Monday, November 10, 2003

Stenson slaying motive: robbery

Police arrest fourth suspect in OF's death

By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The investigation into last week's killing of Reds outfielder Dernell Stenson led to a fourth arrest Sunday and the revelation by Chandler police that robbery was the motive.

Police are not looking for any additional suspects, and the case could soon be forwarded to the Maricopa County Attorney's office.

"We're very lucky," Chandler police spokesman Det. Robert Krautheim said. "A lot of information came to fruition in a timely manner."

Police believe the robbery began late Tuesday at Sugar Daddy's, a popular bar in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Detectives have seized surveillance tape from the bar from the night of the slaying, Krautheim confirmed.

"What we know right now is that (Stenson's) vehicle was the main focus (of the robbery)," Krautheim said.

Stenson, who was playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League, was last seen alone at Sugar Daddy's by three teammates around 11:30 p.m.

Two hours later and several miles away, police responded to shots fired on West Butler Drive in Chandler. It was there that Stenson had been shot multiple times execution style, run over and dragged by his own 2002 Isuzu Rodeo after attempting to escape, police said.

The 25-year-old will be buried today in LaGrange, Ga., following a service at the First Baptist Church on the Square.

Robert Lee Maye, 32, of Phoenix, is now the fourth suspect arrested in the case. He was arrested late Saturday and booked into the Maricopa County Jail for hindering prosecution in connection with the case.

Maye is a cousin of Kevin G. Riddle, who was arrested by Mesa police while driving Stenson's bloodied SUV two hours after the slaying, and Reginald A. Riddle, Kevin Riddle's 19-year-old half brother, who has admitted involvement in the homicide, according to public records. Kevin Riddle remains in jail on $10,080 bond. He is charged with possession of stolen property.

Reginald Riddle is being held on $500,000 cash bond and faces charges of homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping and burglary.

The third suspect, David Griffith, surrendered to police in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community late Saturday.

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