought Patterson had uploaded photos of the dog, and instead she found sexually explicit images of children. The woman told Coolidge Police Patterson must not have known she still had access to the photo-sharing account. Investigators were able to view the uploaded photos and confirmed the existence of sexually explicit images of children. A search warrant was obtained for the Google account, which confirmed Patterson as the account holder and also revealed additional illicit material.

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Man sentenced to seven years in prison for theft of paintings, furniture from Casa Grande home

(FLORENCE, AZ) - A Phoenix man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for the theft of paintings from an unoccupied home.

On March 27th, 2023, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Jason Holmberg sentenced Deorman Bonner, 48, to seven years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Bonner pled guilty to Theft, a Class Two Felony.

In February 2021, a woman contacted the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office reporting theft from her home in Casa Grande. She reported the home was undergoing a remodel and was unoccupied with the exception of her property.  The woman became aware of the theft from the owner of a store, who advised her someone had brought in multiple paintings and other items to be appraised. According to court documents, the person who dropped off the items claimed he wanted to sell the items for $900 and he obtained them after clearing out a house of a woman who had passed away. The store owner indicated he would need to appraise the items first, and while inspecting them found contact information on several of the paintings. The store owner contacted the victim, who then became aware of the theft. Investigators were able to identify Bonner, who was on probation, and who was also identified by the store owner in a photo line-up.

The total amount of the stolen items, which included 22 paintings , furniture, china and household items, was valued a$289,150.

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