NATIONAL NEWS

Authorities now have 6 suspects in fatal beating of teen at Halloween party

Mar 7, 2024, 9:25 AM | Updated: 12:34 pm

PHOENIX (AP) — Two more people have been arrested in the fatal beating of a teenage boy during a Halloween party last year in the Phoenix suburb of Queen Creek, authorities said Thursday.

The number of suspects in the case is now six, including three juveniles, and there could be more arrests — including charging people who tampered with witnesses or obstructed the investigation, Queen Creek Police Chief Randy Brice said.

“We’re not going to stop until we have everybody in custody,” Brice said at a news conference Wednesday night.

Preston Lord, 16, died from his injuries in a hospital two days after the Oct. 28 gang-style attack that shocked the community.

It’s still unclear if or why he was targeted.

The Arizona Republic reported in December that investigators suspect Lord was killed by a gang called the “Gilbert Goons,” who recorded blitz-style attacks in parks, parking garages, outside fast-food restaurants and at house parties and posted the videos on social media.

Activists held vigils and marched to protest growing gang violence in Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler and other Phoenix suburbs.

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell announced Wednesday night that Dominic Turner, 20; William Owen Hines, 18; and two 17-year-old boys are each charged with felony first-degree murder and kidnapping. Both juveniles are being charged as adults and Turner is also charged with aggravated robbery.

Hines already was in custody for unrelated assault cases while the other three suspects were indicted Wednesday, according to Queen Creek police.

On Thursday, authorities say 19-year-old Taylor Sherman and another 17-year-old boy were taken into custody and being held on suspicion of first-degree murder and kidnapping. The juvenile also is charged with aggravated assault.

The names of the three juvenile suspects are being withheld by The Associated Press because they are minors.

Turner, Hines and Sherman made their initial court appearances Thursday and a judge set a $1 million secured appearance bond for each of the suspects.

Court paperwork didn’t immediately identify any of their lawyers.

Lord’s death was ruled a homicide by the county Medical Examiner’s Office last month.

Mitchell said her office reviewed 600 videos and a 2,000-page police report, among other evidence, to develop the case against the four suspects.

“This investigation is not over,” Mitchell said. “There is more information to review and the potential for additional charges exists.”

Lord’s parents, Nick Lord and Autumn Curiel, said in a statement that “each arrest represents a step towards accountability and justice for our son Preston.”

The Republic reported that Lord attended high school in San Tan Valley where he served on the student council and played basketball, football and golf.

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Authorities now have 6 suspects in fatal beating of teen at Halloween party