Chandler man convicted of murdering homeless woman behind house

Kevin Reagan
4 Min Read

Records show the Chandler resident shot the woman at least three times.

CHANDLER, Ariz. — A Maricopa County jury has convicted a man of murdering a woman in a Chandler neighborhood last January. 

James A. Taylor, 41, was found guilty of first-degree murder after a 12-member jury delivered their verdict on March 4 in Maricopa County Superior Court, records show. 

Jurors determined Taylor had acted with premeditation when he fired multiple shots at Jessica Luz, who police described as living a “transient” lifestyle, on the morning of Jan. 20, 2023.

Luz was found with multiple gunshot wounds in an alleyway near Arizona Avenue and Fairview Street. 

A witness observed a man walking into the alley, shouting at the woman, shooting her and then walking away. 

Police later identified the man as Taylor, who lived in a nearby residence. 

Court records show Taylor told police he shot the woman at least three times after he asked her to leave the alley. When the woman didn’t respond to his request to leave, Taylor said he went back inside and grabbed a gun. 

Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3. He’ll likely face a life sentence. 


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What is the Valley?:

“The Valley” is what locals call the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Southwest. 

The Valley is made up of various major cities other than Phoenix, including:

  • Mesa
  • Chandler
  • Scottsdale
  • Tempe
  • Glendale
  • Surprise
  • Peoria
  • Gilbert
  • El Mirage
  • Avondale
  • Litchfield Park
  • Goodyear
  • Buckeye

Whether a city is in the “East Valley” or “West Valley” depends on where it is in relation to Phoenix.

The cities of the Valley have a combined population of 4,845,832 people, according to the 2020 United States Census. This makes it the 11th largest metropolitan area in the country right behind the Boston and Atlanta areas.

How big is Maricopa County?

Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census.

The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire).

One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds.

The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States.

The county was named after the Maricopa, or Piipaash, Native American Tribe.

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Kevin Reagan ,
KPNX Vivrr Local Feed: crime , 2024-03-20 21:30:10
Categories: arizona,news,local,valley,crime,home

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