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Murder Most Deadly

The media continued to feast on the sensational story of an alleged murder-for-hire of a local pediatrician. Dr. David Stidham was stabbed multiple times and left for dead in the parking lot of his medical office on Oct. 4.

Pima County Sheriff's Department investigators have arrested Stidham's former partner, pediatrician Bradley Schwartz, 39, and his pal, Ronald Bruce Bigger, 38. Stidham ended his pediatric eye-care partnership with Schwartz after the latter ended up in legal trouble over bogus prescriptions. Schwartz has also been busy in civil court fighting various malpractice claims and getting a divorce.

Based on information from witnesses who have come forward, investigators allege that Schwartz and Bigger hatched a scheme to knock off Stidham. One witness told investigators that Schwartz said he wanted to see Stidham "6 feet under." Another told police that when she had dinner with Schwartz on the night of the murder, they were joined by Bigger. After dinner, the three of them took a drive to find a hotel room for Bigger, which Schwartz paid for with his American Express card.

The second witness added that a few days later, Schwartz called her to tell her about Stidham's murder and reminded her that she was to provide his alibi, saying "Remember, we were at dinner together." Talk about a bad date!

Investigators also say that Schwartz's cell phone received a phone call on the night of the murder from the convenience store across the street from the scene of the crime. A store employee told police that a man matching Bigger's description used the phone, saying his car was broken down.

Schwartz and Bigger remained behind bars earlier this week, with respective bonds set at $2 million and $1.5 million.

Schwartz's defense attorney, Michael Piccarreta, reminds readers that his client "is presumed innocent until found guilty."

"He adamantly denies he had anything to do with the death of Mr. Stidham," said Piccarreta, who added that investigators had yet to produce "one shred of physical evidence" linking either man to the crime.


Stonewalled

Project Vote Smart staffers released their final list of candidates who flunked the National Political Awareness Test by refusing to tell the organization where they stand on basic political issues. The organization, which quizzes state and national candidates on their platforms, has run into increasing reluctance on the part of candidates, who fear their answers to a comprehensive list of questions will be one-stop shopping for opposition research.

Among the local legislative candidates who declined to participate: Sen. Marsha Arzberger (D), Sen. Toni Hellon (R), Sen. Gabrielle Giffords (D), Chuck Josephson (R), Sen. Vic Soltero (D), Sen. Tim Bee (R), Rep. Manny Alvarez (D), Rep. Jennifer Burns (R), Monica Perez (D), David Stevens (R), Rep. Pete Hershberger (R), Rep. Steve Huffman (R), Rep. Olivia Cajero Bedford (D), Rep. Marian McClure (R) and Jonathan Paton (R).

If you haven't gotten around to researching the candidates, visit www.vote-smart.org for more info than you'll be able to absorb between now and Election Day.


Get Nipped/Tucked

Looking to enhance your assets? Dr. Marvin A. Borsand of Scottsdale's Body Sculpting Center is offering a free breast augmentation in celebration of the clinic's 20,000th patient. Best of all, recovery time from the procedure is a mere 24 hours.

To win a pair of grand prizes, applicants must visit www.bodynew.com to download an application form and write an essay, in 100 words or more, explaining why they deserve to have the $4,400 procedure done gratis. In addition, entries must include a current photo of the applicants breasts. But hurry: Deadline to submit your essay is Friday, Oct. 29.

The big winner will be announced at the Body Sculpting Center's big Fiesta de Bodynew on Wednesday, Nov. 17, which will feature free food and drinks, live music, tours of the facility and loads of cleavage.

Dr. Borsand, who says he's personally worked to improve more than 5,000 chests, describes Scottsdale as "the breast augmentation capital of the world."


Daily Doodle

The Range caught up with Arizona Daily Star political cartoonist David Fitzsimmons at the UA Museum of Art, where Fitz talked about the distinguished history of political cartooning and the sheer amount of fun he's had with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Evan Mecham and so many others. Fitz's main point, delivered while he drew a terrific illustration of Saddam Hussein with his ass hanging out: No-good subversives such as himself reinforce the notion that America is strong enough to withstand some smart-ass scribbling.

"I'm saving America in my own anti-American way," Fitz said.

Amen to that, Fitz. Amen to that.

More by Jim Nintzel

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