Sheriff’s Office investigating baby’s death

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

Fatal shooting outside C&C’s Hideaway still under investigation as well

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM COUNTY – The Graham County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of an 11-month-old baby boy. 

As of Wednesday, Nov. 20, no charges have been filed and no arrests have been made as the case is still determined as an “active investigation” by the Sheriff’s Office. An autopsy with the Pima County Office of Medical Examiner was scheduled to take place this week. 

The investigation stems from a 911 call to Graham County Dispatch at about 11:28 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, from a residence on S. Cheyenne Drive. The reporting party advised that the infant was not breathing but was gasping for air and was possibly choking on a chip. The reporting party later advised that the infant stopped gasping entirely at 11:32 p.m. 

Paramedics from Lifeline Ambulance reportedly arrived at the residence shortly before midnight and transported the baby to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, according to Dispatch notes. The infant was then flown to Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, where he was kept on life support but was later declared brain dead at 5:55 a.m., on Monday, Nov. 18. The baby was kept on life support until Wednesday, however, so his body could be used for organ donation. 

On Saturday, a critical incident page was sent and the Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from a detective with the Tucson Police Department on the case. 

Also on Saturday, the infant’s 22-month-old sister was taken by the Arizona Department of Child Safety and placed in a foster home prior to the initiation of a dependency case.

C&C’s Hideaway fatal shooting still under active investigation

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The fatal shooting in the parking lot of C&C’s Hideaway Bar & Grill the evening of Nov. 8 is still under investigation.

The fatal shooting of a 36-year-old Tucson man in the parking lot area of C&C’s Hideaway Bar & Grill the evening of Friday, Nov. 8 is still under investigation and no arrests have been made.

Deputies were dispatched to the bar at about 11:30 p.m. regarding a shooting and found the victim deceased in the parking lot area. 

If both the baby’s death and the fatal shooting are declared as homicides, it will make three open homicide cases with the Graham County Sheriff’s Office and five total homicides it will have investigated this year. 

The Sheriff’s Office is also handling the double homicide of Sabrena Martin, 22, of Safford, and Rueben Nicholas Morales, of Salt Lake City, Utah. Martin and Morales had been missing since January and were discovered buried in a shallow grave in Thunderbird Mobile Estates on Saturday, Aug. 24. 

Nick Morales and Sabrena Martin

An autopsy by the Pima County Office of Medical Examiner in Tucson conclusively identified the remains as Martin and Morales and showed the cause of death for both victims to be from gunshot wounds. (See: Autopsy conclusively identifies remains found in Thunderbird Estates as Martin and Morales – Gila Herald, Sept. 3, 2019.) 

On Oct. 3, Steven R. Watson, 22, of Thatcher, was sentenced to five years on probation for negligent homicide – a Class-4 felony – in the shooting death of Parker Ray Lynch on Feb. 11. (See: Man who shot and killed a man while testing ballistic vest sentenced to probation – Gila Herald, Oct. 18, 2019.)

In that case, Lynch willingly put on his own ballistic vest and asked Watson to shoot him while wearing it. The single, .223 rifle shot penetrated the vest’s armored plate and struck Lynch in his lower abdomen, killing him. 

The incident took place in the desert area by the Gila River just north of the Reay Lane Bridge on Feb. 11. Others were with the two men at the scene and attempted to stop the bleeding by applying pressure, but Lynch was later declared deceased during surgery at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center. 

Watson was also ordered to serve 30 days in jail and complete 200 hours of community service, including 40 hours relating to gun safety. 

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