Thursday, November 6, 2003

Reds OF Stenson dies in Arizona

Player, apparently shot and run over, found in roadway

By John Fay
and Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Reds outfielder Dernell Stenson was shot and killed early Wednesday in Arizona where he was playing in the Arizona Fall League.

The Chandler (Ariz.) Police Department and Reds general manager Dan O'Brien both confirmed late Wednesday that Stenson, 25, was found dead on a Chandler roadway around 1:45 a.m.

"We are vigorously working this case," Chandler police spokesman Sgt. Mark Franzen said. Stenson had been shot and run over by a vehicle, Franzen said.

About two hours later Mesa police later found Stenson's black 2002 Isuzu Rodeo, which was being driven by another person. The vehicle was impounded and its driver was being questioned.

O'Brien said that police told him that Stenson was last seen in a bar called Sugar Daddy's at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, and that the Isuzu Rodeo was "bullet-riddled."

Stenson was playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the AFL.

A recording on the office phone for the Scorpions said that Wednesday's game had been cancelled for undisclosed reasons.

Stenson had been one of the top performers in the AFL this year. He ranked among the league's top hitters with a .394 batting average and .453 on-base percentage through 18 games.

The Reds acquired Stenson off waivers from the Boston Red Sox on Feb. 25.

He played 118 games for Triple-A Louisville and Double-A Chattanooga before making his major league debut with the Reds on Aug. 13.

After his promotion, Stenson played in 37 games for the Reds, making 20 starts. He hit .247 with three home runs and 13 RBI.

Stenson was born and still resided in LaGrange, Ga. He spent his entire seven-year professional career with the Red Sox before joining the Reds.

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