Verdict in assault case on a Chiricahua National Monument employee

Updated: Mar. 17, 2017 at 3:23 PM MST
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COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - On Friday, March 17, a Cochise County Superior Court jury has issued a guilty verdict in the case of a 2013 assault on a National Park Service employee from the Chiricahua National Monument.

According to a NPS release, Gil Gaxiola, 33 was charged with first degree assault in an attack that took place on August 28, 2013 against Karen Gonzales, an employee at the Chiricahua National Monument.  Gonzales was assaulted by Gaxiola with a large rock, she sustained serious and life threatening injuries. After the assault Gonzales was airlifted to University Medical Center for treatment.

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Gonzales' work truck was also taken during the assault by Gaxiola and later found in Douglas, AZ.

Gaxiola was charged and convicted of the following charges, according to the NPS release:

  • Attempted 1st Degree Murder
  • Armed Robbery
  • Aggravated Assault (x 3 counts)
  • Kidnapping
  • Theft of Means of Transportation

Her sentencing will take place on April 17, 2017.

NPS is hopeful that the conclusion of this trial helps Gonzales and her family find some closure with this incident, and remains supportive as she continues to recover from her injuries.

"The staff and management of Chiricahua National Monument wishes to recognize the work of the Cochise County Sheriffs' office, their detectives, and the Cochise County Attorneys' office and the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch for their work and diligence in bringing this case to conclusion," stated the release. "In addition, other agencies contributed significantly to the detection, apprehension, and prosecution of this offender: the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Laboratory."

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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