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Mon, July 22

Two murder suspects in custody

Two men have been arrested in connection with the murder of Anthony Ray Martin Jr.

John Leland Neal and Pasqual Sosimo Acuna were arrested on first-degree murder charges, Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan said.

Neal, 19, was arrested in Grand Junction, Colo., on Tuesday. The Grand Junction Police Department's SWAT team surrounded a residence in the 1900 block of North Fourth Street and took him into custody without incident. Two MCSO detectives had been in the area working with local law enforcement on the arrest.

Neal had moved to Colorado approximately one month earlier from Kingman, Sheahan said. Neal was staying with a married couple, their son and three daughters, said Paul Shockley. Shockley, who is a reporter with the Free Press in Grand Junction, said Neal was acquainted with one of the daughters.

Neal is being held in a Mesa County, Colo., Jail on $1 million bond. He will have an extradition hearing this afternoon in Mesa County court.

Acuna, 18, of Kingman was served with his arrest charge in Mohave County Jail on Wednesday. Due to the severity of the charges, he will be moved to an isolated cell, Sheahan said.

He was in custody on an unrelated incident.

MCSO deputies arrested Pasqual "Paco" Acuna the evening of Jan. 7 on four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested following a routine traffic stop where deputies allegedly found two bags containing a white substance, a pair of tweezers with burnt residue, a measuring scale, a glass pipe with residue and numerous miscellaneous pills. His bail is $75,000.

Acuna was the suspect in two separate incidents on Dec. 31. He allegedly shot at a 30-year-old male, a 36-year-old male and two 19-year-old females in the 3100 block of Unforgiven Circle.

Both men are directly involved with the shooting death of Martin, 28, of Kingman on Dec. 4, Sheahan said. A passerby noticed Martin's body off the roadway of Bank Street, approximately five miles north of Kingman the same afternoon.

"Autopsy results determined the victim died of multiple gunshot wounds," said MCSO Public Information Specialist Trish Carter.

The number of weapons used in the murder is unknown at this time, Carter said. Martin was shot five times with small caliber ammunition, which is still being processed at the Arizona Department of Public Safety's crime lab, Carter added.

Theressa Lacey, the mother of Martin, has been vocal about finding those responsible for her son's murder. She expressed gratitude to the MCSO and their detectives for the investigation and arrests.

"I'm just thankful that they got them," Lacey said. "It seems like it's taken a lifetime. I just hope that justice will be served."

Martin also called for the death penalty of the suspects if found guilty.

"I will not get to see my son again," Lacey said. "So why should they be around to see their families?"

All three men knew each other and were acquaintances, Carter said. The motive for the murder is unknown.

Both suspects have a significant prior juvenile record ranging from incidents involving drugs to burglary, Sheahan said.

"It looks like he (Acuna) started and became a lot more violent," Sheahan added.

Sheahan said the arrests were the culmination of a seven-week investigation utilizing evidence, interviews and information obtained from tips through Mohave County Silent Witness.

"It was a day and night investigation, even through the holidays," Sheahan said.

Even at this stage, the investigation in ongoing as they develop more evidence on the crime - including locating the murder weapon(s), he added.

"It's community involvement and people coming forward - beyond good detective work - that helps us solve these cases," Sheahan said.

That is what Sheahan is calling for in two other recent unsolved murders in Kingman.

An unknown suspect or suspects attacked Anna Hammonds, 80, during an apparent burglary at her home in the 4200 block of Irving Street on Christmas Day. She died the next day at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas as a result of blunt force trauma to her head. A reward up to $2,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved.

On Dec. 12, Annette Angela Rounseville, 46, of Kingman was struck by an unknown driver who fled the scene on Melody Street near the intersection of John L Avenue. She passed away on Dec. 16 at Sunrise Medical Center from her injuries. The MCSO announced a $2,500 reward for her case.

Contact the MCSO at 753-0753 or Silent Witness at (888) 227-8780 with any information regarding these unsolved murders.


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