Terry Goddard Backs Off Assertion That Rancher Was Murdered by Mexican Cartel; Says it's "His Opinion"

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, the likely Democratic candidate for governor, believes that the murder of Douglas rancher Robert Krentz was probably the act of a scout working for a Mexican drug cartel, despite little, non-circumstantial evidence suggesting this was the case.

"It appears this was an employee of the drug cartels, somebody who'd been stationed in Arizona for a very long time," Goddard claimed this morning during a taping for 12 News Sunday Square Off. "He's a trained -- literally -- a professional."

Check the video out here.

Curious where the AG got his information that a Mexican Rambo is to blame for the murder, we called the Cochise County Sheriff's Office, which told us the same thing it told us Monday: There is no suspect, no motive, and few leads.

CCSO spokeswoman Carol Capas says she's not sure where Goddard got his information, but it didn't come from her office.

So, we called Goddard's office to see how the AG knew something that those investigating the case didn't, and he was happy to clarify his comments for us.

"This is my opinion," Goddard tells New Times. "Nobody knows what happened at this point."

That's what we've been trying to say all week!

Goddard goes on to say that "it seems to be consistent with drug-cartel scouts, though, which we know are in the area."

Goddard says a headline in the Arizona Republic quoting him as saying a "hit man" is responsible for the slaying was misleading. The headline since has been changed.

Goddard says it doesn't matter to him who the murderer is, that there is still a criminal network of drug runners plaguing the southern part of the state who need to be dealt with.

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James King
Contact: James King