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Maricopa County attorney speaks during bi-weekly news conference

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell addressed cases of youth violence, animal abuse and misinformation during her biweekly press conference on January 24th.

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell will address animal abuse cases in Maricopa County and recent incidents of violence involving teenagers in the East Valley during her biweekly press conference Jan. 24, and discuss fentanyl, which will be held in Spanish. He talked about the briefing session regarding.

Animal abuse cases in Maricopa County

Mitchell gave an update on the case involving a man who was arrested on Jan. 7 after being identified as a suspect on a bicycle who allegedly shot a German shepherd with a handgun. Ruben Garza, 38, is also in an Arizona prison on a murder charge.

Garza denied any involvement in the shooting and claimed he had been home all night when the dog was injured, according to court records. He was booked into the Maricopa County Jail, and the county attorney's office prosecuted Garza. He is charged with the following crimes, all of which are felonies:

  • 1 count of illegal act with a weapon
  • 1 count of illegal discharge of a firearm;
  • disorderly behavior
  • Deliberately subjecting livestock to cruel abuse

Mitchell also said the county attorney's office continues to search for Lester Paul Richmond, 36, who is charged with intentionally subjecting livestock to cruel abuse. Richmond was identified as a suspect in the death of a husky puppy in Scottsdale last summer.

Mitchell said there is a grand jury warrant out for Richmond's arrest. Mitchell said if anyone has information regarding Richmond's whereabouts, please call the Scottsdale Police Department at 480-312-TIPS (8477).

Fentanyl forum will be available in Spanish

Mitchell said the county attorney's office has held several forums on fentanyl in Arizona for parents, children and people who work with children about the dangers of “this poison” flowing across the border. He said it was held. Mitchell said half of the fentanyl seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration is in Arizona.

RELATED: 'This is the worst thing I could have ever imagined': Valley parents who lost children to fentanyl are raising awareness for others

Mitchell said the county attorney's office is currently recruiting for a second round of fentanyl forums in Spanish. The forum he will be held on Tuesday, January 30th. For more information about the event, please visit Visit the Maricopa County Attorney's Office website.

“It's important that we not only prosecute cases, but also prevent them and educate the community,” Mitchell said.

east valley teen violence

Mitchell cited several incidents of teen violence in the East Valley, including the death of 16-year-old Preston Lord. Mitchell said her team is reviewing more than 2,000 pages of police reports and more than 2,000 pieces of digital evidence, including more than 600 videos.

For example, Mitchell said that if each video was one minute long (which she said none of the videos were), and without rewinding or analyzing the video, the review time would be I said it would be 600 minutes or 10 hours.

Mitchell said the videos analyzed were also subject to Arizona's rules of evidence, and that the county attorney's office and police had “sufficient evidence to support” that the videos and photos showed what they claimed. It is necessary to submit the following information. This is different from news organizations using social media videos for reporting, Mitchell explained.

“This is a monumental task,” Mitchell said. “The community wants answers. Most importantly, the families of Preston Road want answers.”

Mitchell said it would be “irresponsible” to put a timeline on the investigation into Lord's death.

“We're still actively working on this. We care very much about getting this done quickly, but we care more about getting it done right,” Mitchell said. Told. “This is not something you can do once and then fix if you do it wrong. The law doesn't work that way.”

Mitchell said she is working with and talking to Lord's family more than any other case because there is so much misinformation about this case.

“This family is grieving the loss of their son, but they keep hearing, 'No one cares, no one is going to do anything, no one is going to press charges,'” Mitchell said. “We need our elected county attorneys to be able to ease their minds a little bit and say, 'We're here, we're working, we care.' I think.”

Mitchell said the office is not prepared to definitively answer whether the Gilbert Goons are a “criminal street gang,” which would affect charges. There is a separate charge of promoting a criminal street gang, which is an enhancement, Mitchell said.

Mr Mitchell also confirmed that the “Gilbert Goons” group had surfaced in the investigation into Lord's death, but would not confirm whether there was a connection between Gilbert Goons and Lord's death.

Mitchell said she could not comment on whether she would seek the death penalty in Lord's death.

For more information on recent East Valley teen violence incidents, visit

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