Suspect in 2010 slaying in custody

Fessenden, Corley in on plot to kill Gillespie, Sheriff's Office says

Casey Fessenden

Casey Fessenden

KINGMAN - The Mohave County Sheriff's Office announced an arrest in the year-old murder investigation of a 37-year-old Kingman man while a second suspect is still outstanding.

Casey Fessenden, 38, was arrested on first-degree murder charges and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the death of Christopher Gillespie.

Gillespie was shot to death some time before 9 p.m. April 12, 2010, in the desert off of Old Trails Road near the second black railroad bridge. Old Trails Road runs parallel to the portion of Historic Route 66 that breaks off at Andy Devine Avenue and Beale Street.

Gillespie was lured out to the location by Norman R. Corley, 36, on the premise of going out to the desert to look for money and bottles.

Sheriff Tom Sheahan said Fessenden was lying in wait for Gillespie. After Gillespie got out of the vehicle and entered the light from the pickup truck's headlights, he was shot four times in the neck and back.

Sheahan said that at least one of those four shots came from Corley. The others were from a .223 caliber rifle that Fessenden reported stolen the day after the murder, when in fact he had sold it to another individual.

That person, who had no knowledge of the murder, Sheahan said, never used the rifle, leaving the evidence leading to Fessenden's arrest intact.

"We had our suspicions from the beginning, but as it went on, we had to get solid physical evidence," he said. "That firearm was the evidence we needed."

A girlfriend who accompanied Gillespie to the location and saw her boyfriend shot was said not to have anything to do with the murder, which Sheahan said was financially motivated.

Authorities are actively looking for Corley, who also faces first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges. No picture of him was available.