Welcome to Courthouse Update, a weekly rundown of goings-on at the Maricopa County Superior Court.
This week, the parents of a disabled boy take a plea deal in an abuse case, two suspected murders plead not-guilty, a former Scottsdale CPA is found guilty of theft, and more.
- Chandler parents plead guilty to abusing disabled boy
Chandler couple Vu Tran and Siobhan Grogan told police they often kept their 8-year-old son -- who has mental and physical disabilities -- locked in a bathroom. Police questioned them a year ago because they left the boy there, and the maintenance manager from their apartment complex found the boy locked in the bathroom, naked and standing in two inches of water, while the toilet was overflowing, while he was investigating a leak. They pleaded guilty to attempted child abuse. Their sentencing is scheduled for November 12.
- Ex-Scottsdale CPA found guilty of theft and fraud
Dan Wise, a former Scottsdale accountant, was found guilty by a jury of 22 counts of theft and eight counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices. That's not even the bad news for Wise, who still faces federal charges for his alleged $66 million real-estate-based Ponzi scheme.
- Punk teenager pleads not-guilty to murder
Leonard Moreno, who police say is a 15-year-old, drug-dealing gangster, is accused of fatally shooting MCSO jail officer Jorge Vargas outside his home in August. Moreno shot Vargas for no apparent reason, according to police, as the two ran into each other as Moreno was walking home, and saw Vargas in his driveway, about to leave for an early shift at work. His next court date is on November 7.
- Father pleads not-guilty in 1-year-old's death
Brokale Marques pleaded not guilty to charges related to the death of his 1-year-old son. Marques had claimed that he didn't have time to get a babysitter, so he went to work in Scottsdale, and left his son in the backseat, with the air conditioner running. Marques didn't even bother to park in a covered space, according to court documents. His next court date is on November 21.
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- Thomas Moton sentenced to life in prison
Moton killed his ex-girlfriend Takesha Barnes in May 2012, as Barnes was leaving her daughter's middle-school graduation ceremony in Avondale. Barnes was a domestic-violence victim who had just taken out an order of protection against Moton earlier that week. Barnes had asked for a security guard to escort her to her car, but Barnes was still able to shoot her. A jury found Moton guilty of first-degree murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison, with no eligibility for release. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says in a statement, "This defendant is deserving of a life sentence for committing such a brazen, senseless and cowardly act of violence that robbed three children of their mother and placed other members of our community at risk."