Crime & Public Safety

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Grandmother Sentenced to 21 Years for Killing Twin Grandsons

Posted By on Tue, Jan 28, 2020 at 11:10 AM

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On Monday, Jan. 27, Dorothy Flood was sentenced to 21 years in prison for killing her twin grandsons, according to the Pima Superior Court. Flood, a Flowing Wells-area resident, pled guilty to two counts of manslaughter after a December plea deal lowered her initial charges of first-degree murder.

Flood, 56, was arrested by police on Friday, April 5, 2019, after her twin autistic grandsons, aged 8, were found dead with “obvious signs of trauma” in their home. Flood, the twins’ guardian, told the police “she alone was responsible for her grandchildren’s deaths.”

According to Pima Superior Court documents, on Thursday, April 4, 2019, Flood shot the boys twice each, and then attempted to kill herself by taking an “unknown quantity of prescription medication.”

Northwest Fire District personnel responded to a medical call at their home on the 2400 block of West Kessler Place. Upon arrival, medical personnel found Flood unresponsive in the house. While providing medical care to her, they found the bodies of the boys with gunshot wounds to their heads and torsos.

The victims were identified as Jaden and Jordon Webb, who were nonverbal and severely autistic, according to court records. Flood became guardian of the boys in March 2017 after their mother, Kristen Webb, died in February 2017. The boys’ father is unknown. Flood had no previous criminal record in Pima County.

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Friday, January 24, 2020

Trailer Fire on Tucson's Northwest Side

Posted By on Fri, Jan 24, 2020 at 2:30 PM

NORTHWEST FIRE
  • Northwest Fire

One local resident and two dogs are displaced after their home caught fire on Tucson’s Northwest side. 


Northwest Fire District responded to a report of fire at the corner of Carapan Avenue and West Palm Vista Street at 1:05 p.m. on Friday, said Brian Keely, Public Information Officer at Northwest Fire District. Crews had the blaze under control by 1:25 p.m., according to Keely. 


“We prevented (the fire) from spreading into any exposures on the other side,” Keely said. “It’s contained to just the one double-wide mobile home.”


Keely said it’s unknown at this time if anyone was home or if there were any injuries caused by the blaze at this time. 


Northwest Fire District fire investigators are on the scene. The cause of the fire has not been determined at this time. 

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Town of Florence Blindsided by Ducey's Decision to Close Prison

Posted By on Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 11:11 AM

COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
The Town of Florence says they had no idea of Governor Doug Ducey's intentions to close the Florence state prison until he announced it publicly during his State of the State address on Monday, Jan. 13.

In a statement posted on the town's website, it says staff were "startled" by the sudden announcement but they are "committed to work closely with our colleagues at the State, in the State Legislature, at Pinal County, and with our partners at our local correctional facilities to  better understand the impacts of this decision and to strive to find a solution that is appropriate for our community, our residents, and the many employees that call Florence home for eight to twelve hours per day."

The Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence is Arizona's largest and oldest prison. It has existed for over 100 years and currently houses about 3,800 incarcerated men.

In his address, Ducey said all existing staff at the Florence prison will be relocated to Eyman prison, less than three miles away. The Governor’s Office says additional staff will allow the Eyman complex to be fully staffed, eliminating vacancies and “providing inmates with better access to programs and other services, such as enhanced second chance programs.”


They say no correctional employees will lose their jobs as a result of the move, and taxpayers will save an estimated $247 million over three years.


While their jobs are still secured for now, the Town of Florence believes this new development will still have lasting effects on their community.

Their statement says:
"We are concerned for our residents, who for so many years have shouldered the burdens and stigmas associated with being called a 'prison town.' Without legislative action, resources currently used in the community could dry up and could radically change this historic community and the county seat of the state’s fastest growing county. Preliminary estimates on impact show that the Town could lose up to 3,600 prisoners and hundreds of permanent jobs upon the closure of the facility. The loss of these residents and their associated revenue could equate to a $1.3 million direct impact on Town services (or about 13% of its total state-shared revenue). To a rural community like ours, this is not inconsequential."

The Florence closure is part of Ducey's shift toward a more treatment-based approach to corrections. This decision was coupled with the announcement that the Arizona Department of Corrections will be rebranded into the "Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry."

While closing the state's largest prison is a statement within itself, the effects it will have on the incarcerated population are still unknown. Ducey's plan offers no details on whether inmates at Florence will be eligible for early releases, nor does it provide a path to reduce prison populations at all.

Florence still anticipates a need for carceral facilities, adding in their statement that "should new facilities be desired, Florence has available land that is zoned and planned for this type of use."

Their full statement can be viewed here.

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Thursday, January 9, 2020

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero Joins Mayors Against Illegal Guns Organization

Posted By on Thu, Jan 9, 2020 at 3:15 PM

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero: “We do not need to wait for the federal government to act locally." - AUSTIN COUNTS
  • Austin Counts
  • Tucson Mayor Regina Romero: “We do not need to wait for the federal government to act locally."

Mayor Regina Romero today signed on with Mayors Against Illegal Guns and announced the creation of the Mayor’s Task Force on Gun Safety and Violence Prevention at a City Hall press conference.

“It is important that we stand in solidarity with mayors across the country to show that in absence of state and federal action, our national cities will act,” Mayor Romero said. “We do not need to wait for the federal government to act locally.”

Mayors Against Gun Violence is comprised of a bipartisan nationwide coalition of current and former mayors committed to end gun violence and is a program of the advocacy group Everytown For Gun Safety. More than 1,000 mayors have signed on with the coalition, according to everytown.org. Everytown For Gun Safety is also the parent group for Moms Demand Action.

“Mayor Romero understands the importance of taking real action to reduce gun violence in our community,” said Rene Friedkin, a volunteer with the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are thrilled to have her join this bipartisan coalition who are working on the frontlines of gun safety.”

Romero also announced the creation of the Mayor’s Task Force on Gun Safety and Violence Prevention, which will be composed of gun-violence survivors, students, neighborhood leaders, mental health professionals, public safety officers and others.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Mountain View Teacher Resigns After Alleged Relationship With Student Discovered

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 3:38 PM

Mountain View High School
  • Mountain View High School
Mountain View High School teacher Derrick Chipres resigned Monday after it was discovered he allegedly entered into an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Chipres, who was an automotive instructor at the school, began working at Mountain View Feb. 8, 2016, according to MUSD Director of Public Relations Tamara Crawley, who confirmed his resignation with Tucson Local Media.

According to the district, school administrators immediately contacted the Pima County Sheriff’s Department Monday, Dec. 9 when students reported an alleged relationship between Chipres and an 18-year-old student.

Following an investigation by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, no arrest occurred, though the school district immediately acted and Chipres resigned from his position.

“We recognize that you may have questions and may also feel a range of emotions surrounding this,” wrote Mountain View Principal Todd Garelick in a Dec. 11 letter to parents. “However, due to confidentiality and personnel laws, we are extremely limited in the information that can be publicly disclosed. I can tell you that this student was not a student in the teacher’s class and the criminal investigation did not result in an arrest.”

Pima County Sheriff’s Department Deputy James Allerton confirmed that detectives investigated Chipres on Monday, and found no criminal activity.

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Friday, December 6, 2019

Down Thru the Chimney, But Where's Saint Nick

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2019 at 4:13 PM

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Just a little after noon today, residents near Waverly Street and Grant Road heard a sound coming from the chimney of one of the homes.

No, this wasn't Santa making an early delivery stop in the Old Pueblo; it was a man in his 30s who, by his own account, had been stuck in the chimney for several hours.

Tucson Fire Department responded to the 911 call just after 12:20 p.m. and it soon became a full-on technical rescue.

The technical rescue team utilized a rescue ring and rope to remove him from the chimney and then he was able to use the ladder with assistance to get back down to the ground. 

The man got out of the chimney unscathed, though he is currently in police custody.
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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Rep. Grijalva Responds to Report of Mistreatment in Eloy Detention Center

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 3:46 PM

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Rep. Raúl Grijalva weighed in on a recent report from two national human rights groups on the harsh conditions for individuals in the Eloy Detention Center.

The report, "The Carceral State of Arizona" was released by the Advancement Project and Puente this October, and alleges degrading and inhumane treatment of migrant detainees in the Eloy facility.

The report ranks Eloy as one of the deadliest ICE facilities in the country, claiming there is a lack of adequate emergency services, food and medications, among other mistreatments. 

Grijalva, who has introduced legislation since 2015 to combat private prisons and detention centers, said that the Eloy Detention Center has been "plagued by a long and tragic history of neglect."

"Since 2003, there have been more than a dozen deaths," Grijalva said in a statement Wednesday.  "Unfortunately, many of these deaths could have been prevented had the facility acted according to law. Yet, the reality is that for-profit detention centers and private prisons are motivated by profit, not human decency. The incarceration of pregnant women, individuals with serious health needs and immigrants must stop. The federal government continues to contract with the private prison complex who acts without accountability or oversight. We must end private prisons and immigration detention centers. Congress must provide that accountability and oversight."

In 2017, Grijalva introduced the Justice is Not For Sale Act which, along with requiring "federal, state, and local governments to directly operate and perform core services at adult prisons and detention centers," requires ICE to "use Alternatives to Detention, and increases oversight to prevent companies from overcharging inmates and their families for services like banking and telephone calls."

To see the full report, visit https://insideeloy.org/pdfs/carceral-state-report.pdf

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Monday, November 25, 2019

Minimum Custody Inmate Escapes in Tucson

Posted By on Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 10:58 AM

Kevin Purdon - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Kevin Purdon
A minimum custody inmate is on the loose in Tucson after escaping authorities Sunday night.

Inmate Kevin A. Purdon, ADC #309804, escaped the Catalina unit and was last accounted for at 7:40 p.m. Purdon was admitted to prison in 2016 after being convicted out of Pima County to serve four and a half years for solicitation of a dangerous drug violation.

Arizona Department of Corrections has dispatched its chase teams, tracking dog teams and fugitive apprehension unit to find the fugitive inmate. Local authorities are also assisting in the search.

Anyone with information of his whereabouts is encouraged to call 911.

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World Flute Concert

World flute virtuosos Gary Stroutsos and Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos come together for an evening of meditative soundscapes… More

@ San Pedro Chapel Fri., Jan. 31, 7-9 p.m. 5230 E. Fort Lowell Road.

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