MCAO takes questions on Preston Lord case

Ashley Holden
4 Min Read

QUEEN CREEK, AZ — The investigation into Preston Lord’s death is still ongoing, but on Wednesday, Queen Creek town leadership gave an update on the case. The Maricopa County Attorney also took questions regarding new details that have emerged in the last two weeks.

On March 6, when the arrests were made, Queen Creek Mayor Wheatley put out a statement. But Wednesday’s town council meeting was the first time Mayor Wheatley spoke publicly about the arrests in the case.

“This is a good step, an important step in getting justice for Preston,” said Queen Creek Mayor Julia Wheatley.

Those arrests were made over four months after the 16-year-old was beaten at a Halloween party in Queen Creek and later died.

All seven suspects last week pleaded “not guilty” in court.

“As we get into the prosecution it’s going to be a different stage a different time period,” said Queen Creek Police Chief Randy Brice.

Chief Brice also gave an update at the town council meeting, as tips continue to come in.

“We still have individuals that we are wrapping up additional interviews and just small leads that we are working on and some forensic evidence that we are working through as well,” said Chief Brice. “All in preparation for the trial phase of this.”

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell also took questions on the case Wednesday at her bi-weekly press conference.

In the last two weeks, some new details have emerged involving the case and the investigation.

MCAO confirmed on the same October night Lord was attacked, a necklace was taken from someone else. ABC15 asked Wednesday if County Attorney Mitchell could describe the role the necklace played that night.

“Whether this was a motive, or having an excuse for a motive, or just something that happened along the way I really can’t say,” said County Attorney Mitchell.

ABC15 also asked if criminal charges have been recommended to MCAO for parents or anyone else who could be involved in the case.

“We have a couple of other things we are looking at in regards to the Preston Lord case,” said County Attorney Mitchell. “The investigation is still ongoing.”

She also said if there are more people charged, MCAO will make that announcement.

As for the seven suspects already indicted, County Attorney Mitchell said the entire process will take time.

“It will take, I would estimate, at least a year for any of these cases to go to trial possibly to the point where they are resolved,” said County Attorney Mitchell.

ABC15 also asked about the investigation into a group known as the “Gilbert Goons”. The County Attorney said investigators with her office as well as Gilbert Police were still working on that investigation.

Law enforcement has not tied the group to Lord’s case.

Another community walk to honor Lord is planned next week in Gilbert.

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Ashley Holden ,
Investigations , 2024-03-21 05:15:25

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