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2 men charged in connection with 2017 slaying of man in Tucson motel

2 men charged in connection with 2017 slaying of man in Tucson motel

James Cook and Preston Scruggs were arrested in connection with the 2017 homicide of a 57-year-old Tucson man.

Police have connected two men with the slaying of a Tucson man nearly three years ago at a south-side motel, officials say.

On Jan. 19, 2017, Tucson police officers were dispatched to a motel at 6161 E. Benson Highway, near Interstate 10, where they found 57-year-old Richard M. Kohlmeier dead with possible signs of trauma, a department news release said.

Detectives later learned Kohlmeier checked into the motel the day before and two men visited him that evening.

On Jan. 20, 2017, an autopsy revealed Kohlmeier's death as a homicide but detectives were unable to obtain new leads in the case.

While the case remained open, investigators wouldn't receive further information about the case until Sept. 12, 2019.

The information led detectives to obtain arrest warrants for James Cook, 46, and Preston Scruggs, 28.

Cook was arrested by police in Mount Vernon, Illinois for one count of first-degree murder on Sept. 23, 2019, the news release said. He was extradited to Arizona on Dec. 23.

Scruggs was already detained in San Luis Obispo County Jail in California for an unrelated charge when located on Oct. 15, 2019. He faces once count of abandonment and concealment of a dead body.

Scruggs has yet to be extradited back to Arizona, police said.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1

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