TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As 2019 comes to a close, we remember the most-read local stories of the year.
The last year of the decade concluded with no shortage of news-worthy coverage — from rocket launches to an exorcism, 2019 was certainly one for the books.
Here are Southern Arizona’s top 10 most-read stories of the year:
After a Canyon Del Oro wrestler allegedly assaulted a Salpointe coach during a meet in Feb., Safford Police submitted the case to the Graham County Attorney’s Office for review one month later. Detectives requested aggravated assault and disorderly conduct charges against the 18-year-old wrestler, as well as a disorderly conduct charge against his father. The incident happened after a match between the CDO wrestler and Salpointe Catholic High School coach during the sectional meet at Safford High School on February 2.
A Pima County teen known as 18-year-old Louis Leonard is facing an attempted murder charge after allegedly attacking three people in a home in a home in the 4000 block of North Gerhart early Thursday, Oct. 24. A male victim had serious injuries and had surgery at a local hospital. Two other female victims sustained non-life threatening injuries and were treated on scene. Leonard was arrested on charges of attempted murder, first-degree burglary, aggravated assault, domestic violence aggravated assault and violating of a court order.
The Tucson Country Club Estates announced the neighborhood had a gate installed and 2019 was the first year trick-or-treaters from outside the community wouldn’t be allowed in. A traffic sign outside the neighborhood flashed “Trick or Treating By Invite Only”. Residents voted for the gate, but many said they had no idea that meant it would be closed for Halloween.
A mother wants justice after her 15-year-old son was shot dead and left for hours on a south side sidewalk. Police said 15-year-old Erik Issac M. Nanez suffered gunshot wounds and died in a neighborhood near Campbell Avenue and Drexel Road back in Sept. According to the Tucson Police Department, neighbors said they heard gunfire and several people were seen leaving the scene around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Nanez was found around 6 a.m. the following morning in a park area near Avenida Selva del Ocote and Calle Joya de Ventura.
Pablo Martinez was arrested after trying to exorcise a demon from his 6-year-old son who he claimed was “evil," ultimately killing him in the bathtub according to court documents. The 31-year-old Pablo Martinez was arrested on a first-degree murder charge back in Oct. Multiple neighbors told KOLD News 13 Monday the six-year-old who passed away was autistic.
The body of Caitlin Flanagan, 19, was discovered on a second-floor patio of a closed business at 8950 N. Oracle Road by police officers on the morning of Monday, July 22. She had been reported missing earlier and an Oro Valley police officer located her vehicle in the parking lot. In the surveillance video, Flanagan can be seen walking up some stairs to a second-story patio before walking out of view of the camera. At 3:43 p.m., she is seen walking up the stairs again, this time appearing injured.
An A-10C Thunderbolt II on a training mission accidentally fired a rocket near Tucson in Sept. Davis-Monthan said the rocket, a M-156, hit an uninhabited and remote area near Mount Graham. D-M said it happened in the Jackal Military Operations Area, which is located approximately 60 miles northeast of Tucson. There were no injuries, damages or fires from the launch.
An Arizona state trooper fatally shot a suspect during a brutal attack in Tempe late Thursday, Dec. 19. Arizona DPS said it began around 11:50 p.m. when the trooper saw Mohamed Ahmed E A Al-Hashemi knock over a street sign on Rural Road, which is south of Loop 202. The trooper tried to get the 25-year-old Al-Hashemi to get out of the street several times before ordering him to the ground. Al-Hashemi refused and allegedly charged the trooper’s vehicle and kicked the hood. During a physical altercation between the trooper and Al-Hashemi, the trooper then shot and killed him.
The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Blane and Susan Barksdale late Wednesday, Sept. 11, at a home in the Punkin Center, located in the Tonto Basin in Gila County, about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix. The Barksdales’ tale became a national story on Aug. 26, when they escaped custody while being brought to Arizona from New York. The two were taken to the Pima County Jail and face state charges of first-degree murder, burglary, arson of an occupied structure, criminal damage and auto theft. Both were held on a $1 million bond.
An explosive video, first obtained by KOLD News 13, shows a Pima County deputy’s run-in with a 15-year-old quadruple amputee. The incident was recorded by another teen inside a group home in the Tucson area in September. The eight-minute video begins with the deputy on top of the 15-year-old. The deputy wrestles the teen to the floor and the teen is heard shouting and swearing at the deputy. Both teens were arrested on disorderly conduct charges. After KOLD showed the video to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, PCSD said it is beginning an internal investigation.