FLORENCE — A 19-year-old man pleaded guilty Friday to shooting a teenage boy in the head last year, leaving the juvenile severely injured.
Dominick Dyer of Casa Grande pleaded guilty in Pinal County Superior Court to aggravated assault and misconduct with weapons for a shooting that took place on June 20, 2017, at a Casa Grande residence.
A 15-year-old boy sustained a gunshot wound to his head, injuring one of his eyes, and had to be flown to a Phoenix hospital.
According to court documents, Dyer admitted to investigators that he “accidentally” shot the victim. The victim recalled hearing someone say “sorry” shortly after the shooting.
Information submitted to the court suggests Dyer and two others were playing with a handgun and it fired in the direction of the victim’s head after Dyer mistakenly pulled the trigger.
Dyer evaded authorities for months following the shooting. In April, he was found at a Casa Grande home and taken into custody.
The terms of his plea agreement indicate Dyer has agreed to a five-year sentence with the Arizona Department of Corrections, followed by a period of supervised probation when he won’t be allowed to have contact with the victim.
Dyer was on probation at the time of the shooting for a robbery offense committed in 2016. According to court records, a man accused him of stealing his phone in Casa Grande. Despite initially denying involvement, Dyer later pleaded guilty and was placed on probation for three years.
Because Dyer pleaded guilty to the shooting, he’ll be found in automatic violation of his probation. He will be held without bond at the Pinal County jail until he’s sentenced next month.
Man pleads guilty in crash that killed teacher
FLORENCE — A 25-year-old man pleaded guilty Friday for his involvement in a car accident that killed a popular Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology instructor.
Pablo Reyes pleaded guilty in Pinal County Superior Court to the crime of endangerment for his role in a 2017 crash that killed 43-year-old Benjamin Barth, a CAVIT massage therapy instructor.
Reyes was attempting to pass vehicles near McCartney and Overfield roads and Barth swerved to avoid hitting the defendant. The victim lost control of his motorcycle and crashed. Barth was not wearing a helmet.
Reyes’ attorney said he had a small trace of marijuana in his system but he was not impaired at the time of the accident.
The defendant was later indicted by a grand jury for negligent homicide, but Reyes was allowed to plead to the lesser offense of endangerment.
He and the state agreed to let Reyes be placed on a period of supervised probation after he serves one year at the Pinal County jail.
If Reyes is given credit for time he’s already served then he may be released in October.
After Barth’s death, thousands of dollars were raised for his wife and three children through the website GoFundMe.com.
The victim’s massage therapy program at CAVIT ranked high in the state and had a 100 percent passing rate last year.
Reyes will be sentenced next month.
2 injured in stabbing scuffle near Peart Park
CASA GRANDE — Police are still sorting out the details of an altercation near Peart Park on Thursday night that sent two men to a hospital.
According to Casa Grande Police Department spokesman Thomas Anderson, police were called to Whataburger around 8:30 p.m. Thursday for a report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers were on location and had followed a trail of blood to a nearby residence. A man, whose finger was partially removed, was flown to Chandler Regional Medical Center.
As part of the investigation, police located a second man in the same area who had received a stab wound to his left shoulder. He was sent via ambulance to Chandler as well.
Anderson said it wasn’t immediately clear what started the altercation and police continue to investigate. The men’s ages were listed as 26 and 37, although it wasn’t known which man received which injury. Their names weren’t released.
Home-invasion suspect commits suicide
APACHE JUNCTION — Authorities say a suspect in a home invasion took his own life Thursday night.
The man committed suicide with a concealed firearm while he was in the process of being arrested, according to the Apache Junction Police Department.
He was allegedly one of at least three suspects involved in entering a home on Renaissance Avenue at about 9 p.m., according to the department. They allegedly took a woman’s purse, ran out the garage and fled in a vehicle.
AJPD officers chased after the vehicle from 16th Avenue to U.S. 60. The suspect vehicle rolled and crashed while exiting onto the Signal Butte ramp.
One of the passengers, 20-year-old Roman Sprouse, was ejected from the vehicle. The Mesa man was injured and transported to a hospital.
Another suspect, 28-year-old Brandon Pharr of Phoenix, fled on foot and was later apprehended. He was taken to a hospital for a dog bite injury.
While authorities were apprehending Pharr, investigators discovered a third suspect believed to have been involved in the burglary.
The third suspect then took his own life as officers attempted to apprehend him. His identity was not released, pending family notification.