The Case of the Fatal Femme

Samantha Somegustava's boyfriend tells the homicide detective she has a "hard heart." By now, the cop knows what he means

Ballentine theorizes after the interview that longtime car thief Samantha had conned her way into Gabe's Cavalier intending, at least, to rob him of his money and his car. She'd gotten Enos involved both as muscle (Enos was a street tough who owned a shotgun) and because she saw an opportunity to repay Enos' brother the money she owed him.

Though he's a juvenile, Enos will be treated as an adult under the law, except for an important detail: Under current case law, juveniles cannot face the death penalty.

Ballentine is jazzed, but bone tired. He and Jason Schechterle have been working the case almost nonstop for 19 days straight.

Dominic Bugatto
The body of Gabe Cruz lies below a dirt road near 99th Avenue and Lower Buckeye.
courtesy of Phoenix Police Department
The body of Gabe Cruz lies below a dirt road near 99th Avenue and Lower Buckeye.

"The gods were with us on this one," he says of the investigation. "I think I just might get a good night's sleep tonight."


Gabe Cruz is remembered at two memorial services in Mesa, one for his friends at Graham Central Station and the other for the members of his family who live in the Valley.

His girlfriend Araceli and his cousins accompany the body on its last trip home, for burial in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Like most real-life homicide investigations, this one leaves behind nagging questions -- not necessarily about the guilt of Somegustava or Enos, but about what truly did happen from the moment Gabe pulled into the Circle K until he died an hour or so later.

"Gabe was such a sweet guy, and he trusted people," says his buddy Chris Ferschke. "Maybe that evil woman or that kid will say someday what really happened that morning, and maybe they won't. All I know is they killed a great human being for his money and his car."

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Samantha Somegustava, who has pleaded not guilty. Her trial with co-defendant Richard Enos -- who also says he's innocent -- is scheduled for later this year in Maricopa County Superior Court.

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3 comments
scogostology_worldol
scogostology_worldol

This is among the top 10 most despicable murder stories I have ever read about!

sandrajeanharvey
sandrajeanharvey

Sam & Richard are my family they are hurting well in prison. I still love them and feel for them. they had a very hard life growing up, no excuse for what they did. please pray for them they are human. as the years go by, I hope they know that god does for give.

sandrajeanharvey
sandrajeanharvey

Sam & Richard are my family they are hurting well in prison. I still love them and feel for them. they had a very hard life growing up, no excuse for what they did. please pray for them they are human. as the years go by, I hope they know that god does for give.

 
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