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4 suspects charged with first-degree murder of Preston Lord

PHOENIX — A grand jury indicted four suspects Wednesday in the Preston Road incident, according to Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell.

She named the suspects as William Owen Hines and Dominic Turner, both adults, and two minors. Taran Renner and Taryn Vigil. The two minors will be charged as adults.

Each suspect is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and felony murder. Turner is also charged with aggravated robbery.

“This has taken months, but it's not because no one is working on it,” Mitchell told reporters. “Quite the opposite.”

The Maricopa County Prosecutor's Office (MCAO) hosted the conference along with the Queen Creek Police Department (QCPD).

Before authorities announced the press conference, East Valley locals had reported seeing SWAT teams in multiple neighborhoods. However, authorities did not provide an update on the situation.

“We must always remember that at the center of this case is a teenage boy who died a long time ago,” Mitchell said. “His parents are suffering and there is little that can be done to change this situation. That being said, today we have taken a major step in our pursuit of justice for Preston.”

The investigation was “very quick,” Queen Creek Police Chief says.

QCPD Police Chief Randy Blythe said murder investigations typically take a long time. But the incident was “very quick,” he said.

Lord, 16, was attacked and killed by a group of youths during a Halloween party in Queen Creek in late October.

His death sparked a wave of community anger over the rise in youth violence in the East Valley.

My neighbor's parents told me KTAR News 92.3 FM The violence is said to be linked to a youth gang called the Gilbert Goons.

The gang allegedly attacked teens in random blitz attacks in areas including Gilbert, Queen Creek and Mesa. Some of the attackers were said to be wearing brass knuckles.

QCPD submitted a police report on Mr Lord's incident to the MCAO on December 28.

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell told reporters the case file was about 1,800 pages long. She said it will take a long time for her office to review the approximately 2,000 pieces of evidence.

Although four suspects have been officially named, the investigation is not yet complete.

“We are still actively working to make an arrest,” Bryce said. “We will be ruthless in our approach to this matter. We will not stop until we have everyone in custody.”

Gilbert Police Department announced details at press conference Wednesday night

Gilbert Police Chief Michael Solberg provided further details in an update Wednesday night.

Solberg said Hines has three pending aggravated assault cases, one of which was arrested by the Gilbert Police Department for DUI-related aggravated assault, and two additional aggravated assault cases filed in December 2023 and 2024. He said it was not reported to the Gilbert Police Department until January.

Solberg confirmed that all three cases involving Hines are pending in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Solberg also said Turner has one documented incident with the Gilbert Police Department, a traffic accident with a hazardous object on the road in 2023. Solberg said there are no other documented incidents involving Turner.

Due to legal restrictions, Solberg was unable to identify the suspect, who was a juvenile at the time.

One of the boys had one arrest related to riding a dirt bike in the yard. Solberg confirmed that he had eight other interactions with the boy since 2017.

The second suspect has three juvenile arrests. Two of the arrests were for smoking in school, and the other was for shoplifting. Since 2021, there have been seven other interactions with this boy.

A third boy was arrested twice. Solberg said he was involved once in a fight over a girl and once for driving recklessly on dirt land. Solberg acknowledged that there have been eight other communications since 2017.

Solberg also said the gang investigation is ongoing and active, with his department still working on 12 active cases.

He said he has been in contact with the Queen Creek Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.

“Today's indictment marks another step in bringing justice to the Lord family. We once again urge anyone with information regarding these investigations to come forward to the Gilbert Police Department,” Chief Solberg said.

This is a developing story.

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