Prosecutors in the first-degree murder trial of Santos Angel Hernandez say he planned all along to kill fellow teenager Austin Wayne Maudsley when the pair met in a Marana park two years ago.
Prosecutor Laura McGinley told jurors at the start of the trial Wednesday that Hernandez "knew Austin Maudsley was going to die."
McGinley went on to describe how Hernandez, 15 at the time, and Dante Solomon stabbed Maudsley to death and stole his wallet.
Solomon pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison in March.
McGinley told jurors that Solomon and Hernandez met with Maudsley, who wanted to purchase marijuana.
The three walked from Ora Mae Harn Park,13250 N. Lon Adams Road, in Marana to Solomon's apartment complex nearby. Once there, McGinley said, Solomon got two knives, giving one to Hernandez. They then walked into an open field to purchase the marijuana, she said.
"For half a mile the defendant carried a knife with him with the knowledge and intent to stab him and take his wallet," McGinley said.
She described how Hernandez stabbed Maudsley in the back. Then Solomon stabbed Maudsley multiple times, breaking his knife.
Police said Hernandez later admitted his role in the crime.
A man walking his dog found Maudsley's body seven days later.
Hernandez's attorney, T. Clayton Kamm, acknowledged his client was there, but said he played no role in the killing, putting the blame on Solomon.
Kamm described Solomon as a teen with a problem childhood and a history of troubles.
He attributed Hernandez's confession to an effort to sound tough.
He told jurors that it was Solomon, not Hernandez, who returned to the field the next day and stole Maudsley's wallet from the corpse.
The trial is scheduled to continue through the week.
Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or email@example.com