A Phoenix mom was arrested last week on suspicion of sending her daughter and other teens over to an ex-boyfriend's Tempe house in September to rough the guy up with Tasers and other weapons.
Police believe that Katherine Faye White, a 40-year-old woman with a history of forgery and theft convictions, supplied Tasers, duct tape, a crowbar, rope, a wrench, latex gloves and a tire-iron to 20-year-old David Strickland and the three minors, court documents state.
The four young people were caught and jailed on the night of the assault, which left the victim with bruises and cuts to head. Two of the assailants recently gave detectives the lowdown on White's involvement, court documents show, leading to the woman's February 11 arrest at her Phoenix home.
Unlike the "Ma Barker" case we told you about in June, this odd bit of matriarchal madness seems to have been spurred by love, not money.
Well, something in the ballpark of love, anyway.
Whatever the emotion, records show that White cut one of her wrists in September after she and the victim broke up.
But it seems the hurt soon turned to anger: Police allege that she and one of the teens, David Murabito, went to the victim's Tempe home on September 11 and poured sugar water in his vehicle's gas tank.
Then, on September 29, White allegedly gave the Tasers and tools to the four young people and told them what to do:
"Just go over there, beat him up, tie him up and call me," White told the group, records state.
One of the teens told police that White told him that once her old beau was tied up, she intended to use him to entice the man's current girlfriend to come to the house. The teen wasn't sure what White wanted to do if she accomplished that part of the plan.
White's daughter, Stephanie, drove Strickland and the other teens from White's former home in north Phoenix to the victim's home near Baseline Road and McClintock. The girl stayed in the car while Strickland, Murabito and Juan Ruiz ambushed the man in his back yard, police allege.
Strickland was wearing a "Scream" mask, and the boys had their shirts pulled up over their faces. They pushed the man back in his house.
"Strickland admitted to repeatedly striking the victim with the metal wrench while Ruiz used a 'Taser' on the victim..." court records state.
Something must have gone wrong with the plan -- before tying the man up, the group fled and, as mentioned, were arrested that night.
The beans finally spilled, and White was brought to the Tempe police headquarters for questioning last week.
White "admitted she did want [the victim] to feel the emotional hurt as she did after they broke up," records state. "Katherine admitted to having conversations with Ruiz about wishing someone would beat [the victim] up, but continued to deny that she instructed the suspects to hurt him."
Police seek felony charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault and burglary against White.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
As for the others:
*Trials for Murabito and Strickland are scheduled to start next month.
*Ruiz pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping.
*Stephanie White pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping and two counts of burglary.