(Phoenix, Arizona) – On a typical Tuesday, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office receives submittals from law enforcement for two to three homicides to review for charges that occur over the weekend. This past weekend, the numbers hit a record high for 2022 with six homicide incidents.
“These are six families who are grieving, six loved ones who were unexpectedly taken, and every case has a different set of facts and evidence that must be reviewed by our office,” said County Attorney Rachel Mitchell. “A victim in one of these homicides is a 15-year-old teenager.”
Coupled with the grief and tragedy left behind for the family, there is a large task for prosecutors at the County Attorney’s Office who must review complex facts and evidence in order to make a charging decision within 48 business hours of a suspect’s arrest. Without charges, the suspect may be released back into the community. A homicide prosecutor carries anywhere between 10 and 12 cases but currently carrying heavier caseloads due to a prosecutor shortage in the office.
“These six homicides are roughly half of a case load for one prosecutor. To have this number of homicides in a weekend is a significant number for our office, and more importantly for this community,” added Mitchell.
Other weekends throughout the year have seen higher than normal numbers, but not as significant as this past weekend. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, violent crime across the country went up by 5.6% between 2019 and 2020. New numbers for violent crime are expected to be released this fall.
The following is a list of homicide cases expected to be submitted to our office by law enforcement for review:
- August 12, 2022 stabbing in Mesa
- August 12, 2022 vehicle crime in Mesa
- August 13, 2022 stabbing in Phoenix
- August 13, 2022 stabbing in Mesa
- August 14, 2022 shooting in Phoenix
- August 14, 2022 shooting in Guadalupe *victim is a minor