Medical Marijuana Grower Shot and Stabbed During Apparent Robbery

A medical marijuana grower was shot and stabbed inside his Surprise home yesterday in an apparent robbery.

Martin Ridgway is in critical condition after being shot once in the abdomen and stabbed multiple times by one of the three men who came to Ridgway's home posing as medical marijuana patients, police say.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, the man who shot and stabbed Ridgway died as police officers came through the door of the home, after Ridgway returned some stabs in self-defense.

Ridgway was able to tell police that the three men came to his house to buy marijuana, but gave him fake medical marijuana cards.

Ridgway said he refused to sell the marijuana to the men, and one of the men took out a handgun and shot him, the documents say.

According to the documents, Ridgway told police he pulled out his knife, and as the shooter's gun jammed, he also pulled a knife, and the men started a knife fight inside the home.

Both men stabbed each other multiple times, and Ridgway identified the dead man he'd stabbed as the one who shot him too.

Police haven't been able to identify the man, according to the documents.

A man who was also at the house when the alleged robbers showed up told police that he was in the backyard when Ridgway called him and asked him to help him get rid of the three guys who came in with the fake medical marijuana cards.

He told police he walked around the front of the house, and saw a woman in the driver's seat of a car in the front of the house. After hearing what he thought were fireworks, the woman yelled into the house for the men to hurry because police had been called.

Two men hopped in the car with the woman, and the third died in the house.

Police caught up with the car -- as the woman crashed it trying to get away from the cops -- and one of the men escaped police after the crash.

The driver, Stephanie Conley, and the other man, Jesse Gillen, were arrested.

Conley told police she'd been kidnapped and forced to participate in the robbery, then changed her story and said she met up with the men to buy marijuana, then added that the men changed their plans, and intended to rob Ridgway instead, the documents say.

Gillen maintained the kidnapping story, saying he and Conley were held at "flaregun point" and ordered to drive to Ridgway's house in Surprise.

Conley, who had one of the fake medical marijuana cards in her possession, had to be tased "multiple times" because she tried to fight with officers, according to the documents.

According to the court documents, the house had "hundreds of marijuana plants," as well as "multiple packages of marijuana ready for sale."

Conley and Gillen both face charges of murder, aggravated assault, burglary, and armed robbery. Bond was set at $500,000 for both of them.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley