The Case of the Grim Tweaker

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Dave Uribe reports for duty at 6 a.m. on May 10, a Tuesday.

Uribe had been a Phoenix police officer for 22 of his 48 years. He still loved being a street cop in the sprawling Cactus Park precinct, in the west and northwest parts of the city.

Every day's an adventure, he'd often tell his 92 Bravo squad colleagues in his raspy voice, trademark toothpick in his mouth.



Because of his quiet reliability and goofy sense of humor, Uribe always had been popular with his peers. Somehow, he'd missed becoming jaded by the unsavory parts of the job -- the assholes out on the street who made it hard on everyone, and the peacocks inside the department who continually puffed themselves up.

Like many cops with large families, Uribe worked crazy hours in off-duty jobs, usually security. He did it so his family could live in a big house and have money for special things like the boat they'd take to Lake Pleasant on occasion.

Uribe's son, Adam, was starting his own shift as a police officer in the adjacent Maryvale precinct. Father and son were extremely tight. They always reminded each other to be careful out there, and ended their chats with words of mutual admiration.

Just before 10 a.m., Dave Uribe responds to a call about a suicide at an apartment complex near West Cactus Road.

He leaves that scene about 10:30, and phones Kerry, his wife of 10 years, at their home in northwest Glendale.

Theirs was a blended family. He had three grown children from a previous marriage, and was a grandfather to five. She had two children from her first marriage. The couple also had two children together, Christopher and Catherine, 10 and 7.

The couple met while Kerry was working as a police dispatcher in Phoenix. One day, they'd started chatting over the police computer. The department frowns upon such personal communication, but the repartee was too much fun. Kerry had known she loved Dave before they even met in person at a T.G.I. Friday's on the Fourth of July in 1994.

Now working for the Glendale Police Department, Kerry got to work at 8 a.m. on May 10. But she has a bad stomach, so she soon returns home.

When Dave Uribe speaks with his wife after leaving the suicide scene, he asks if she wants him to fetch her some ginger ale for her sick tummy. She says no, she'd be fine.

"Love you," Kerry tells him. "See you later."

About noon, she hears a knock at her front door.

It is her husband's partner, Officer Chuck Tice.

"I knew it was bad before Chuck ever said a word," Kerry Uribe says. "Then he told me, 'Dave got shot, and we have to go right now.' I just shut down right then and there."

At 11:10 that morning, Dave Uribe runs a license plate check on a Chevy Monte Carlo ahead of him. Twenty-three seconds later, his police computer tells him that the plate was reported stolen from a Scottsdale car dealership.

Uribe informs Phoenix police dispatcher Michelle Williamson that he is about to stop the car on West Cactus Road.

Forty seconds later, he notes over his police radio that the Monte Carlo is "occupied by two white males."

Williamson asks Uribe exactly where he is.

She gets no response, waits 17 seconds, and asks him again. Again no answer. Eleven more seconds elapse.

"Nine two three Bravo," Williamson says, her voice betraying a touch of desperation.

Several people call 911 within seconds of each other at 11:12 a.m.

"Officer down!" one man says. "Officer down on 35th Avenue and Cactus! He got shot! He got shot like three or four times. He's lying on the street. I'm walking up to him. It looks like a head shot. There's blood. He got shot in the head! He does not look alive!"

Other callers describe how the Monte Carlo sped away after the officer fell, and turned right, or south, onto 31st Avenue.

John Leslie is delivering mail on the access road parallel to the south side of Cactus when he hears shots. Then, the Monte Carlo veers around him as it flees.

Leslie jumps out of his U.S. Postal truck, and is the first to reach Officer Uribe, who is unconscious on his back, bleeding profusely from the head. Leslie tries to clear the officer's airway, as another citizen, Bruce Fischer, runs over to help.

"He's on the ground, he's bleeding a lot," Fischer tells a 911 operator as he rushes to Uribe's side. "I've got a first-aid kit with me. I work at Thunderbird Hospital [as a nursing assistant], and I'm gonna go see if I can help."

Leslie attempts to do chest compressions on Uribe, but that isn't working because blood keeps spurting from the officer's right temple and neck.

Fischer tries to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. That, too, proves futile.

Phoenix police officers converge on the frenzied scene and take over rescue efforts. But they fare no better than the good Samaritans.

One officer notices that Uribe's gun is still in its holster, which suggests that the fallen cop hadn't known danger was imminent.

Nobody has any idea why someone would shoot a police officer three times in the head on a busy city street in broad daylight.

At 11 a.m. most weekdays, the six members of homicide squad C-32 and their sergeant meet for lunch somewhere in central Phoenix.

C-32 is an unusually close-knit team, and collectively has well more than a century of experience on the Phoenix police force. On May 10, the squad has been on call since 6 a.m.; its job is to investigate all murders or suicides within the city until 6 the next morning.

Because of the two suicides that morning, only four squad members make it to the Sonora Brewhouse on East Camelback Road, a popular neighborhood joint. The four are Jack Ballentine, Alex Femenia, Steve Orona and Tom D'Aguanno.

The 48-year-old Ballentine is one of the Phoenix Police Department's most celebrated officers. Before he came over to homicide in 1999, the lanky, smooth-talking Phoenix native played the role of "hit man" whenever word came in that somebody was seeking a professional killer to murder a wife, husband, business associate or (in one particularly twisted case) young boy.

Ballentine's murder-for-hire work over 15 years ended in the arrests and convictions of 24 people on conspiracy charges. Many of his "contractors" still are behind bars.

Alex Femenia has been Ballentine's partner for more than a quarter-century. Even as a young cop, he looked like a player in a Mafia movie, with his East Coast accent and wise-guy patter. These days, the hair is white, the face a bit craggy. But the 52-year-old detective is as mercurial, intuitive and irreverent as when he joined the force almost 28 years ago.

The pair joined the Phoenix Police Department within months of each other in 1978, and became fast friends. For them, being a cop never has been about making rank, climbing the ladder.

It's always been about the chase, trying to solve cases, getting bad guys.

Their sergeant is 39-year-old Patrick Kotecki, whose first task in the Dave Uribe case is to assign a detective to head what surely is going to be a high-profile murder investigation.

Jack Ballentine is his choice for the job.

Alex Femenia will be in charge of analyzing the crime scene.

It's just after noon.

Media helicopters hover, and the number of spectators ghoulishly peering into the goings-on behind the yellow crime-scene tape is growing.

The sky is a brilliant blue, and the sun is bright. The high temperature for the day will reach only 83 degrees, almost 10 degrees below normal.

Dozens of officers are searching for the suspects, and every available detective has been called out.

Soon after arriving, Ballentine and Femenia confer with Sergeant Kotecki and homicide Lieutenant Benny Pina.

The detectives learn that the Monte Carlo was abandoned with its motor still running, about a mile south of the shooting site, a few blocks from the Metrocenter mall.

Oddly, the car's hood was up, coolant and vacuum hoses had been yanked from their moorings, and the gas cap also had been removed.

Neighbors and passersby said they heard gunshots discharged near the abandoned vehicle. Two spent .380-caliber shell casings found under the rear of the car add to the mystery.

Police had gotten to the car eight minutes after the first 911 call. But they couldn't find anyone who'd seen the suspects.

Ownership of the Monte Carlo is traced to a Glendale man named Joe, who'd already contacted a Glendale detective after seeing initial television reports about the Uribe shooting.

He said his ex-girlfriend had stolen the car from him after their breakup, and that she'd been staying at a Glendale address with a friend, Bobbie Wilson.

Sergeant Kotecki has assigned Detective Carl Caruso to search the Monte Carlo after securing a warrant from a judge.

The "sit-ye-a-shun," as Jack Ballentine likes to pronounce it, is fluid.

Tips are flying in, such as one from a teenage girl who gives police the name and address of a Phoenix boy who allegedly told someone he'd just killed a cop. It doesn't pan out.

However shaky, every lead has to be sorted out.

And detectives still have to interview 21 witnesses waiting on Cactus Road.

Detective Tom D'Aguanno surveys the scene of the policeman's slaying and says, "There is no other crime in the city of Phoenix today."

Just before 1 p.m., the lead detectives share a moment.

"Getting interesting," Alex Femenia says.

"Always does," Jack Ballentine replies. "You know that."

Femenia is ready to check out his scene in detail.

He's joined by Lanie Finlay, a bubbly crime-scene tech who works with C-32.

Femenia is wearing khakis and a short-sleeve green shirt. He's not carrying a gun. Rarely does. And his badge is somewhere in his pickup truck.

A young officer guarding the scene says to Femenia, "Excuse me, Detective. Can you tell me one thing? You're gonna catch those assholes, right?"

"Yup," Femenia replies.

Then the detective gives Finlay -- and maybe himself -- a short pep talk about what it's going to be like inside the scene, which he dubs "Alex's zone."

"This is just like normal," Femenia says, "only I'm going to be more involved. Don't take offense if I get really detailed on this. This is the ultimate, with an officer killed."

He steps over to Dave Uribe's patrol car, which is on the access road exactly where the officer parked it, and looks in. Uribe's last message about the stolen license plates still is visible on the police cruiser's computer screen.

Uribe's gun belt lies twisted on the pavement maybe 15 feet east of the patrol car, near a gold ballpoint pen and a pair of sunglasses. (Other cops already had taken Uribe's gun out of its holster and put it in a safe place.)

A jagged pool of the officer's coagulating blood glistens beneath the midday sun.

"Guy never had a chance," Detective Femenia says.

Speaking about the shooter and his accomplice, he adds, "At 10 o'clock this morning, there was a future for those folks. Well, there's still a future, but it's not going to be what they had in mind. In our society, you just don't want to hurt little kids or cops."

He pauses, and takes a last drag on his Marlboro.

"Okay, let's go."

Femenia soon walks four eyewitnesses into the scene, one by one and out of earshot of each other.

One is Elsie Hart, a woman in her 60s who was driving by when a man shot the officer.

Says Hart, "I saw him pull out the gun and, bang, bang, bang!"

Then she volunteers something that stops Femenia short.

"I think it was the passenger who shot the officer when he reached across the driver. I can see the gun. . . . I'm sure it was the passenger."

Yet a street cop who spoke to Hart minutes after the shooting reports that she'd fingered the driver, not the passenger.

One of these stories is wrong, and Femenia well knows the unreliability of eyewitness testimony. But after having heard Hart's account firsthand, the detective has to put his money on the passenger.

Over at John C. Lincoln Hospital, Dave Uribe's family and squad mates are keeping vigil.

Uribe has suffered devastating gunshot wounds from close range to the top of his forehead, upper lip and neck.

At 3:50 p.m., he is pronounced dead.

Though the officers at the scene have been expecting this, the news is jolting.

The investigation now is officially a murder case.

Minutes earlier, Detective Caruso had told Sergeant Kotecki about a possibly significant find during his search of the Monte Carlo.

Inside, he'd found a receipt from a Denny's restaurant at 35th Avenue and Bethany Home Road. It's dated the previous day, in the late afternoon.

The receipt also specifies the table number and server.

Just maybe, the image of the killer and his accomplice will appear on the restaurant's security tapes.

Kotecki asks Detective Jesus Jimenez to drive over to the Denny's and take a look.

There, Jimenez strikes potential gold.

One camera has captured two men paying a waitress at a cash register during the relevant time frame. Another camera shows the men with three other guys and a woman at the table noted on the receipt.

Jimenez rushes the tapes, actually CDs, to the crime scene shortly before 5 p.m.

The two men at the cash register fit the description, however general it still is, of the possible murder suspects.

The investigators want to get enhanced still photos of the Denny's customers to the media as soon as possible.

The photos make it onto the 6 p.m. TV news.

A Phoenix woman named Corinne Powell calls Phoenix police about 4:30 on the afternoon of the murder.

What she reveals is compelling enough for Detective Mark Middleton to ask her for an immediate in-person interview.

He comes by her home just after 5.

She tells Middleton that her 21-year-old daughter, Jena Sedillo, had been in the Monte Carlo shortly before the Uribe shooting.

And Jena also has told her mom that an 18-year-old friend named Donnie Delahanty had been talking for days about shooting any cop who pulled him over.

Powell says she'd seen Donnie and another friend of Jena's named Chris Wilson about 10:30 a.m., when they'd dropped off Jena and her boyfriend Matt Watson at Powell's west Phoenix office.

Their car looked like the Monte Carlo that already was on the news, Powell says.

The men had promised to return within an hour, but hadn't shown up.

In the early afternoon, Powell and her daughter had heard over the news about the shooting of an officer on Cactus Road, and about an abandoned Monte Carlo.

She tells Middleton that, about 2:30 p.m., Jena had used her cell phone to call an acquaintance named Dave.

Dave told Jena that the descriptions of the suspects in the car sounded like Donnie and Chris.

Jena told her mother that she'd seen Donnie cleaning a silver gun the previous evening, and that he'd repeated a vow to kill a cop if he got pulled over.

Powell says she dropped off her daughter and Matt Watson near a friend's apartment shortly after Jena's phone call to Dave.

Detective Middleton retrieves the numbers that Jena called from Powell's cell phone.

He phones Dave at 6:30 p.m.

Dave says he is David Sammy York, a 41-year-old Arizona Department of Corrections officer. But, no, he doesn't know a Jena, Chris or Donnie.

Middleton informs York that he knows Jena had spoken with him. York maintains that the detective is wrong.

Just after 7 p.m., Middleton drives to York's residence near I-17 and Bethany Home Road. York answers the door with a plate of food in his hand and comes outside to talk.

"I actually do know Jena and Chris and Donnie," he corrects himself, adding that the trio and a few other folks had been at his home just yesterday for a barbecue. But York says he's never seen them in a Monte Carlo.

About 9 p.m., Matt Watson calls Phoenix police saying he needs to talk. He says Jena will be coming to the police station later.

In an hour, Watson waits for Jack Ballentine in Interview Room #1, inside the homicide unit on the third floor of the downtown police station.

Ballentine is in the little office he shares with Femenia talking with his wife Patti on the phone. He hangs up and walks 30 steps to the interview area. (All witness interviews at the Phoenix Police Department are recorded.)

Watson, 22, wears his hair close-cropped. His nails are bitten to the quick, his white skin is sallow. He seems depressed.

"You seem to be having a hard time with this," Ballentine tells him. "But everything you can tell me right now is really important."

Watson admits that he and Jena had been running meth back and forth from Tucson with Chris Wilson and Donnie Delahanty.

"Are you trying to get away from it?" Ballentine asks Watson about his meth use.

"To tell you the truth, I don't even know," Watson replies.

He then describes how he'd returned from Tucson in the Monte Carlo the day before with Jena, Chris, Donnie and a fifth person, a Latino youth named Johnny.

It's the first reference by anyone to Johnny.

Watson says the quintet met at Denny's on 35th Avenue in the late afternoon, along with Dave York, who Watson describes as Wilson's "uncle."

Afterward, they'd gone to York's home for a barbecue, and then checked into a Motel 6 near I-17 and Northern Avenue.

The five stayed in the same room, where "we all hit the pipe," Watson says, referring to their sharing of methamphetamine.

Watson tells Ballentine that Donnie usually carried a Smith & Wesson 9-millimeter handgun in a holster, and had it with him when they left the motel after 10 that morning.

"Both of them kept saying they had nothing to lose, especially Donnie," he says. "For three days now, he's been saying if a cop comes up to the window, 'I'm gonna shoot him.'"

Watson seems especially upset that his stereo equipment, skateboard, tool bag and clothes still are in the trunk of the Monte Carlo. This represents his worldly belongings.

Watson's interview ends at 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11. The investigators have now been sprinting for more than 12 hours and counting.

Jena Sedillo takes her boyfriend's place in the hot seat just before 3 a.m. She's a pathetic-looking creature in a little pink shirt and sweat pants, skinny, pockmarked and sunken-eyed.

Despite her wretched appearance, Jena's brain isn't fried. She's polite and responsive to Ballentine, with whom she speaks for an hour.

The Denny's security photos on the news "freaked me out," Jena tells him, because she'd seen herself in them.

After a few minutes, she says that "when I heard that a cop got shot, the first person that popped into my head was Donnie. Because for the past three days, he's been saying, if we get pulled over in this car . . . that the cop wouldn't even have a chance to get out of his car, that he was going to shoot him because [Donnie] didn't have anything to live for."

She claims to know little about Johnny, not even his last name. All she knows is that Johnny and Donnie are buddies.

That leads Femenia, observing the interview from the nearby monitoring room, to dub this passenger "Backseat Johnny."

Just before 4 a.m., Jena identifies Donnie, Chris Wilson and Dave York in the Denny's photos.

Afterward, Sergeant Kotecki asks his lead investigators to go home for a while and get some sleep. In unison, the detectives shake their heads no.

The Denny's pictures aren't clear enough for a wanted poster, and no mug shot of Chris Wilson is available because he doesn't have a local criminal record.

The cops need to find better photos, both of Wilson and of their other key investigative lead, Donnie Delahanty.

Kotecki can't disagree. He smiles as the partners tromp out to Ballentine's Ford truck for a predawn schlep to the city of Glendale.

The detectives drive together to a funky part of town where Wilson's mother, Bobbie, supposedly is staying.

She's the recent roommate of the woman who was said to have swiped the Monte Carlo from the ex-boyfriend, Joe.

Two Glendale street cops meet the Phoenix detectives near a ramshackle apartment complex that seems to be closed down.

Dawn breaks just before 5:30 a.m.

For once, Femenia straps "Baby," which is what he calls his gun, onto his right hip. He and Ballentine start to knock on doors.

No one answers at first.

Then Femenia spots a slightly opened window to a seemingly vacant apartment. He raps on it, as he announces himself loudly as a police officer.

After about 30 seconds, a woman responds from inside a dark room.

"Just a minute, please," she says.

The woman answers the door, and invites the officers inside. She smiles, exposing a mouth missing many teeth.

"Yes, I'm Chris Wilson's mom," she says. "I'm keeping an eye on a friend's stuff here for a few days." She notes that the place has no electricity or running water.

Bobbie says her son is Christopher Michael Wilson, born in September 1977. That makes him 27.

"You know we're looking for Chris," Ballentine tells her.

"Oh, Lord," she says. "What'd he do?"

"You heard about the murder of the Phoenix police officer? We believe he was involved in that. We're not convinced that he was the one who pulled the trigger."

"Why do you think this happened?" Wilson's mother asks.

"I don't think it was over anything," Ballentine says, his words hanging in the chilly air.

Bobbie doesn't have a photo of her son, but agrees to help the detectives find one at another location. That proves a chore, but the detectives finally get the snapshot about 7 a.m.

They stop for breakfast at an IHOP on the way back to the police station.

Femenia picks up a used copy of the morning's Arizona Republic.

The lead headline is: "Panel Probes Zoo Deaths." The news of the assassination of Officer Uribe is at the bottom of the page.

The story's puny play troubles the detectives, who just can't understand why it isn't a bigger deal to the daily newspaper.

But the brazen cop killing soon becomes a huge deal to local television stations -- and to the public.

Dozens of citizens e-mail their respects to the Uribe family on the Republic's online obituary page.

A Glendale woman writes:

"Last night as I tucked my 7-year-old daughter into bed she said to me, 'Mama, I'm scared.' I knew exactly what she was talking about because I had been following this story on the news. But I asked her, 'Why are you scared?'

"'Because the bad guys that shot that poor policeman got away and that wasn't far from our house.' All I could say was, 'Honey, that policeman is in heaven with God right now, and he knows exactly where those bad guys are, and he won't let anything happen to you.'"

Back at the station, Ballentine asks Detective Jason Schechterle to drive to the home of Donnie Delahanty's parents, near I-17 and West Thunderbird Road.

Elaine and Tom Delahanty live there with another son, Nick.

Though he's one of the most recognizable people in the Valley, the 33-year-old Schechterle is relatively new to detective work. He underwent four years of painful and well-chronicled rehabilitation after he was horribly burned in March 2001 when a cabby rear-ended his patrol car.

Schechterle has been in homicide for several months, ever since Jack Ballentine -- who knew and respected the young officer from before the accident -- persuaded the department's brass that they should give him a chance with C-32.

Tom Delahanty tells Schechterle that he'd last spoken to Donnie on the phone a few hours after Uribe's shooting. Donnie had said he was playing video games, his father said, and nothing had sounded amiss.

Also on the early afternoon of May 11, Detective Barry Giesemann interviews an ex-girlfriend of Donnie's.

The young woman tells Giesemann that she'd once persuaded Donnie to turn himself in to California juvenile authorities after he'd escaped from a detention center. He'd been serving time for his role in a crime spree, including the theft of a weapon from a police car.

The ex says Donnie hadn't shown violent tendencies while they dated, though she'd broken up with him after he told too many lies and took too many drugs.

She says she doesn't know Chris Wilson, but does recall another friend of Donnie's also named Chris who lives in a southwest Phoenix mobile home park.

Months earlier, she says, someone had stolen Donnie's car at the other Chris' trailer. Phoenix police had responded. It's a lead as to Donnie's possible location.

Carl Caruso interviews Donnie's brother, Nick, who seems to have no love lost for his younger sibling. He says Donnie showed up at the family home with friends about 8 on the morning of the murder.

Nick is sure that the guys had arrived in a maroon Monte Carlo, and it looked exactly like the car that police were saying had been involved in the murder of the cop.

Silent Witness tips are coming in by the bundle.

One of them is that Donnie has been staying with a friend named Robert at a specific address on North 63rd Drive.

Detectives knock on Robert's door about 8 p.m. He says Donnie and a guy introduced as Chris had knocked on his door at 8 the previous evening, the night following the morning of the murder.

Donnie told him that his car had broken down a few miles away and had been towed. Donnie also said he and Chris hiked to Robert's house hoping for a lift to an unspecified location miles south.

But Robert said he'd been drinking and didn't want to drive, so he invited the guys to spend the evening. He dropped them off at 7 a.m. near the intersection of 67th Avenue and Van Buren Street.

Other investigators pull up the police report about Donnie Delahanty's stolen car, and find the address of 6833 West Pierce Street, the residence of a Chris Schneider. That's just a few blocks from where Robert had dropped off the two men that morning.

Sometime after midnight, undercover units are sent to the West Pierce neighborhood to keep an eye out for the suspects at Schneider's trailer.

Ballentine and Femenia now have been working more than 36 hours. Sergeant Kotecki again urges his two lead guys to go home for a while.

"Got a feeling tomorrow's going to be big," Kotecki says, actually meaning the day that already has started -- Thursday, May 12. "I want you to be at your very best."

The detectives trudge to their pickup trucks at 2 a.m. and head home, where they shower, change their clothes and get a few fitful hours of sleep.

By 7 a.m., they say good morning to each other back at the police station.

The prime suspects in Dave Uribe's murder are out there somewhere.

Current strategy to find them includes another trip to the Delahantys' by Alex Femenia and Jason Schechterle, to press Donnie's parents about his possible whereabouts.

The detectives get there at 1:30 p.m. Tom Delahanty is shirtless and wearing pajama bottoms as he answers the door. Though he's haggard, Tom is jumpy and speed-talking from the moment he invites the detectives in.

Tom repeats what he'd told Schechterle the day before, that Donnie had denied any knowledge of the policeman's shooting in the one conversation they'd had.

Femenia asks about any other recent chats they may have had.

"Last night," Tom reveals. "He called me last night right around dusk. But he didn't tell me where he was."

At that moment, Donnie's mother, Elaine, shuffles into the room. Pale and weak, she is suffering from kidney failure and has a dialysis machine set up in a spare bedroom.

Femenia wants to hear more from Tom about the previous evening's conversation with his son.

"He said, 'Dad, I swear to God, I did not do this!'" Tom continues. "I haven't heard from him since."

Tom suggests that Donnie may have split to Tucson or California.

Femenia elicits another tidbit: Donnie told Tom that he'd been toting a gun, possibly a 9-millimeter.

"I'm not trying to hide anything, okay?" Tom tells the detective.

Femenia takes Elaine Delahanty to the kitchen, asking Tom to leave them alone for a moment. She says she'd chosen not to speak with Donnie when he called.

"After all this has happened, my first thought of Donnie is, he's gone," Elaine tells the detective. "And I think I would tell Donnie just do it. Turn yourself in. Or an eye for an eye. Do it to yourself, Donnie."

Femenia wants to make sure he understands her.

"Kill himself?" he asks.

"Yeah," she says, pointing an imaginary gun to her head.

The detectives leave after an hour.

However, Schechterle seems distracted as they walk to Femenia's truck, and Alex wants to know what's up.

"Anything you wanted to ask them?" Femenia asks Schechterle.

Schechterle shrugs.

"Come on, man," Femenia practically yells at him. "Give it up. Don't keep this shit to yourself!"

"I thought we came out here to press him about the trailer," Schechterle says. "We didn't ask shit about the trailer."

"You want to ask about the trailer?" Femenia shoots back. "Let's do it! C'mon! Let's go!"

Standing in the foyer with Tom seconds later, the detectives immediately bring up Chris Schneider's mobile home for the first time.

Tom allows that he knows about it because Donnie's car had been stolen from there months earlier. But he insists that his son would never hide out in the trailer because it's in a subdivision for senior citizens and young Donnie would stick out.

The men move inside to a living-room couch, where Femenia intentionally sits very close to Tom.

"Why did you keep this from me?" the detective asks him, his tone accusatory. "What's with this Teaberry shuffle on the trailer thing? Your son's there, isn't he?"

"Possible, but I really don't know," Tom replies.

"You wouldn't tell me where he was, even if you knew. We're trying to be decent and clean about this, so we don't have to take him the hard way."

"That's what he wants," Tom says. "He wants you to kill him."

"He did the ultimate bad thing," Elaine Delahanty says. "A whole family has been ruined."

It's uncertain which family she's referring to.

"I don't want any more sons hurt," Femenia tells Tom. "You're his dad. Like when he was a little kid. You know better. All kinds of bad things can happen. I am asking you for your help, man. As one father to another. Now is the time to get Donnie to talk to us and put this matter aside. Who avoids the police?"

"Guilty people," Tom Delahanty says, head downcast.

"Alex is good, real good," Elaine Delahanty says in a stage whisper.

Tom now relates that "Donnie watched the news all day yesterday, and the news media for some reason has plastered him more than the other person. There was a . . ."

Elaine interrupts him with a loud, "No!"

Femenia jumps back in.

"You were about to say something else. Was there more than another person?"

"No, no, just the two," Tom says. "I'm guessing it was Chris [Wilson]."

"Did he tell you last night there was a third person with him?" Femenia asks, voice raised.

Tom takes a deep breath, and gives it up: "Actually, I think it was told to me before last night."

Elaine Delahanty is doing play-by-play: "My husband's not doing too good in this interrogation, is he?"

Femenia wants Tom to step into the kitchen with him.

"You don't want your boy dead," he tells Donnie's father, who slinks backward against the refrigerator.

"Okay," Tom says. "I saw him last night."

Tom proceeds to say he'd driven to Interstate 10 and 59th Avenue about 7:30 p.m. with a prepaid cell phone and handed it to Donnie outside a convenience store. They'd spoken for a few minutes, Tom says, before Donnie walked off into the night.

He adds that Donnie wasn't carrying a gun when he'd seen him.

"Dave has his gun," Tom says.

"Who is Dave?" Femenia asks.

"You guys apparently know him."

"No, we don't," says the detective.

"I thought it was the guy in the Denny's video, the corrections officer. Am I helping you guys a little?"

With everything that's been going on, investigators haven't done much yet to sort out Dave York's role in the case.

Now they sure will.

Femenia breaks to go outside and inform Jack Ballentine by phone about the possible location of the gun, which they strongly suspect at the time to be the murder weapon, at York's house.

The detectives leave again at 3:30 p.m. after Tom swears he's told the whole truth this time.

They stop for a cold drink at a nearby Circle K, where Femenia goes to the restroom.

While he's in there, a stranger introduces himself to Jason Schechterle (this happens all the time because of Schechterle's well-known face) and says a radio station is reporting about something breaking in the Uribe case.

Femenia comes out of the restroom and says that Sergeant Kotecki just phoned him. Officers may have spotted one of the Uribe suspects inside Chris Schneider's mobile-home park.

It's back to the Delahantys'.

At 4:30, a caller tells a 911 operator that he needs to speak to the detective in charge of the Uribe case.

After a minute or two, the caller gives his name: Donnie Delahanty.

Though she's skeptical, the operator patches the caller through to Jack Ballentine, who's in his office.

"Hi, buddy, how're you doing?" the detective asks.

"What the fuck is going on?!" Donnie asks him.

"Well, you tell me."

"Sir, I had nothing to do with this, sir . . . so I am not going to go down for something I did not do."

"Well, you're not going down for anything right now."

Donnie promises to come forward as soon as police find the real cop killer.

"I'm scared," the murder suspect says.

Ballentine suggests that, if Donnie surrenders to him, he'll let the young man meet with his father, Tom, at the downtown police station.

"You have my word on that," says the detective.

By now, Femenia and Schechterle are back at the Delahantys'. Within seconds, Elaine Delahanty rushes down a hall with a mobile phone and hands it to her husband.

Donnie is again threatening to kill himself.

"Donnie, Donnie, Donnie, Donnie!" his father screams into the phone. "Don't do it! Don't do it!"

Tom gives the phone to Alex Femenia: "Please, talk to him!"

It's 4:41 p.m.

Their television set is showing the scene at the mobile-home park live from a media helicopter.

"Hey, Donnie, I'm Alex," the detective tells the suspect. "I'm Ballentine's partner. Stay cool. Where are you? Are you in the trailer park? I'm gonna bring your dad down there now. Your dad will be with me."

But Femenia and Ballentine soon learn that their agency's tactical people don't want them to face Donnie alone -- or with Tom Delahanty.

At 4:45, the plan now is for Femenia and Schechterle to return to the police station and see how the situation plays out. Tom Delahanty will follow them there.

But as they reach their truck, Elaine Delahanty shouts out of an open window, "Donnie's on the phone! He wants to know why you aren't on your way!"

The detectives and the father rush back into the house.

Tom gets on and quickly tells Donnie that the cops know there were three people in the getaway car.

"Did they get the third person?" Donnie asks him. "Do they know who the third person is?"

Tom says investigators don't have his name yet, but they soon will.

Tom then turns over the phone to Detective Femenia.

It's just before 5 p.m.

In one breath, Femenia is speaking to Donnie, who's hiding in the dirt beneath a trailer down the street from Chris Schneider's place. In the next, he's talking to Pat Kotecki at the command center downtown.

Femenia seems to have persuaded Donnie to walk into the middle of the street and surrender.

"You're not gonna have no weapons on you, right?" he asks the 18-year-old. "You know there's no way out of this. Come out right now! Go on out!"

"I'm so fucking scared!" Donnie says, sobbing. "They're gonna shoot me. I'm gonna go to jail for the rest of my life. Here I go -- I'm on my way out."

It's a surreal moment: The Delahantys watch on live television as their son appears from under a trailer and does what Alex Femenia has told him to from their living room.

The police swarm Donnie.

Five minutes after he gives up, Chris Wilson steps out of Schneider's trailer and surrenders without incident.

Backseat Johnny is still missing.

The suspects are placed in separate police cars.

Jack Ballentine heads to the scene. He introduces himself there to Donnie and Chris and advises them not to talk to any cops until he speaks with them downtown.

Back at the Delahantys', Elaine grabs both of Alex Femenia's hands.

"Thank you, Alex," Donnie's mother tells the detective as he and Jason Schechterle leave for the final time. "Donnie's not going to be coming by to hug his mom goodbye, is he?"

As the story of the dramatic double-surrender airs, Johnny Armendariz tells his father that they need to talk.

Then 19, he's a high school dropout from Peoria who's fathered two children, bounced around low-paying jobs and has been arrested more than once for shoplifting.

Johnny's a quiet kid, though he can be a self-admitted troublemaker. His relationship with his parents has been erratic, but he's still able to communicate with them at times.

Johnny tells his dad that he's the "Johnny" homicide detectives are looking for in the Phoenix cop killing.

Within minutes, Oscar Armendariz drives his son to the Peoria Police Department. Johnny isn't specific to detectives there about what had happened out on Cactus Road, other than to say he hadn't shot the officer but knows who did.

Peoria detectives contact Phoenix police, who send an officer out to pick up Johnny. They get back to the Phoenix station just after 6 p.m.

Around that time, other Phoenix officers knock on the door of Dave York's residence in west Phoenix. Low-keying it, they ask York to come downtown to rehash some details with detectives. York says sure, adding that he's already told a detective what he knows.

Television video crews are awaiting the suspects' arrivals at the Phoenix police station. But Jack Ballentine has no intention of making the suspects do a "perp walk" for the cameras.

He asks that Donnie and Chris Wilson be brought down a ramp into the basement on the station's Sixth Avenue side.

The patrol car carrying Donnie comes in first.

The police car with Chris Wilson is right behind. But the officer driving the Wilson car is distracted by the media blitz and doesn't notice that three solid-metal cylindrical posts had popped up automatically on the ramp after the first car passed over them.

The patrol car smashes into the posts, and Chris hurtles forward into the wire mesh between the front and back seats. A large gash is opened up on his forehead.

Jack Ballentine gets to the basement just as officers are bringing in their bloodied prisoner. The detective leads Chris to a restroom and helps him clean up.

The cut needed to be stitched, and Chris is taken by police escort to a hospital.

Word of the bizarre accident reaches upstairs.

"That's some kind of interrogation technique we're using these days," Patrick Kotecki jokes. "Soften them up ahead of time."

Though Chris is temporarily indisposed, the three other key players are ready for questioning.

Ballentine is going to interview Donnie Delahanty. Detective Steve Orona is about to hear from Dave York. Alex Femenia has drawn the pivotal assignment of taking Johnny Armendariz's statement.

So much hinges on Johnny's story, his believability. After the preliminaries, Femenia asks Johnny to tell him everything he knows about the murder.

When the officer stopped the Monte Carlo, Johnny says, he was in the back seat, Chris was driving and Donnie was in the front passenger seat.

"They were going to drop me off at my parents' house, and that's when it happened," Johnny says.

Donnie had started to panic as the officer walked up to the car. Chris was leaning against the driver's door with both hands visible and hanging over the open window as the cop asked to see his license. Chris told the cop he had an Indiana license, but not with him, and admitted that he also lacked proper insurance paperwork.

"Donnie had a gun, and he shot [the officer]," Johnny tells Femenia.

Johnny says he saw Dave Uribe get hit by three bullets before falling to the ground. And he saw Donnie holding the gun.

"I can't forget it, I can't forget that day," Backseat Johnny says softly. "I try and I try; it keeps playing in my head."

Johnny says he's sure that Chris Wilson knew Donnie was about to shoot the officer. To prove his point, he acts out his chilling recollection of what happened, pretending for a moment to be Chris.

Johnny shows how Chris leaned back in the driver's seat just before Donnie reached across Chris' face with a gun and started firing at the cop.

As soon as the mortally wounded Uribe crumpled to the pavement, Chris hit the gas pedal and sped off into the neighborhood south of Cactus Road. Chris stopped the car down the road from the shooting, and the three men jumped out.

There, Johnny heard Donnie say, "We gotta burn the car! I just shot a cop!"

Johnny then made one of the most momentous decisions of his young life.

"I just walked away and kept walking," he says.

Chris and Donnie went one way, Johnny another.

Johnny says he soon heard two more shots, but he kept moving until he reached a music store on West Peoria Avenue.

He called his parents, who picked him up. But he didn't tell them then about what had happened.

Johnny says he never spoke to Donnie or Chris after they separated. His reason for not calling authorities until after the arrests a few hours earlier: fear that the other guys would come after him or his family before police nabbed them.

Backseat Johnny's narrative passes Femenia's smell test. Why, the detective reasons, would the young man accuse his friend Donnie of being the killer rather than Chris Wilson, whom he barely knew?

Meanwhile, the interviews of Donnie Delahanty and Dave York have been ongoing since just before 7 p.m.

Neither interviewee knows that the other is there, just a few feet across a hall.

York is a burly man with a brusque manner. Why he'd been hanging out with the likes of Donnie Delahanty and Chris Wilson can be summed up in one word: methamphetamine.

York has been on leave from the Arizona Department of Corrections since the previous February for personal problems. The "problems" include the habitual use of meth and other illegal drugs. Since then, he's left his wife and children and floated around the Valley, until moving in a month or so earlier with a new girlfriend at the address where police found him.

York has become close over the last months with Chris Wilson, whom he'd met through Chris' mother Bobbie (they are not blood relatives, as many people had thought). York and Chris had been spending a lot of time together, drawn to each other mostly by a mutual love of meth.

York repeats what he'd told Detective Middleton on the night of the murder: The last time he saw Donnie or Chris was at his barbecue on May 9, the day before the killing. He tells Detective Orona that he suspects Donnie Delahanty shot Uribe.

Orona moves the interview along slowly, locking York into a story as he encourages him to talk. Then the veteran detective moves things up a notch.

"I appreciate your candor and your openness," he tells York. "I need you to be truthful when I ask this question."


"Do you know where that gun is?" Orona asks, speaking of what is then believed to be the murder weapon.

That's a zinger.

"No, sir, I don't," York says, trying to ooze sincerity.

"You're positive?"

"I'm positive."

Without confronting York directly, Orona tells him, "[We have information that] the gun was given to you to dispose of."

"Not me," York insists.

"We're going to be doing a search warrant of your house. And we're not going to find anything there?"


"Neither one came to you and asked you to dispose of the gun?"

"No," Dave York says. "My hands are clean, partner. I'm telling you."

For the first time, Steve Orona mentions York's garage attic as the gun's possible location.

"Oh, shit," York says, brow furrowing deeper. "I hope to God it's not there, man."

Orona leaves York for a few minutes, to hear what's been happening with Ballentine next door.

York starts talking to himself: "Son of a bitch. I don't believe this shit. That motherfucker. Goddamn it . . . I'll bet you $20 that fucker put it in the attic."

After reading Donnie Delahanty his Miranda rights against self-incrimination, Jack Ballentine tells him this:

"You're a lead, and I needed to talk to you because I know you were there, okay? I know that! I know so much! I need to see how honest you are, and I need you to help me the rest of the way."

Donnie wants to know how police learned where he'd been hiding.

"That's my secret," Ballentine says, smiling. "I can't share that."

Soon, the detective asks about the Monte Carlo and the fatal traffic stop on West Cactus Road.

Donnie claims that he was sitting in the back seat when the cop pulled Chris over. As Uribe approached the car, it was Chris Wilson who had panicked, not him.

"[Chris] said, 'I'm running, dude, this car's stolen,'" Donnie says. "All of a sudden I hear, 'Boom, boom, boom!' Maybe it was four or five. I saw him fall. It was crazy, man."

Donnie says a hitchhiker Chris had picked up shot Uribe from the front passenger seat, and then forced Chris to flee.

Ballentine nods. Donnie looks over at him hopefully.

"Was Johnny in the car?" the detective then asks out of the blue.

The unexpected question startles the suspect.

"Who?" Donnie finally utters after a few long seconds.



"Okay," Ballentine pushes. "Where was Johnny at?"

"We dropped Johnny off at, fuck, where'd we drop Johnny off at?" Donnie says, shuffling nervously in his seat.

"But you dropped him off before the shooting, right?" the detective asks.

"I don't even know where we dropped him off at. Where is Johnny? Is he okay?"

"Yeah," Ballentine says. "He's fine."

"Is he in jail?"


"Where's he at?"


Another rim shot.

Donnie immediately swears that Johnny "had nothing to do with any of this."

"Just have to see what he says," Ballentine says, playing hard with his suspect's head. "He wants to talk to me really bad, so I said I'd do it."

Donnie folds his arms, as if to dig in for what's coming next.

"Witnesses have been able to pick out the people in the car," the detective says, "the positions in the car, and are going to testify about that stuff."

Donnie says he's feeling pressured into saying something self-incriminating.

"There's no pressure now," Ballentine responds. "The pressure came on Tuesday morning. Because when the pressure came, you made a bad decision."

Donnie jumps out of his chair and paces.

"Why'd I make a bad decision?"

"You were in the car. Something happened. And you guys ended up shooting the officer -- I know you're scared right now."

"You have no idea."

"I think I do," the detective says. "But I betcha you were more afraid on Tuesday."

Donnie crumples to the floor and starts to sob.

When he rises, his story changes.

Now, it was Johnny Armendariz who was in the back seat when the cop stopped the Monte Carlo. Chris still was driving, and Donnie was in the front passenger seat.

Ballentine tells Donnie that he'll "lay a paycheck down that Chris is gonna say you pulled the trigger."

"How can I pull the trigger?" Donnie replies. "I'm in the passenger seat."

He does admit for the first time that he'd been carrying his Smith & Wesson in the car. But he also insists that Chris had his own handgun.

"It was in his lap the whole time," Donnie says.

He now claims that Chris Wilson shot Dave Uribe.

"You know that Johnny's gonna tell me exactly what happened, right?" Ballentine says.

"He's gonna say I pulled the trigger," Donnie says. "I am supposed to take the blame for this. . . . Man, test my hand for the gun. I didn't pull the trigger, man."

The suspect expresses confusion, saying Chris had twisted his thinking about things.

"You know what you been living in, bud?" Ballentine tells him. "You been livin' in a tweaker's world. What's the main thing that happens in that world? What's it called? What does everybody get when they're tweaking?"

Donnie looks baffled, then says:

"Have to go to jail?"

"Paranoid! Right?" the detective says.

"Yeah," Donnie agrees.

Donnie asks the detective, "Now I'm a suspect? I'm gonna do time -- hard time!"

"You were in a car where you ended up shooting a police officer, all right? Do you really think that you're just going to walk out of here?"

"Yep!" the kid says, grinning.

"You're not," Ballentine says, with his own smile, a wry one. "You can't. By the way, where's your gun?"

"I have no idea."

"You give it to Dave York?"

"Yeah, I gave it to Dave. . . . Actually, you know what? I think Dave threw it away. Because Davie thought I used that gun. I told him no."

Donnie says that Dave York had put the weapon in the garage attic shortly after picking up Donnie and Chris at Metrocenter.

Armed with that information, Steve Orona returns to his interview of York across the hall, ready to play hardball.

Detective Orona tells Dave York that Donnie Delahanty has been yapping to another investigator.

It's the first that York has heard about Donnie being in custody.

"They got Donnie?" he asks, incredulous.

Orona nods.

York quickly spits out a whole new version of things.

"[The gun] is in pieces," he says. "It's in the attic in a plastic bag. He gave it to me."

"When?" Orona asks. "That day?"

"I didn't know what to do, baby. They came into my fuckin' house. Donnie told me he got pulled over and he shot the police officer."

It's a sweet sound bite.

Orona remains impassive and asks simply how the guys got down to his house.

"Like a dumb-ass, I went over and picked them up at Metrocenter," York says, revealing that Chris Wilson had called him from a restaurant shortly after the shooting.

En route to York's residence, he says, Donnie had admitted shooting the cop.

At the house, York says, Donnie had given him a handgun, but Donnie insisted it wasn't the murder weapon.

The detectives didn't know it at the time, but that was one thing Donnie was being truthful about.

York had stuck the gun up in his attic.

He'd then given the men a change of clothes and told them to leave. Later he'd burned their old clothes in his barbecue pit.

Within a few hours, detectives will locate Donnie's gun in York's attic.

Orona is done.

"Oh my God, what did I do, what did I do?" York moans after the detective leaves.

If York had turned in the two murder suspects, he would have been hailed as a hero. Instead, he'd helped them escape, harbored them, and continually lied to police.

As he awaits his fate, Dave York vomits into a plastic garbage bag.

About 8:30 p.m., Donnie Delahanty says he wants to speak with an attorney, which ends his 90-minute interview with Jack Ballentine. Though Donnie hasn't confessed, almost everything he's said has been damning -- to him.

"This fuckin' guy totally fuckin' did it," Ballentine announces after stepping into the monitoring room.

Though he still has to interview Chris Wilson, the detective gets the go-ahead from prosecutors to book Donnie on first-degree-murder charges.

Wilson is certain to face serious charges of his own, perhaps murder, and Dave York is looking at a charge of hindering prosecution, a felony.

Johnny Armendariz won't be charged.

Ballentine has one more bit of business with Donnie before sending him off to jail. During pre-surrender negotiations, the detective had promised to let Donnie hug his father if he allowed himself to be taken into custody peacefully.

Ballentine keeps that promise at 9:30 p.m., as Tom Delahanty is escorted into the interview room.

"Mom's gonna die when I'm in jail," Donnie tells his father after their long hug. "Ain't I right? I'm gonna ride this beef, and I didn't do it, Dad."

"Donnie, this is a very high-profile case," Tom Delahanty says. "You have every right to be scared, okay? You're going to go away, there's no doubt about it."

Tom Delahanty turns to Jack Ballentine, who's standing in a corner, and makes a remarkable request.

"Let's say he gets convicted on something with this terrible crime," Tom says, "and they sentence him to prison. Can he still donate one of his kidneys to his mom?"

"I'm sure he can," Ballentine replies, not really knowing if that's true.

"That's why I was trying to get home," Donnie says. "I just want to go home."

"Well," his father says, "you should have stayed home."

Police Chief Jack Harris visits the homicide unit, minutes after giving a media briefing downstairs.

He leans against a wall and comments about the senselessness of Dave Uribe's murder.

"The most that probably would have happened out there is that [Dave] would have taken the license plate, issued the driver a few tickets and let them go," Harris says. "This is just so sad, so stupid."

As for the motive for the murder, the chief says: "Motive? There was no motive. Maybe the meth gave them whatever motive they needed."

Finally, at 11 p.m., Chris Wilson is back at the station, stitched up and ready to talk.

Ballentine first asks him how he's feeling. Wilson says his head is throbbing, but he can talk. He tells the detective he's been diagnosed with "paranoid schizophrenia," and is supposed to be on a variety of medications.

Wilson says he didn't steal the Monte Carlo, that his mother's girlfriend had told him he could drive it. Donnie Delahanty had stolen the license plates that had led Officer Uribe to stop the car.

As for the murder of Uribe, Wilson says, "Sir, I'm not taking the fall for somebody else's fuckup, when I didn't do it."

He claims he feared getting shot by Delahanty "because there's a gun in the vehicle . . . because Donnie constantly says that if we get pulled over by a cop, he's gonna kill the cop, and he repeated it. He'd say, 'Pow! It's just that easy.'"

He tells Ballentine that he'd put his hands on the outside of the car so that the officer "could see everything I was doing."

Out of nowhere, Ballentine asks about any other weapons that may have been in the Monte Carlo.

Wilson's response is a doozie.

He now says that Donnie Delahanty had two weapons at the time of the shooting, one that he'd just gotten from Wilson himself.

Wilson explains that after Dave Uribe stopped them, he'd reached down between the center console and his seat and pulled out his gun, a .380 semi-automatic:

"And I had handed it to [Donnie]," Wilson says. "I said, 'Just hide it, do something with it.' You know, 'Don't do nothing drastic.' And that's what he did."

Donnie reached across Chris' face and shot Uribe with Chris' .380.

So Donnie was right: His 9-millimeter, which wound up in York's attic, wasn't used in the shooting.

"All I heard was pop, pop, pop, pop! -- four shots. And I turned, and I see the cop fall. 'Okay, should I get out of the car to fuckin' help this cop?'"

But Chris Wilson didn't.

"I drive down the road," he continues, "drive around the fuckin' corner, I get out of the car, bail out. [Donnie] just screams that he's gonna burn the car."

Wilson says he heard more shots as they abandoned the Monte Carlo, and that he was unsure if Donnie had been "shooting at me or shooting at the car." (Investigators later found bullets in the tire well, which suggests that the shooter had been trying to blow up the car -- and destroy any evidence -- by exploding what he'd thought was the fuel tank.)

Wilson says he saw Donnie pulling apart the murder weapon, and then watched as he tossed the pieces over a wall on the west side of 31st Avenue.

"How did Donnie act about all of this?" Ballentine asks.

"Honestly, sir, he was perfectly calm until his picture come on that fucking TV."

Though he's been cooperative, Chris Wilson, too, has hurt himself with his statements: He's admitted to handing a loaded gun to a guy who was talking about killing a cop for days. And then he'd stayed on the lam with the killer until the jig was up.

Prosecutors give the okay to also charge Chris Wilson with first-degree murder.

Before he's moved to the county jail, Wilson offers to show Jack Ballentine precisely where Donnie Delahanty tossed the murder weapon.

At 12:30 a.m. on Friday, May 13, two patrol officers drive the shackled Wilson back to 31st Avenue. He immediately directs Ballentine to a stand of oleander bushes that abut a wall that runs along the street.

Soon, he's taken back downtown, to the Maricopa County Jail.

About 35 Phoenix police officers are sent out to look for the gun parts. By about 3 a.m., the cops have found every part of the weapon except its extractor rod -- an important piece because it's known as a gun's "fingerprint."

The next afternoon, an officer finds the telltale part in a gutter on 31st Avenue.

When Jack Ballentine finally falls asleep late on the morning of May 13, he dreams of being inside a white circle alone with Dave Uribe.

People are looking in from outside the circle, but he can't see their faces because it's dark out there.

The dream repeats for five consecutive nights.

On May 17, more than 7,000 people attend the officer's funeral at Radiant Church in Surprise.

After the service, the funeral procession makes the sad trip down to the Greenwood Memorial Lawn at 23rd Avenue and Van Buren Street.

At the front gate to the cemetery, about 100 people, young and old, await the hearse that carries the slain officer. Few, if any, had ever met Dave Uribe, but they want to pay their respects.

Some are waving American flags. Many are crying.

As Uribe's body is poised to be lowered into the ground, the voice of a Phoenix dispatcher comes over the police radios of the hundreds of officers in attendance. The dispatcher pays a final tribute to a man who, truth be told, probably would have been embarrassed by the hullabaloo.

"This is the last call for Officer David Uribe, 4276," she says.

"923 Bravo. 923 Bravo. 10-7. Good night, sir. You will be deeply missed."

Her voice breaks before she closes with the words, "Frequency closed."


A judge ordered Donnie Delahanty and Chris Wilson to stand trial on first-degree-murder charges after a preliminary hearing last August in Maricopa County Superior Court. They remain in custody at the Maricopa County Jail.

Prosecutors Vince Imbordino and Bob Shutts plan to seek the death penalty. The trial is scheduled for early 2007, though a plea bargain for Wilson seems likely, in exchange for his testimony against Delahanty.

Johnny Armendariz and Detective Jack Ballentine were the state's key witnesses at the preliminary hearing. Backseat Johnny seemed to bear up well under withering cross-examinations by the defendants' court-appointed attorneys. The defense attorneys accused each other's clients of murdering Officer Dave Uribe.

David York was sentenced last November 18 to three and a half years in prison for his role in the aftermath of the murder. York apologized to the Uribe family at his sentencing before he was led away in shackles.

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