Arizona prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Cleophus Cooksey Jr., the man police say shot to death nine people between Thanksgiving and Christmas, culminating with his mother and her boyfriend.
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office filed the motion, which was widely expected, Wednesday.
If the motion is granted, it means that office will be engaged in prosecuting two death penalty cases of serial killers simultaneously.
County Attorney Bill Montgomery is also seeking the death penalty against Aaron Juan Saucedo, the man police say is the Maryvale Shooter.
Cooksey, a 35-year-old Phoenix man, was released from state prison in July after serving a 16-year sentence for his role in a fatal stick-up at a Phoenix strip club.
Four months after he got out, police say, he began an orgy of violence, killing people he mostly knew. Many had been in court on drug charges. One was the brother of his girlfriend. Two were apparently unknown to him: an armed security guard and a woman who police say he raped, killed, and dumped in an alley in a crime of opportunity.
In its 13-page court filing, county prosecutors cite Cooksey's long criminal history, that his slayings were cruel and inflicted pain and anguish on his victims.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.