A jury could not reach a verdict in the retrial of a Tucson man accused of fatally shooting a 16-year-old girl as she and a friend drove away from a midtown fast food restaurant in November 2001.
Max Montijo LaMadrid, 36, was on trial in Pima County Superior Court on first-degree murder charges for the second time in connection with the death of Palo Verde High School student Tanee Natividad.
LaMadrid’s first murder trial also ended with a hung jury in September 2012. The jury convicted him of shooting at an occupied structure in that trial.
On Nov. 18, 2001, a fight broke out between two groups of people at a fast food restaurant near East Speedway and North Swan Road as Natividad and her friend Terrence Gooden were leaving.
LaMadrid’s friend was shot and killed as a result of the altercation and LaMadrid began shooting at cars driving away from the restaurant.
Natividad was a passenger in Gooden’s Ford Mustang and was shot in the back of the head. Six bullet casings belonging to a .40-caliber gun later found in LaMadrid’s truck were found near the street.
LaMadrid fled to Mexico, delaying his trial.
Defense attorney Dan Cooper acknowledged LaMadrid fired his gun, but said his bullets did not strike the teen. He argued Natividad was shot during a subsequent, unrelated, gunbattle Gooden got into in a nearby neighborhood.
It is too soon to say whether LaMadrid will be tried again, prosecutors said.
Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4224.