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Death Penalty Trial: Christopher Redondo Found Guilty in 2010 AZ Murder of Lt. Eric Shuhandler - Page 2
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Thread: Death Penalty Trial: Christopher Redondo Found Guilty in 2010 AZ Murder of Lt. Eric Shuhandler

  1. #11
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Gilbert suspect in police officer's killing ruled competent to stand trial

    A Globe man accused of gunning down Gilbert Police Lt. Eric Shuhandler is competent to stand trial for the homicide that ended in a late-night shootout with dozens of police Jan. 28, 2010.

    During a hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court, Judge Janet Barton ruled Christopher Redondo, who turned 37 Monday, was competent to participate in his defense, court documents show.

    However, she sealed a letter from Redondo in which he requests to replace his attorney, Rick Miller. Miller did not respond to a message seeking comment.

    http://www.azcentral.com/community/g...#ixzz1TG2iH3U0

  2. #12
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    Life term for man in 2009 murder

    Defendant awaits trial in 2010 death of officer

    The man accused of slaying a Gilbert police officer will never taste freedom, even though his death-penalty trial in the slaying is months away.

    Christopher Redondo, 37, pleaded guilty in Gila County Superior Court to first-degree murder in an unrelated death and was sentenced by Judge Peter Cahill to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    The Miami slaying of Ernie Singh, 40, occurred on June 24, 2009, seven months before Gilbert police Lt. Eric Shuhandler was gunned down during a traffic stop on Jan. 28, 2010.

    Singh and Shuhandler both were shot in the face. Shuhandler's slaying ignited a wild 50-mile high-speed chase that ended in a shootout near Superior.

    Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Juan Martinez is seeking a death sentence for Redondo in a trial slated to start Sept. 10.

    Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the County Attorney's Office, said Martinez could potentially use Redondo's Gila County conviction to blunt arguments by defense attorneys to spare Redondo from execution.

    He said the March 2 conviction in Globe came too late to list it as a reason for seeking the death penalty. Prosecutors have 60 days after a defendant's arraignment to file a notice to seek the death penalty.

    Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores said it is unusual for a defendant to plead guilty to first-degree murder with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    "It's really good for Ernie's family. It's the best we could have hoped for," she said.

    Flores said that no matter what happens in Redondo's upcoming murder trial in Phoenix, Redondo will spend the rest of his life in prison because of his conviction in Singh's murder.

    Singh was shot to death through a screen door at his home in Miami. Flores said Gila County prosecutors agreed not to pursue relatively minor charges against Redondo's wife, Theresa, and her daughter from another relationship in return for the plea deal.

    Redondo was not charged in Singh's slaying until police served a search warrant at the home of his father, Angel Redondo, after Shuhandler's murder, Flores said.

    After police found drugs inside the elder Redondo's home, he led them to a shotgun he buried in a mine shaft on his property, she said. Prosecutors agreed not to prosecute Angel Redondo in exchange for his testimony against his son.

    "He was trying to cut a deal for himself," Flores said. "Without that (shotgun), it was impossible to connect Chris to the homicide."

    http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news...#ixzz1plmYkgpW
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  3. #13
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    March 5, 2013

    Delays in the Death Penalty Trial for Christopher Redondo in the Shooting Death of Gilbert Police Lt. Eric Shuhandler

    The long awaited Maricopa County Death Penalty trial for Christopher Redondo has been delayed once again as Redondo has a new defense attorney and because the prosecutor in the case has been prosecuting the Jodie Arias case. Maricopa County Prosecutor Juan Martinez appears to be running the Jodie Arias defense through the ringer. It will be interesting to see if he is as determined in the Redondo trial.

    Christopher Redondo was charged in the murder of Gilbert Police Lt. Eric Shuhandler. The case stems from a 10:30 p.m. traffic stop, when Shuhandler pulled over Damien Irizarry, of Gilbert, who was driving Redondo’s father’s work truck. Shuhandler pulled them over for an obstructed license plate. Minutes later, as Shuhandler returned to the pickup, Redondo pulled a gun and shot him in the head, police reports state. Irizarry and Redondo then led several officers on a chase eastbound on U.S. 60. During the chase, police reports state Redondo fired at officers and disabled 12 police cars by hurling tools and equipment from the bed of the pickup. The chase ended when the pickup ran out of gas at Top of the World.

    Police say Redondo again opened fire as he exited the truck. Police returned fire as Irizarry and Redondo took cover and were struck in the legs and feet.

    Christopher Redondo, 37, pleaded guilty in Gila County Superior Court to first-degree murder in and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Miami slaying of Ernie Singh, 40, occurring on June 24, 2009, seven months before Gilbert police Lt. Eric Shuhandler was gunned down during a traffic stop on Jan. 28, 2010.

    Just last year Christopher Redondo, 37, pleaded guilty in Gila County Superior Court to first-degree murder and was sentenced l to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Miami slaying of Ernie Singh, 40, occurred on June 24, 2009, seven months before Gilbert police Lt. Eric Shuhandler was gunned down during a traffic stop on Jan. 28, 2010.

    Many believe, including Singh’s family, that if former Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores had done her job and prosecuted Redondo for his many violent crimes in the past, including but not limited to the murder of Ernie Singh, Gilbert Police Lt. Eric Shuhandler would be alive today. With the uncertainty of the ongoing Jodie Arias trial it is unclear when Christopher Redondo’s Death Penalty Trial will begin, but we will let you know as soon as we get that information.

    http://news.gila1019.com/delays-in-t...ic-shuhandler/

  4. #14
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    May 24, 2013

    Wife of Convicted Murderer, Christopher Redondo, Arrested!

    The wife of convicted murderer Christopher Redondo, Theresa Redondo was arrest Wednesday on charges of Hindering an Investigation, after Globe Police Officers were dispatched to an area on 3rd and Mesquite in reference to found property. According to Globe Police logs: During the course of the investigation, officers reported, they located a quad thought to be involved with the property found. An officer who had observed the rider, was able to determine his identity as Ruben Mageno and it was know that he has ties to that residence. It was also known Mageno had warrants outstanding for his arrest. The homeowner denied Mageno being at the residence, but refused officers entry into the home. Based on information known, officers maintained a perimeter on the home and began to draft a search warrant to search for Mageno in the residence. Prior to obtaining the warrant, the homeowner claimed they were unaware that Mageno was inside, but realized after officers left, Mageno was asleep in the a bedroom. After the officers returned, they were allowed in to contact Mageno. Mageno was inside of the residence and taken into custody for his warrants. Theresa Redondo was also arrested for hindering the investigation.

    Back in March of 2012, KQSS reported that Christopher Redondo pleaded guilty in the Gila County Superior Court before Judge Peter Cahill, on First Degree Murder charges for the June 24, 2009 murder of Miami Resident Ernie Singh (sing).

    Singh died from a single gunshot to the face as he slept in his Miami, home. Police say Redondo was jealous of a relationship Singh’s brother had with Redondo’s wife, Theresa Redondo.

    It was reported that Redondo shot Singh through the window of his Miami home.

    As a part of Chris Redondo’s plea agreement, the state dropped a number of charges against his wife, Theresa Redondo, who was present at the hearing. Redondo was sentenced to Natural Life in Prison.

    Redondo will soon be tried in a Maricopa County Court for the January 28, 2010 murder of Gilbert Police Lieutenant, Eric Shuhandler, who was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle occupied by Redondo and his accomplice Damien Irizzary. Redondo allegedly shot Lieutenant Shuhandler in the face during that traffic stop. His next court appearance in Maricopa County is on March 6 for a Status Conference. The state is seeking the death penalty in that case. It’s been reported that the Maricopa County Prosecutor who prosecuted the Jodie Arias trial, Juan Martinez, will be prosecuting Christopher Redondo’s death penalty trial.

    http://news.gila1019.com/wife-of-con...do-arrested-2/

  5. #15
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    More trial delays for defendant in Gilbert officer death

    The 5-year-old murder of a Gilbert police officer is no closer to resolution after a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ordered another competency examination for the man accused of killing the officer.

    Superior Court Judge Nicole Brickner said the second doctor who examined Christopher Redondo was not able to come to an opinion on whether the 40-year-old was competent to stand a death-penalty trial.

    Redondo is accused of shooting Gilbert police Lt. Eric Shuhandler on Jan. 28, 2010, following a traffic stop near Val Vista Drive and Baseline Road.

    The shooting sparked a chaotic 50-mile chase that ended in a shootout after Redondo's pickup ran out of gas and police say he began firing at them.

    Redondo previously pleaded guilty to a different murder -- that of 40-year-old Ernie Singh in Miami in 2009 -- and was sentenced to life in prison.

    Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Juan Martinez is seeking the death sentence in Shuhandler's murder.

    Redondo was found competent in July 2011, but his defense attorneys requested a second mental-health review.

    Redondo's getaway driver, Daimen Irizarry, was sentenced following a 2010 trial to 107 years in prison for his role in the crimes.

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/...abrk/28480075/
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  6. #16
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    8 years and still no trial in Gilbert officer’s slaying

    By Jim Walsh
    The East Valley Tribune

    One by one, Gilbert police officers tied blue ribbons around a sign that memorializes their slain colleague, Lt. Eric Shuhandler only a few yards from where he was shot to death eight years ago.

    They saluted in a demonstration of respect and honor as part of an annual ceremony near a shopping center at Baseline Road and Val Vista Drive, honoring an officer whose service sets a high standard for all Gilbert officers to emulate and sending a poignant message to his family that the man with a magnetic personality who loved his family and baseball will never be forgotten.

    “He was larger than life in a lot of ways,” said Ken Fixel, a retired Gilbert police lieutenant and a friend of Shuhandler. “He made you feel important. He was a guy who everybody wanted to be around.”

    Police, friends and family members also are keenly aware that the convicted murderer who is accused of killing Shuhandler in cold blood during a traffic stop in January 2010 is still awaiting trial.

    Since he and an accomplice were arrested after a dramatic shootout with police just hours after Shuhandler’s slaying, the case against the alleged assassin, Christopher Angel Redondo, 43, has been tangled in a legal battle over his competency to stand trial

    That delay exacerbates the grief still felt today by the slain officer’s children and Gilbert police.

    “It’s painful waiting this long,” said Gilbert Police Chief Mike Soelberg, who attended the annual memorial because “events like this celebrate Lt. Shuhandler’s sacrifices for the community.”

    “It prolongs the agony of what happened,” he said. “Everyone wants closure. We will get it. We are patiently waiting.”

    In cold blood

    Shuhandler’s slaying is one of the East Valley’s most notorious cases. For many, it has been impossible to forget.

    On the evening of Jan. 28, 2010, the 42-year-old divorced father of two had stopped a pickup truck driven by Daimen Irizarry because of a partially obscured license plate.

    Shuhandler had obtained Redondo’s identification as well, went back to his patrol car and discovered Irizarry’s passenger had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

    Shuhandler was walking back toward the truck when he was fatally shot in the face. Irizarry and Redondo sped away, prompting a wild 50-mile chase on U.S. 60 to Superior, where the truck ran out of gas.

    Redondo took out several patrol cars by tossing debris into the roadway as officers from Mesa, Gilbert and the Department of Public Safety officers gave pursuit.

    A gun battle ensued, ending when police shot the defendants’ legs out from under them, nearly severing Redondo’s ankle. Almost miraculously, there were no additional deaths and Redondo and Irizarry survived to have their day in court.

    Irizarry was sentenced to 107 years in prison for his role in the case. But prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Redondo, an inherently slower legal process.

    The case has been stuck in sand for years.

    No matter what happens with Redondo’s murder charge in Shuhandler’s slaying, he already has been sentenced to life in prison without parole in the unrelated March 2009 slaying of Ernie Singh near Globe.

    A fallen hero’s farewell

    Thousands of police officers from across the country gathered in the Valley for Shuhandler’s funeral, his fellow officers recalling how he would use his vacation time to visit his parents in New Jersey or his sister in Oregon.

    His two daughters, Meredith and Nicole, 12 and 10, respectively, when he died, were paramount in his life.

    “It does not go away, ever,” Fixel said about the wound the department suffered as a result of Shuhandler’s slaying. “You try to drown out the bad feelings from the incident and think about the good times.”

    Meredith Shuhandler had her father’s initials tattooed on her left hand, noting that he made her promise at age 7 to never get a tattoo.

    “I really wanted something to honor him. Every time I look down at my hand, I remember him,” she said, recalling his “fun personality” and the inspiration he gave her. She remembers ski trips, outdoor activities and her father’s love for Chevrolet Corvettes.

    When she was younger, she was bitter over his slaying. “I was angry and I thought it was unfair.”

    Now, Meredith focuses on living her life in manner that would make him proud.

    “I’m very grateful for the 12 years I had with him. It shaped my life in so many ways,” said Shuhandler, an Arizona State University student and an equestrian. “I think he would want me doing exactly what I am doing right now.”

    “When I make a decision, I think about whether it would be something that would make him proud of me.”

    She said she does not dwell on her father’s death or on Redondo’s endless case, knowing it’s beyond her control.

    “I would not say it’s a burden, but it’s very frustrating,” she said. “It makes me mad when I think about it. Closure would be nice.”

    Shuhandler’s sister, Joyce Mendelsohn of Portland, commemorates the sad anniversary every year by writing about how much she misses her brother.

    Their mother, Dara Shuhandler, passed away before seeing justice for her son’s slaying. For several years before her death, she maintained close contact with Gilbert police from her New Jersey home, eager to see her son’s accused killer have his day in court.

    Shuhandler’s memory also is enshrined in the hearts of many of the officers he worked with.

    “We remember him every year,” said Sgt. Darrell Krueger, a Gilbert police spokesman. “We have people who were extremely close to Eric who feel the pain every day.”

    For officers who did not know Shuhandler, it is important to remember how he died.

    “We face the same dangers every day,” he said.

    Slowing the wheels of justice

    Redondo has been found competent three times, with experts generally finding that he understands the charges he faces and the court proceedings.

    But Redondo’s defense attorney argues that he has not been properly examined to determine whether he is capable of assisting his attorney, the second prong of competency.

    The issue could potentially decide whether Redondo faces trial or is sent to a state psychiatric hospital until doctors decide he is competent.

    In eight years, Redondo has been represented by eight different defense attorneys. He has been examined by at least 10 psychologists and psychiatrists who have reached different conclusions on his competency.

    Finally, his most recent defense attorneys, Dan Raynak and David Lockhart, commissioned Marisa Menchola, a Tucson psychologist affiliated with the University of Arizona, to examine Redondo and to review the evaluations of all the other mental health experts. He is expected to report his findings soon.

    Raynak said he was seeking an independent opinion from Menchola on a matter that has hung up the case for years.

    “I think the problem is that the doctors who did the evaluations did not properly evaluate Mr. Redondo’s ability to communicate with his attorney,” Raynak said.

    But Redondo treated Menchola with the same level of indifference he had demonstrated to other psychologists and attorneys.

    “Mr. Redondo refused to come to a private room to complete the evaluation,” Menchola wrote in a report. “I came to his cell door and spoke to him through the trap. He was sitting on the floor with a pink towel on his head. He did not acknowledge my presence and only made minimal, fleeting eye contact. He did not answer any of my questions.”

    Menchola noted Redondo’s long history of mental illness, including diagnoses of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, manic depression and polysubstance abuse. She noted that several psychologists determined he was capable of understanding the legal proceedings, but it is difficult to determine whether he can assist his attorneys.

    Raynak and Lockhart requested a Daubert hearing, a more exhaustive review using recognized scientific methods to determine if he can assist his attorneys.

    “In this instance, Mr. Redondo’s mental illness cannot improve, and his situation will continue to deteriorate,” they wrote the judge, saying they “can’t be expected to go to trial with an individual who is unable to assist his attorneys, even in the most basic way, at the time of trial.”

    But Deputy County Attorney Juli Warzynski argued that Redondo has been found competent for trial three times and is not entitled to yet another competency hearing.

    “Defendant has not cooperated with anyone concerning his case for four years,” she wrote. “This refusal has been found to be volitional.”

    She said Menchola provided no new evidence that hadn’t been considered at the previous hearings.

    Pending the judge’s ruling, a trial date is now set for Sept. 5.

    But if Redondo were to be ruled incompetent, “in that situation, he would be sent to the Arizona State Hospital,” Raynak said, where he would be held until doctors determine he is competent.

    At that point – no one knows when that might be – he would be scheduled for trial.

    Rights and frustration


    Although the delays in the case against Redondo are frustrating, Krueger said it’s important for everyone’s constitutional rights to be protected.

    He said the last thing police want to see is the outcome of trial reversed or an order to retry the case because of a legal error, putting extra strain on everyone. “We certainly would like to see it reach its natural conclusion,” Krueger said. “We want the proper course to lead to an outcome.”

    Former Gilbert Mayor John Lewis said he knew Shuhandler well and will never forget him. He said a hush fell over Gilbert Town Hall the day after the slaying.

    His slaying shook the town, especially since he was only the second officer in Gilbert’s history to die on duty. The other had been an accident caused by a drunk driver.

    “We were very close. When I got the phone call, I was torn apart,” Lewis said. “He is one that the community continues to cherish and thank.”

    Lewis said he also is looking forward to seeing justice served.

    “That’s frustrating and upsetting,” he said. “It’s sad it’s taken so long.”

    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/loc...d2896205d.html
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Frequent Poster Steven's Avatar
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    Jury selection to begin in trial of man accused in 2010 fatal shooting of Gilbert officer

    By Mackenzie Shuman
    The Arizona Republic

    Jury selection is set to begin Monday for Christopher Redondo, who is accused in the killing of Gilbert police Lt. Eric Shuhandler after a traffic stop exactly nine years ago near Val Vista Drive and Baseline Road in Gilbert.

    Redondo, 44, and an accomplice, Daimen Irizarry, were arrested near Globe after a shootout with police at the end of a 50-mile chase.

    Irizarry, described as the getaway driver, was sentenced to 107 years in prison for his role in the Jan. 28, 2010, killing.

    Redondo's trial before Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Nicole Brickner was delayed repeatedly while his attorneys sought additional hearings and medical examinations to determine whether he was competent to stand trial in a death-penalty case.

    According to police records of the incident, Shuhandler stopped Redondo and Irizarry for an obstructed license plate. He then returned to his service vehicle to see whether they had outstanding warrants, police said.

    Once dispatchers notified Shuhandler that Redondo may have outstanding warrants, he returned to the passenger's-side door.

    Redondo then allegedly pulled a gun and shot Shuhandler one time in the face,police said. Shuhandler died at the scene.

    The shooting then sparked a 50-mile chase ending in a shootout with dozens of officers after Redondo's truck ran out of gas.

    Both Redondo and Irizarry were shot multiple times and required numerous surgeries, according to police reports.

    Redondo had previously pleaded guilty in the 2009 murder of 40-year-old Ernie Signh of Miami and was sentenced to life in prison.

    Shuhandler was married and had two young daughters at the time of his death.

    https://azcentral.com/story/news/loc...er/2699351002/

  8. #18
    Senior Member Frequent Poster Steven's Avatar
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    Trial begins for man accused of killing Gilbert police officer in 2010

    By Lauren Castle
    The Arizona Republic

    Opening arguments begin Wednesday for a man accused in the killing of Gilbert police Lt. Eric Shuhandler.

    Christopher Redondo, 44, and Daimen Irizarry were arrested near Globe in 2010 after a 50-mile police chase. Irizarry was sentenced to 107 years in prison in 2010.

    The chase began after the two were stopped by Shuhandler for an obstructed license plate, according to police records.

    Dispatchers notified Shuhandler that Redondo may have outstanding warrants. When Shuhandler went to the passenger-side door, Redondo shot the officer in the face, police say.

    Redondo is charged with first-degree murder, drive-by shooting and aggravated assault.

    According to a report in The Arizona Republic, his trial had been delayed so Redondo could undergo an MRI to determine whether he had brain damage. His lawyer, Dan Raynak, said in court documents that Redondo had "a delusional belief that people are out to get him."

    Redondo is already in prison, serving a life sentence without the chance for parole for the 2009 murder of Ernie Singh, seven months before Shuhandler was murdered. Redondo pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the Singh case.

    Singh was shot through a screen door of his Miami, Arizona, home. Redondo was not charged in Singh's death until police served a search warrant at the home of Redondo's father after Shuhandler's murder.

    Redondo also spent time in prison from 2005 to 2008 for charges out of Gila County for abuse, aggravated harassment, aggravated assault and a marijuana violation.

    https://azcentral.com/story/news/loc...er/2712233002/

  9. #19
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Prosecutor says slain Gilbert police officer never had chance to pull gun

    By Associated Press
    FOX 10 News Phoenix

    PHOENIX (AP) -- A prosecutor at the trial of a man charged with fatally shooting an Arizona police officer during a 2010 traffic stop and throwing tools from his truck during a high-speed chase that followed told jurors Wednesday that the slain officer never had a chance to pull out his handgun.

    Defendant Christopher Redondo was so close to Lt. Eric Shuhandler during the traffic stop that gunpowder got embedded in the eyes of the Gilbert officer, prosecutor Juan Martinez told jurors during opening statements at Redondo's trial.

    "The gun was still holstered," Martinez said.

    Daniel Raynak, an attorney for Redondo, opted to make opening statements later in the trial, leading prosecutors to start calling witnesses.

    Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

    Redondo, who has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges, wasn't in the courtroom during opening statements. He watched part of the trial from a nearby room at the courthouse using a live video feed before he was taken back to jail. It's unknown why Redondo wasn't in the courtroom.

    Martinez didn't reveal a motive to jurors, but investigators said previously that Shuhandler, a 16-year police veteran, was shot as he walked from his patrol car back to Redondo's truck after learning that Redondo had an arrest warrant. Redondo's truck had been pulled over because it had a partially covered license plate.

    Authorities say Redondo and Daimen Joseph Irizarry, who was driving Redondo's truck, fled after the shooting in Gilbert, a suburb of Phoenix.

    Officers who responded to the shooting found Shuhandler gasping for breath. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

    During the 50-mile chase, police say, Redondo leaned from the passenger-side window of the truck and fired two gunshots at a police vehicle on U.S. 60.

    Redondo also is accused of climbing into his truck's bed and tossing wrenches, an air compressor tank and other objects at pursuing officers to get them to back off. The objects prompted some officers to pull over to the shoulder of the freeway, police said.

    "He is disabling these vehicles," Martinez said. "Most of them are experiencing flat tires."

    Redondo is accused of firing shots at officers again after the truck ran out of gas, and the chase ended in the mining community of Superior, about 65 miles (104 kilometers) southeast of downtown Phoenix.

    Authorities said Redondo and Irizarry got out of the truck, and Redondo fired more shots at officers, who returned fire.

    Redondo and Irizarry were both shot and survived.

    Irizarry was taken into custody, but the wounded Redondo refused to surrender, so a police dog was sent to drag him toward officers.

    Irizarry was sentenced to 107 years in prison for his convictions on drive-by shooting and aggravated assault charges.

    http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/ari...olice-officer_
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  10. #20
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Gilbert officer’s killer finally on trial 9 years after slaying

    Tribune News Staff
    East Valley Tribune

    Nearly a decade after a Gilbert Police Lt. was shot to death during a traffic stop, his killer is finally on trial.

    Christopher Angel Redondo, 43, went on trial Jan. 29 – nine years and one day after he shot to death Lt. Eric Shuhandler and then led police from three different agencies on a wild, 50-mile chase from Dana Park to Superior, where he and an accomplice engaged in a brief gun battle before their arrest.

    Gilbert police officers gather annually at the shopping center on Val Vista Drive and Baseline Road for a ceremony honoring the fallen divorced father of two.

    “He was larger than life in a lot of ways,” said Ken Fixel, a retired Gilbert police lieutenant and a friend of Shuhandler, in an interview last year. “He made you feel important. He was a guy who everybody wanted to be around.”

    Redondo’s accomplice, Damien Irizarry, is serving 107 years in prison for his role in the case. But prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Redondo, an inherently slower legal process.

    It has been made all that much slower by Redondo’s effort to evade trial on grounds he is mentally incompetent. His trial in Superior Court was scheduled after the judge denied his latest incompetency claim.

    No matter what happens with Redondo’s murder charge in Shuhandler’s slaying, he already is serving life in prison without parole in the unrelated March 2009 slaying of Ernie Singh near Globe.

    But the delay in a trial in the officer’s slaying has frustrated and exacerbated the grief of Shuhandler’s family and former colleagues.

    “It’s painful waiting this long,” Gilbert Police Chief Mike Soelberg said in an interview last year. “It prolongs the agony of what happened. Everyone wants closure. We will get it. We are patiently waiting.”

    The trial began with only an opening by prosecutor Juan Martinez, and Redondo’s lawyer deferred an opening till later in the trial.

    On the evening of Jan. 28, 2010, Shuhandler had stopped a pickup truck driven by Irizarry because of a partially obscured license plate. The officer also had obtained Redondo’s identification, went back to his patrol car and discovered Irizarry’s passenger had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

    Shuhandler was walking back toward the truck when he was fatally shot in the face. Irizarry and Redondo sped away, prompting the chase on U.S. 60 until the truck ran out of gas.

    Redondo took out several patrol cars by tossing debris into the roadway as officers from Mesa, Gilbert and the Department of Public Safety officers gave pursuit.

    During the gun battle, police shot the defendants’ legs out from under them, nearly severing Redondo’s ankle. Almost miraculously, there were no additional deaths and Redondo and Irizarry survived to have their day in court.

    Thousands of police officers from across the country gathered in the Valley for Shuhandler’s funeral, his fellow officers recalling how he would use his vacation time to visit his parents in New Jersey or his sister in Oregon.

    “It does not go away, ever,” Fixel last year said about the wound the department suffered as a result of Shuhandler’s slaying. “You try to drown out the bad feelings from the incident and think about the good times.”

    Redondo has been found competent three times, with experts generally finding that he understands the charges he faces and the court proceedings.

    But his attorney, Dan Raynak, argued that he has not been properly examined to determine whether he is capable of assisting his attorney, the second prong of competency.

    The issue made the difference between trial or being sent to a state psychiatric hospital until doctors decide he is competent.

    One of the professionals who have examined Redondo have noted a long history of mental illness, including diagnoses of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, manic depression and polysubstance abuse.

    If he is convicted, Redondo would then face a second hearing before the same jury to determine whether he should be sentenced to life or death.

    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/loc...f09dffbd7.html
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