State Briefs | Bald eagle nestlings during 2019 breeding season fall to 71
PHOENIX (AP) – An increase of bald eagle breeding areas this year didn't result in more nestlings in Arizona.
State Game and Fish Department officials say there were 71 eagle nestlings during the 2019 breeding season, down from 87 hatched last year.
During the department's annual bald eagle survey, raptor biologists counted a minimum of 74 occupied breeding areas statewide – up from the 69 counted last year.
But the number of eggs laid dipped from 102 last year to 97 this year.
The number of birds that made their first flight fell to 63 from the 70 recorded in 2018.
Arizona's bald eagle population has flourished since 1978, when 11 pairs were counted within the state and the species was listed as endangered. There currently are an estimated 74 adult breeding pairs.
Yavapai County sheriff to retire in December 2020
PRESCOTT (AP) – Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher says he plans to retire following the completion of his current term in December 2020.
Mascher made the announcement Tuesday during a staff meeting and sent an email to employees about his retirement decision.
He has been with the sheriff’s office for more than 35 years starting as a volunteer reserve deputy in 1983, becoming a full-time deputy in 1986 and working every rank over that time.
Mascher currently is serving his second full term as sheriff and says he has a full workload over the next 13 months.
In a statement, Mascher said he’s “ready to pass the torch as I move into private life and explore other opportunities following my retirement next year.”
Maricopa man convicted of 2016 murder still isn’t sentenced
FLORENCE (AP) – A Maricopa man convicted of a 2016 murder is awaiting sentencing. The Casa Grande Dispatch reports 19-year-old Arthur Magana’s sentencing is affected by the fact he was 16 at the time of the fatal shooting.
According to a 2016 Supreme Court ruling, life without the possibility of parole can no longer be mandatory for defendants who were juveniles at the time of the crime.
On Monday, a Pinal County Superior Court judge continued Magana’s sentencing until sometime in the future, perhaps in June. Magana was convicted of first-degree murder and armed robbery in November 2018.
Authorities say 20-year-old Wyatt Miller was found dead of gunshot wounds in his truck in November 2016. Magana remains jailed without bond until his sentencing.
Glendale police fatally shoot man armed with long forceps
GLENDALE (AP) – Police in Glendale have identified a man who was fatally shot after attacking an officer with foot-long metal forceps.
They say security at a fast-food restaurant called police around 5:30 p.m. Monday because 31-year-old Matthew Rasmussen was swinging the scissor-like object.
Three police officers arrived on the scene and tried to talk to the armed man. They say Rasmussen ignored commands to drop the forceps so one of the officers tried to detain him.
While the officer and Rasmussen were on the ground, police say Rasmussen was swinging and trying to stab the officer with the forceps.
Police say another officer who was in fear of his safety shot Rasmussen. He was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition and later died.
Man suspected of stealing money from armored car is arrested
PHOENIX (AP) – The FBI says a man suspected of stealing money out of an armored car in Tempe last month has been arrested.
The agency announced Tuesday that 23-year-old Edwin “Johnny” Jobany Villa was located Monday in Phoenix and taken into custody without incident.
An FBI spokeswoman says Villa is facing charges of conspiracy to commit theft, two felony theft charges and unlawful use of means of transportation.
A Brinks car was parked outside a Costco store in Tempe around noon on Oct. 27 and later found behind a nearby store with an undisclosed amount of money missing.
Authorities believe Villa got into the armored car and drove it to another part of the strip mall before taking some cash and fleeing the scene.