Written Recommendations and Follow-Up To Maryvale Area Community Recommendations In Response To Phoenix PD May 8, 2017 Press Conference

or Immediate Release

May 10, 2017
Press Conference Contact:  Lydia Hernandez
Former Arizona House of Representatives
Phone:  602.463.9900
DeeDee Garcia Blase
Co-Founder Somos Independents
(480) 200-3748
Follow-Up To  Maryvale Area Community Recommendations In Response To Phoenix PD May 8, 2017 Press Conference
Phoenix, AZ -- Somos Independents is an organization led by Mexican-American women leaders across this Nation.  We want to congratulate the Phoenix Police Department for securing a person of interest.  However, we are respectfully requesting more transparency as it relates to the Maryvale and Phoenix area murders that have affected our community.  We are not sure why Maricopa County Counselor Bill Montgomery has sealed the case since the Phoenix Police Department seem certain they have their suspect.  This reminds us of when DPS sealed records in the Freeway shooter case only for them to be unsealed later on. We believe it is reasonable to seal some information such as protecting informants and juveniles, but in this case a defendant has already been identified and the worry to tip off defendants before they are arrested shouldn’t be there.  Additionally, we believe there should be a general written summary of investigation for the public.
At the initial court appearance, the Judge told Aaron Saucedo that “more than likely” the public defender representing him in another case might be representing him in the current case which leads us to believe he has not spoken to a lawyer yet.   After enduring the Freeway Shooter debacle, Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. (a white male who was wrongly accused and later vindicated regarding the freeway shootings) was able to secure his own private lawyers.   But we don’t even know for certain if Aaron Saucedo (a Hispanic male held as a suspect for the Maryvale and Phoenix area serial killings) will have the same single public defender that is defending him in another case.  Our concern is that Saucedo won’t receive the same level of legal advice considering the bogged down system in Phoenix and we want to ensure that due process is fulfilled and a man is innocent until proven guilty in all situations.
There was a rush to judgment on the freeway shooter incident and we want to make sure that mistake does not happen again. Leslie Allen Merritt Jr (WHO WAS LATER VINDICATED FROM BEING THE FREEWAY SHOOTER) was arrested at a Walmart in a suburb of Phoenix but he told a judge  they've 'got the wrong guy'.  Merritt told the Judge he was not the shooter and he had no access to his gun because it’s been in a pawn shop for 2 months.  This same pawn shop had Aaron Saucedo’s weapon, too, and he is a Maryvale and Phoenix Area Murder person of interest who also is claiming he is innocent. 
We are having problems with this pawn shop who has had 2 weapons in 2 high profile criminal cases. 
What is this pawn shop doing with these weapons?
Why is the same pawn shop involved in both high-profile cases?
Why are both guns involved in the same pawn shop with the same individual who owns that pawn shop?
What is this pawn shop doing that other pawn shops are supposed to be doing?
Is there a word on the street that this is the pawn shop that buys weapons related to murders or crime?
There were 8 other high capacity 9 mm guns involved at this pawn shop, so did the other 8 guns get checked besides Saucedo’s? 
Were ballistics testing conducted on all the other 8 high capacity 9 mm guns?  We don’t want evidence ignored or for there to be a blatant tunnel vision from local authorities as was the case in the Freeway shootings investigation.
How long was Aaron Saucedo interrogated for?  Was he fed? Was there sleep deprivation?  What is his mental condition?   He looked out of it at the initial court appearance when he appeared in front of the Judge at his initial Court Appearance regarding the serial shootings.   We also noted he wore glasses. Does he wear contact lenses?
Was there a motive behind Saucedo killing his mother’s boyfriend?  Was it because he was protecting his mother from domestic abuse?  Was he defending her?
We hope to have answers to these burning questions that will help the community know and be confident that the right man being accused is in jail.  Now that records have been sealed with a lack of transparency, we may not ever know the answers to these questions.  The Freeway shooting incident takes away a little bit of confidence since a man (Leslie Merritt) was falsely accused and later vindicated. Now Merritt is filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Arizona local authorities … more than likely at the tax payers expense.
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