Law & order briefs

2014-06-25T00:00:00Z Law & order briefsArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Tucsonan gets 16 years
for killing former partner

A Tucson man who pleaded guilty to killing a former business partner was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Tuesday.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Teresa Godoy sentenced James Lee Derrington following his guilty plea to second-degree murder.

Derrington shot and killed former friend and business partner James Shultz in June 2013. Shultz was found shortly after at a house on West King Road near Oracle and Prince roads.

Deputy Pima County Attorney Ellen Brown asked Godoy to impose an aggravated sentence based on the violent nature of the killing and the emotional distress the murder caused Shultz’s family.

Brown also said Derrington made a conscious decision to shoot Shultz, having left the scene where he and the victim had argued only to return and murder him.

“We believe that was exceptionally cruel and heinous,” Brown said.

Derrington’s attorney, Tatiana Struthers, pointed out her client had been cooperative with police, even turning himself in without prompting.

Struthers also noted Derrington and Shultz had been romantically involved with the same woman, which helped prompt the fatal dispute.

Patrick McNamara

Mummified man in manhole likely was electrocuted

A man whose mummified remains were found in a manhole last month, likely died of electrocution, an autopsy report states.

The body was “found with a pair of bolt cutters in his hands in an underground high-voltage utility access with cut copper wires near the remains,” a report from the office of the Pima County Medical Examiner stated.

The man died between 12 and 24 months before his remains were found, said Dr. Gregory Hess, chief medical examiner.

Crews working near Tanque Verde Road and Tanque Verde Loop May 19 found the body when they opened the manhole, said a sheriff’s spokesman.

An identification card for a 51-year-old man was found with the remains, but the medical examiner’s office is awaiting the results of a DNA test to verify the name of the deceased.

Kimberly Matas

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