PHOENIX (AP) – A Phoenix woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in the 2016 death of her toddler daughter whom authorities said she'd given methamphetamine to try to counteract methadone the child had consumed from an open container.
Judge Warren Granville's sentencing of Natalie Russell on Friday in Maricopa County Superior Court follows her previous guilty pleas to second-degree murder and child abuse.
Additional counts of child abuse were dismissed.
Authorities said autopsy results showed 22-month-old Adalynn Russell had toxic levels of methadone and methamphetamines in her system.
Methadone is a drug used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in those addicted to opiates.
Officers were called to the family's home in response to a child not breathing. Paramedics worked to revive the girl, but she died at the scene.
Man enters insanity plea in 2015 Casa Grande murder
CASA GRANDE (AP) – A 27-year-old man accused of killing a Casa Grande man has pleaded guilty except insanity.
The Casa Grande Dispatch reports Jason West pleaded guilty on Thursday to shooting 53-year-old Jeffery Zimmerman in the head as he slept on Feb. 25, 2015.
The men were neighbors.
Officials initially believed Zimmerman took his own life.
West has been ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment at the Arizona State Hospital for the next 25 years.
After three years of mental health treatments and evaluations, West was diagnosed with a mental disease that prevented him from understanding that what he did was wrong.
Deputy Pinal County Attorney Matt Reed says nothing excuses Zimmerman’s killing.
Zimmerman’s family say they wish West well during his court-ordered treatment and will try to move forward with their lives.
Information from: Casa Grande Dispatch.
Man accused in 9 killings had bleak upbringing
PHOENIX – Court records paint a bleak picture of the upbringing of a man accused of fatally shooting nine people in metro Phoenix over a three-week period.
Cleophus Emmanuel Cooksey Jr. grew up in a household plagued by domestic violence, left home at age 16 to live with his girlfriend and was in prison three years later for a manslaughter conviction.
The records say he was physically abused as a child and took part in two robberies that sent him to prison for 13 years.
Cooksey has been charged with murder in the deaths of his mother and stepfather.
Authorities re-booked him Thursday in seven other killings, though he hasn’t yet been formally charged in those deaths.
Attorney Gary Beren, who represents Cooksey, did not immediately email and telephone messages Friday seeking comment.
Murder-suicide in Tucson
TUCSON – Tucson police are calling the deaths of a man and a woman found dead in their residence an “apparent homicide-suicide.”
Sgt. Kimberly Bay say officers discovered the bodies Thursday after an employer called police for a welfare check on a female employee who hadn’t showed up for work.
Bay says the couple were in a relationship and that their bodies had “obvious gunshot trauma.”
Authorities investigating freeway crash
GILBERT (AP) –Authorities are investigating a wrong-way crash in Gilbert. The accident occurred around 5 a.m. Sunday on the Santan Loop 202 near Power Road.
Arizona Department of Public Safety officials say the wrong-way driver was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes when it crashed into the median.
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