Someone has finally been charged in the death of Phoenix Police Officer Daryl Raetz, and it's the guy cops suspected all along.
Jesus Cabrera Molina, 24, has been charged with manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident more than two weeks after his green SUV hit and killed Raetz, who was at the scene of a DUI stop.
Officer Raetz and his partner were finishing up at the scene of a DUI stop around 3:30 a.m. on May 19 near 51st Avenue and Cambridge (south of Thomas) when Raetz was struck by a vehicle.
The driver who hit Raetz proceeded to drive away, and Raetz, just 29 years old, died after being transported to a hospital.
Cops in Surprise spotted the SUV a little after 1 p.m. that day being driven by Molina.
The housings on the brake lights and headlights of the green Ford Expedition were tinted, matching the description of the SUV that hit Raetz in Phoenix. Parts recovered from the crime scene matched parts missing from Molina's SUV, according to court documents obtained by New Times.
Although Molina's father told police that Molina was the only one who drives the SUV, police hadn't been able to definitively say that Molina was driving the vehicle when it hit Raetz.
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Phoenix Police Sergeant Tommy Thompson tells New Times the investigation's ongoing, but he did that evidence and witness interviews led to Molina's new charges. He adds that police believe Molina was impaired when he allegedly hit Officer Raetz.
To the former point, court documents did note that another officer saw this vehicle 90 minutes after it hit Raetz, and that officer had identified Molina as the guy he saw driving.
Molina has been jailed since the day of Raetz's death, because when he stepped out of the SUV during the traffic stop in Surprise, a bag of cocaine fell out of his pocket, according to the court documents. He's in the country illegally, so he's being held in jail without bond.