Crime

Juan Martinez Will Seek Death Penalty in Serial Street Shooter Case

Aaron Saucedo faces 20 felony counts, including nine murder charges.
Aaron Saucedo faces 20 felony counts, including nine murder charges. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Maricopa County prosecutor Juan Martinez has another high-profile capital murder case, and suspected Serial Street Shooter Aaron Saucedo got an early Christmas present of his own.

click to enlarge Aaron Saucedo faces 20 felony counts, including nine murder charges. - MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Aaron Saucedo faces 20 felony counts, including nine murder charges.
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
He’s now facing the death penalty.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office filed notice before today’s deadline that it will seek the death penalty for Saucedo. If convicted he would become tied as the most prolific serial killer in Arizona history.

The Maryvale Shooter, as the killer was popularly known as his rampage of drive-by shootings in that neighborhood escalated in summer 2016, is believed to have killed nine people in a dozen shootings.


Convicted Baseline Killer Marc Goudeau also killed nine people a decade ago.

Martinez, made famous by the Jodi Arias spectacle, did not articulate in court documents the rationale for seeking the death penalty for Saucedo.

Saucedo is accused of these shooting deaths in Phoenix:

August 16, 2015: Raul Romero, his mother’s boyfriend, in the gravel parking lot of his house at 920 East Montebello Avenue.

January 1, 2016: Jesse Olivias, 22, shot dead just after midnight. This was the first of the apparently "random" killings.

April 1: Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, 21.

April 19:
Krystal Annette White, a 55-year-old prostitute turning tricks to raise money for her daughter’s wedding, at 500 North 32nd Street.

June 3: Horacio de Jesus Pena, 32, killed outside his house at 6700 West Flower Street.

June 10: Manuel Castro Garcia, 19, shot to death outside his house, near 6500 West Coronado Road.

June 12: Stefanie Ellis, 33, and her 12-year-old daughter, Maleah, shot to death outside their home near 6300 West Berkley Road. Friend Angela Linner, 31, shot and later died.

Records released to date show that police have built their case on similarities between bullet fragments and shell casings found at the scene of the crimes and the guns Saucedo had at the time. There are also similarities with bullet casings found in cars he was driving at the time.


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Sean Holstege is a freelance reporter with a 30-year career in print news. He was an investigative reporter at The Arizona Republic and the Oakland Tribune. He won a Sigma Delta Chi award for investigative reporting. He’s covered transportation, terrorism, the border, disasters, child welfare, courts, and breaking news.
Contact: Sean Holstege