Arrest made in November shooting death

2013-08-17T00:00:00Z Arrest made in November shooting deathBy Kimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A man arrested Thursday in the fatal November shooting death of a Tucson teen is still on probation for dumping the body of a man he shot and killed in 2011.

Zechary Mazitis, 21, was booked into the Pima County jail in connection with the Nov. 16 shooting death of 18-year-old Andrew Liska, Sgt. Chris Widmer, spokesman for the Tucson Police Department, said in a news release.

Another man was shot during the incident, but he survived.

Mazitis faces one count of second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault.

The shooting occurred just before 11 p.m. in the 3300 block of South Grady Avenue, near South Pantano and East Stella roads. When officers arrived, they found two men with gunshot wounds lying in the middle of the road. Both were taken to a hospital with critical injuries. Liska died at the hospital days later. The two were passengers in a silver car driven by Mazitis, who is suspected of shooting them before pulling them out of the car and driving away.

Mazitis was charged in 2011 with second-degree murder in another shooting, but the charge was dismissed. In exchange for pleading guilty to abandonment of a dead body, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a weapons charge. In April 2012 he was placed on three years’ probation. That case stemmed from a drug deal gone bad. If he had been found guilty of murder, he could have received up to 2½ years in prison.

While Mazitis was working out his plea deal for the 2011 shooting, his sister, Daniella Mazitis, was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to child abuse. She admitted she allowed her 2-year-old son to be injured under circumstances likely to cause death or serious physical injury, according to an Arizona Daily Star article.

When Daniella Mazitis brought her son to a hospital in May 2011, the 23-month-old weighed 19 pounds, had broken ribs, a broken arm, a broken finger, a lacerated kidney and a leaking pancreas. Three months ago, she was sentenced to five years’ probation for second-degree child abuse. She could have received up to 15 years in prison.

Her ex-boyfriend, Arnoldo Alonso, also pleaded guilty to second-degree child abuse for failing to seek medical attention for the malnourished boy. He was sentenced to lifetime probation and 12 months in the Pima County jail. Early in the court proceedings, Alonso’s attorneys tried unsuccessfully to have the case dismissed, in part because grand jurors were not told the 2-year-old spent a lot of time in the presence of his uncle, Zechary Mazitis.

Contact reporter Kimberly Matas at kmatas@azstarnet.com or at 573-4191.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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