Tucson man charged with homicide after victim dies from wounds weeks later

Tucson man charged with homicide after victim dies from wounds weeks later
Rafael Buckner (Source: Tucson Police Department)

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The Tucson Police Department is investigating a homicide that occurred on Tucson's east side on March 17, 2019.

According to a TPD news release, on Thursday, April 11, 58-year-old Rafael Buckner has been charged with one count of second degree murder, after 57-year-old Marlon Hartley died from his wounds on April 9. An autopsy determined Hartley's cause of death was homicide.

The incident began just before 11 p.m. March 17, when officers with Operations Division East responded to a residence in the 3600 block of South Calle Polar, for the report of a stabbing.

Officers arrived at the scene and were waved down by Buckner, who reportedly told the officers that he had been involved in the incident and that it took place at his house.

He was detained as other TPD officers arrived to assist.

Hartley was found outside the front door, according to the TPD release, with obvious signs of sharp force trauma. Officers immediately began rendering aid using Individual First Aid Kits. Tucson Fire crews arrived at the scene and transported Hartley to Banner University Medical Center with life threatening injuries.

Detectives with the Tucson Police Violent Crimes Section continued the investigation and learned that Hartley and Buckner were friends and that Hartley had been staying at Buckner’s home for several days.

According to the TPD release, detectives learned that earlier that evening on March 17 both Buckner and Hartley had been drinking when a fight broke out between the two. During the fight, Hartley was stabbed.

After the initial investigation Buckner was arrested and booked into the Pima County Jail on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Hartley remained in at Banner UMC for weeks with no improvement, eventually dying from his injuries on Tuesday, April 9.

The aggravated assault charge against Buckner was dropped, but he was then charged with second degree murder.

The investigation is ongoing and detectives are asking anyone with information about this incident to please call 88-CRIME. They can remain anonymous.

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