Phoenix Juvenile Accused of Shooting MCSO Jail Officer

by on December 16, 2013

According to Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump, 15-year-old Leonard Moreno was walking home from a party around 3 a.m. on August 8, “high, drunk, and armed,” when he shot and killed Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office jail guard, Jorge Vargas. While it is unclear whether or not Moreno targeted Vargas because of his profession—Vargas was wearing at least some of his uniform at the time of the shooting—authorities do believe that the shooting was random in the sense that Moreno would not have shot Vargas had he not passed by his home after leaving the party.

Investigators were able to track Moreno to the shooting after matching bullet casings from the murder scene to ones found at a drive-by shooting that Moreno was also accused of being involved in. Moreno had actually been in jail for 2-3 weeks before authorities linked him to the murder.

Multiple other arrests have been made in this case, including that of Moreno’s mother, for charges including witness tampering and hindering prosecution.

Juvenile Murder Charges in Phoenix, AZ

Though juveniles are typically treated with more leniency than adult offenders in Arizona courts, in certain cases, a judge may sentence a teen to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  If a juvenile is at least 14-years-old and commits a serious and violent felony offense, such as murder, a judge may decide to try the juvenile in adult court. While a juvenile convicted of first-degree murder cannot receive the death penalty, they can be given life imprisonment.

If your child has been accused of murder in Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, or another AZ city, it is imperative that you contact an experienced JacksonWhite juvenile defense attorney ASAP. In some cases, our juvenile crime lawyers may be able to assist your child in reducing their charges in exchange for a guilty plea. Don’t wait; call us today at 480-818-9943 to schedule your FREE and confidential consultation with compassionate JacksonWhite juvenile crimes attorney, Jeremy Geigle.

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