Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 11:58 a.m.
We dropped in yesterday at the first-degree murder trial of Donnie Delahanty, a young Phoenix man who, on May 10, 2005, followed through on a promise he had been making to pals: If some cop, any cop, pulled him over when he was in a car, he'd shoot the son-of-a-bitch just for the hell of it.
Phoenix police officer David Uribe had the misfortune of stopping a late-model Monte Carlo on West Cactus Road near 33rd Avenue late on that unforgettable May morning.
Delahanty was in the passenger seat, a fellow named Chris Wilson was driving, and another guy was in the back. It was a routine stop, similar to the thousands that 48-year-old Officer Uribe had made over two decades of patrolling the streets.
Prosecutors at Delahanty's trial in downtown Phoenix are alleging that Delahanty reached around driver Wilson as Uribe approached the vehicle on foot from behind.
Delahanty filed several fatal shots into the officer's head and neck. Wilson then sped off into a nearby neighborhood, where the trio abandoned the car and fled on foot.
Delahanty and Wilson were captured a few days later after an intense, highly publicized manhunt. The third passenger--who had split from the other two shortly after the shooting--turned himself into police immediately after the arrests. He already has testified against Delahanty at the trial.
New Times wrote extensively about this senseless and tragic case as part of its "Murder City" series.
We called the Uribe piece "The Case of the Grim Tweaker,"
a reference to Delahanty's methamphetamine use at the time of the murder. It is a sad, sad story.
The case against the 22-year-old Delahanty is solid: Chris Wilson plea-bargained down to second-degree murder in return for a shorter prison sentence and his testimony against Delahanty. Wilson is expected to be on the witness stand next week.
Delahanty faces the death penalty if he is convicted.