Wild, Wild West: The Maricopa County Crime Roundup for June 29
New Times Illustration/Zac McDonald

Wild, Wild West: The Maricopa County Crime Roundup for June 29

Phoenix New Times' Weekly Crime Roundup stories are based on booking sheets submitted to courts by police departments, and present the side of one or more police officers and their alleged evidence. Arrests don't always lead to convictions.

Veteran and Author Has Bad Night With Ex-Girlfriend

Shaun Pearse Wheelwright, Army veteran, West Point graduate, and co-author of a war memoir, threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend, then himself, following their breakup one week earlier, cops say.

On June 9, Wheelwright’s ex-girlfriend watched the former military man break into her Scottsdale home through the patio door. She wasn't home at the time, but saw the deed via her home surveillance camera and cellphone app. When she returned home to confront him, Wheelwright, 39, was “acting crazy” and became violent after she rightfully asked him to leave.

She tried to run from Wheelwright, but police say he tackled her to the ground, choked her, and punched her in the face. A neighbor heard a "blood-curdling scream" coming from the street and arrived in time to see Wheelwright flee.

Two days later, Wheelwright turned himself into Scottsdale Police Department's First District, saying he didn’t remember tackling his ex — only that he wanted to "calm her down."

A Pinetop-Lakeside native, Wheelwright graduated from the United State Military Academy in 2004 and served in Iraq from 2007 to 2009. In Baghdad, Wheelwright began thinking of the "six-word novel" often attributed to Ernest Hemingway, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

"The sun was setting there in Baghdad, and I was watching the soldiers pass by and we'd been through a lot, and I thought I wonder what their six words are," Wheelwright told Fox 10 Phoenix in 2015.

Along with a fellow West Point grad, Wheelwright published Six Word War, a crowd-sourced book about Iraq veterans war experiences described in six words.

Police want Wheelwright charged with five criminal counts, including burglary and aggravated assault.

Status Update: Suspect Posts 'Bouta Get Locked Up' on Facebook Before Going to Prison

Mother knows best — especially when Phoenix PD comes calling.

Gabriel Luna, 18, allegedly clubbed a woman in the chest with the stock of a stolen shotgun and threatened to kill her, all in pursuit of a PlayStation, two soundbars, and some cash.

When police began searching for Luna, they called his mother, who agreed to bring her son into the police headquarters in downtown Phoenix.

Before voluntarily surrendering at 4:45 p.m. on June 19, however, Luna wanted to make his lifestyle change Facebook official.

"Bouta get locked up for a min lets see whos really with me," he wrote at 1:36 p.m. on the social media platform.

"Yous Lyin," a friend replied.

"I bangit. Bouta turn myself in," Luna told his friend.

Police want Luna charged with kidnapping and armed robbery.

Mayhem at Motel 6: Kidnapping, Assault, and Grand Theft Audi

A group of suspects welcomed a new resident to the Valley by beating him so badly, his brain began to bleed.

What exactly transpired in room 228 of the Motel 6 located at 5315 East Van Buren Street on June 14, we can't say. But surveillance footage shows Akal Asefaw, Samuel Yegezu, Shyann Jones, and Claudia Sims entering the room with the victim — a California man and acquaintance of Asefaw, who just moved to Phoenix  — shortly after 2 p.m.

The surveillance video shows the room's window shaking and curtains swaying, then the suspects bolting from the motel without the victim, records state. They did, however, manage to take the victim's backpack and Audi A7.

Fifteen minutes after the alleged attack, the bloodied victim was able to crawl out of the motel room to seek help. He was treated for a laceration to the brain, several facial fractures, and a brain bleed at Maricopa Medical Center.

On June 15, Police interviewed the victim, whose face was so swollen, he had difficulty speaking. He was, however, able to identify Asefaw as one of the men present during the attack, records state.

Shortly after midnight on June 16, according to the report, Asefaw and Yegezu were "contacted during a traffic stop" and taken into police custody. 

Police want each of the four suspects charged with kidnapping and aggravated robbery. Police also want Yegezu, who allegedly stole the victim's Audi, to be charged with vehicle theft.

Mother Arrested Three Months After Infant Found Non-Responsive

Nearly three months after responding to an emergency call of an infant not breathing, police arrested the child's mother, Jassidy Arias, 20.

Around 2 p.m. on April 18, police arrived at a residence near West Indian School Road and North 55th Drive, where they found Arias attempting CPR on a 4-month-old infant. According to the report, Arias had the child on a mattress streaked with urine and feces stains.

The baby was transported to Phoenix Children's Hospital, where doctors initially believed she would not survive. Throughout treatment in the intensive care unit, the child suffered intermittent seizures and two strokes. Doctors ordered several tests on the child to determine if her malnourishment, gastrointestinal bleeding, and glucose deficiency were genetic or medical conditions. They determined the cause was malnutrition. Doctors told police on May 1 they believed the baby would live.

Arias’ three other children, ages unknown, were covered in scabies, lice, rashes, and experienced fevers as well as tooth decay. Police arrested Arias around 8 a.m. on June 20. Arias allegedly admitted to investigators she only fed the infant twice each day and noticed the child’s health declining one month before the CPR incident. She did not reach out for medical help, however, because she did not want to get in trouble.

Police want her charged with one count of child abuse.

Triple Shooting at Apartment Complex Leaves One Dead; Alleged Killer Shot in Head and Survives

Despite being shot in the head, collarbone, and having his shoulder grazed by bullets, Devonte Keshone Laro Phylow, 25, survived his injuries and was arrested by Phoenix police after being discharged from St. Joseph’s Hospital on June 25.

Details provided by court records show a chaotic series of events laced with he-said-she-said accounts of what actually occurred at the Bellridge Apartment Complex on Saturday, June 16.

Witnesses told police Phylow, also known by his rap name "Snap," confronted a group of raucous men on the third floor around 4 a.m that morning. For eight hours, all was quiet in the complex, but trouble returned when one of the victims left the upper-level apartment to buy beer and Gatorade around 12:45 p.m.

Witnesses said Phylow returned to the staircase and challenged the men to a fight, revealing what appeared to be a gun in his waistband. Upon seeing Phylow’s weapon, two men from the early morning argument got into a pistol-whipping melee, while another ran upstairs to grab his own gun.

A bystander almost successfully attempted to stop the fight, the report said, but just as the two men who allegedly fought with Phylow walked upstairs, he opened fire.

The third man, who had retrieved his gun from his upstairs apartment, reportedly shot Phylow in the head to keep him from causing any more damage. When paramedics arrived, they treated one victim for a gunshot wound to the leg and pronounced the second man dead on the scene.

Phylow’s own account of the situation differs from witnesses. He did want to confront the men on the third floor — not because they were noisy at 4 a.m., he told cops, but because they called his children “mutts.” He stated the men began to call him names, and punch and pistol-whip him. Phylow also told police he did not have a gun at the time of the altercation, though a Facebook photo posted in 2014 does show Phylow holding a gun to his head.

Phylow’s bond is set at $1 million.

Police want to charge Phylow with assault, firing a gun within city limits, and second-degree murder.

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