GrassRoots50

Breaking News Stories

Four indicted in Preston Lord homicide investigation in Queen Creek

PHOENIX — A grand jury has indicted four people in the death of Preston Lord, officials said.

The Queen Creek Police Department and Maricopa County Attorney's Office are providing an update on the Preston Road homicide investigation.

The announcement comes as the East Valley community pressures law enforcement officials to make an arrest in the death of 16-year-old Preston Lord, who was killed during a Halloween party in October.

Latest coverage: Teen violence in Valley

Queen Creek Police Chief Randy Blythe, Queen Creek Police Chief Noah Johnson and Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell will be in attendance.

Watch the Queen Creek Police Department, MCAO press conference in the player below

Four people charged over Preston Road murder

Attack and investigation timeline

Preston Lord was taken to the hospital on Oct. 28 after being assaulted at a Halloween party near 194th Street and Via del Oro in Queen Creek. Two days later he died.

“He had his whole life ahead of him,” said Daniel Kelly, a friend of the Lord family.

His death was recently officially ruled a homicide, according to the coroner. Officials confirmed that the medical examiner's report is complete and has been sent to law enforcement. The report will undergo legal review before being made public.

The Lord murder case is the first homicide investigation for the Queen Creek Police Department, which was founded just a few years ago.

Queen Creek police announced in November that they had identified multiple “persons of interest.”

In December, police recommended charges against seven people who may have been involved in Lord's death. The Maricopa County Attorney told ABC15 the case is still under review.

Authorities recently released photos of a vehicle believed to be a witness to a “separate incident” near the scene of Lord's assault. They are still asking the person to provide information.

“We had some witnesses who were reluctant to come forward, so we went back to them and conducted a field investigation,” Queen Creek Police Chief Randy Blythe told ABC15. “What we're finding is that they're starting to open up a little bit more and provide additional information.”

Extensive research and community concerns

Lord's death drew attention to a series of attacks on teenagers in the East Valley, prompting multiple law enforcement agencies to initiate or reopen violent incidents.

Multiple arrests have also been made in a number of other cases, including one related to the so-called “Gilbert Goons” gang. Civil lawsuits have also been filed in connection with some of these attacks.

Since Lord's death, the East Valley community has held multiple “Light the Night” events in his memory, attended town council meetings and voiced concerns to local officials.

Queen Creek Police Chief Randy Blythe said in January that he would take responsibility for Lord's case and that an arrest would be made. However, the community continued to express dissatisfaction and even called for the resignation of some leaders amid a teen violence investigation.

“What else can we do to prevent this in our community?” Lord's father, Nick, said at a recent meeting in Chandler. “The impact of youth violence is far more widespread than any of us could have imagined at this time.”

“I believe that action and change is essential and that it is a community effort. Silence is deadly,” said Lorde's stepmother, Melissa Ciconte.

Timeline: A look at teen violence in the East Valley

Have news information about teen violence in the Valley? Email us at teenviolence@abc15.com.

Share this post:

Related Posts