CASA GRANDE — Casa Grande Roller Derby has officially moved into its new home.
On Saturday, supporters of the group packed the bleachers as opening day events were held at the club’s new headquarters, 798 N. Picacho Ave.
The event featured an open scrimmage, ribbon cutting and peek inside the newly updated building as well as two Casa Grande city representatives — Councilwoman Donna McBride and Mayor Craig McFarland — gliding along the new roller derby track.
Because McBride and McFarland are newby skaters, they used walkers to help make two rounds around the track.
“This is such a monumental day for us,” Kelli Brown, a competitive skater and founder of Casa Grande Roller Derby, told the crowd.
The nonprofit organization plans to use the facility as a home base for practices and meetings as well as a place to encourage kids and adults to learn non-contact roller skating.
CGRD’s competitive roller derby team, Big House Bombers, will continue to host games at Pinal Fairgrounds and Event Center, 512 S. Eleven Mile Corner Road.
The city-owned brick structure at 798 N. Picacho Ave. was built decades ago as the gymnasium for Casa Grande Union High School, when the school was located at what is now Casa Grande City Hall. Later, the building served as the administrative offices and main branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Casa Grande Valley, which recently relocated to the city’s new Community Recreation Center on Peart Road.
To transform the interior into a roller derby practice facility, CGRD designed and installed a roller derby track with referee and safety lanes. Changing facilities were also added.
Casa Grande Roller Derby is a nonprofit organization that started in 2017 with about five women. It’s grown into a club with dozens of members and a competitive roller derby team that has monthly bouts against teams from around the state.
The CGRD Big House Bombers have two upcoming events:
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at the Pinal fairgrounds. The game starts at 7.
Presale tickets are $10 online at https://2020game2.brownpapertickets.com or $12 at the door. Seniors and military members pay $8. Kids younger than 12 are admitted free.
FLORENCE — A woman accused of killing her boyfriend in an Apache Junction Walmart parking lot a year ago has accepted a plea arrangement.
Dalia Villalobos, 23, was arrested on Feb. 20, 2019, after she allegedly struck her boyfriend, Oscar Coronado, with her vehicle outside the Walmart in Apache Junction. He died later that evening at a hospital.
Villalobos pleaded guilty to manslaughter Feb. 5 in a plea agreement with state prosecutors. The charge is a Class 2 felony, punishable by a presumptive sentence of five years in prison. She could be sentenced to as much as 12.5 years.
According to a probable-cause statement written by the Apache Junction Police Department, Villalobos told investigators her relationship with the victim had been “physically and mentally abusive.”
On the night of the incident, Villalobos claimed she and Coronado got into a verbal fight and he shouted epithets at her. While in the parking lot, she claimed Coronado exited the car and started banging on the windows.
Villalobos initially told AJPD she accidentally hit Coronado with her car. She then changed her story to say she was angry at the victim for all the alleged abuse and intentionally ran him over. She alleged she only meant to “bump” Coronado and not kill him.
Villalobos also admitted to not calling 911 immediately because she was afraid of getting arrested, according to the police statement, and fled the parking lot. She claimed she went back to Walmart, where bystanders had stopped to help Coronado.
The victim was taken to a hospital and later died from his injuries. Villalobos was taken into custody and was charged with second-degree murder.
Villalobos has been held in custody at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center for nearly a year and will remain there until she is sentenced. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2 at 11 a.m. by Superior Court Judge Patrick Gard.