William Null pleaded guilty today to a few charges, including second-degree murder, for beating his aunt to death in Mesa in November.
Cigarettes sparked an argument between Null and Cynthia Pesek -- at least, that's what Null told police at the time of his arrest -- and after three days of arguing over who paid for a carton of smokes, and Null downing a vodka/Mountain Dew combination, Pesek wound up dead.
According to court records previously obtained by New Times, Mesa police were dispatched to a home on November 15, where Pesek, 62, was found dead.
The person who called police didn't give his name but told the dispatcher that Pesek had fallen.
According to the documents, that caller was Null -- Pesek's 41-year-old nephew, who lived in the home -- and Pesek's injuries didn't seem consistent with a fall.
When police entered the home, they found blood spattered all over the kitchen where Pesek's body was found, and the county medical examiner would later discover that she suffered multiple skull fractures and had three teeth knocked out, which the medical examiner couldn't quite place in the "fall" category.
While the cops were at the scene, Null's mom phoned police saying her son just called her saying he "had a problem" with his aunt. Null told his mother his aunt's home "was a bloody mess."
While the cops were still there, police watched Null get out of a vacant home next door to his aunt's place.
According to the court documents, Null made "spontaneous statements" indicating that he'd been hiding in the attic of the abandoned home as police were searching the house he shared with his aunt.
"I fucked up," Null told the cops, but denied his "fuck[ing] up" had anything to do with murdering his aunt.
Null was taken into custody and eventually told investigators what the "big problem" was with his aunt -- cigarettes.
Null told police that earlier in the week he had some of his neighbors buy him a carton of cigarettes at an Indian reservation. When they delivered the cigarettes, Null didn't have the $50 to pay for them. His aunt picked up the tab, a gesture that apparently embarrassed Null.
The two argued about the cigarettes repeatedly for three days, Null told police, before downing a bunch of Mountain Dew and vodka and getting into a physical fight with his aunt.
The court documents said Null also had injuries consistent with a fight, including cuts, scratches, and blood smeared on his ear, but he maintained he had no idea how his aunt sustained the injuries that killed her.
Police recovered some more evidence from the scene, like the 48-inch wooden stick in the backyard with blood on it that Null kind of buried in the backyard.
Cops also checked out the attic -- where Null admitted he watched police respond to the murder scene -- where they found bloody clothes, Mountain Dew, and the friggin' carton of cigarettes.
Null still maintained he had nothing to do with it, but after being told how his aunt died, Null responded, "This is bad...this is bad."
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Null then asked the cop if he would call his girlfriend for him and ask her to take care of his cat.
Null pleaded guilty today to one count of second-degree murder and two counts of burglary. He's set for sentencing on June 29.
James King contributed to this post.