Though police say they’d worked together, two men accused in the Serial Shooter investigation will have separate trials where they’ll likely give vastly different explanations about their alleged involvement in dozens of shootings.
A Maricopa County Superior Court judge split an indictment against Samuel John Dieteman and Dale S. Hausner in December. On Tuesday, Commissioner Pamela Svoboda set a separate March 21 trial date for Hausner’s older brother, Jeff, who also is charged in the investigation.
Prosecutor Bob Shutts said after Tuesday’s hearing that he expects all three men to face charges separately.
“It’s to ensure a fair trial,” said Maria Schaffer, Dieteman’s lawyer. Judges sometimes split up co-defendants “if one defendant is more forthcoming than the other” about his involvement, she said.
That’s apparently the case in the Serial Shooter investigation.
Dieteman, 31, already has confessed to some of the shootings, according to Phoenix police. Shortly after his arrest in August, Dieteman told detectives that his roommate Dale Hausner led the late night attacks.
Once, Dieteman told police, Hausner targeted a “fat guy that was walking down the road.”
“He just kinda raised up the shotgun up ... and I just hear this poppin’ and this guy started screamin’ in the road,” Dieteman said, according to police documents.
Meanwhile, Dale Hausner, 33, has denied any involvement in the shootings. He told investigators that Dieteman could have taken Hausner’s guns and car while he was asleep.
“I was not there at any shootings,” Hausner told police in a heated interview in August. “I did not pull the trigger.”
In all, the Serial Shooter investigation includes 42 shootings that left seven people dead and at least 17 others wounded.
Dieteman has been charged with two counts of murder, and Hausner is charged with seven counts of murder. Both have pleaded not guilty.
County Attorney Andrew Thomas has said he will seek the death penalty against Dale Hausner and Dieteman.
Jeff Hausner also has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and aggravated assault charges stemming from an April 14 stabbing of a homeless man. The attack was linked to the investigation after Dieteman and Dale Hausner were arrested this summer.
Jeff Hausner’s lawyer, Candice Shoemaker, did not comment Tuesday after the trial date was set.
Prosecutors also are preparing for an additional trial against another accused serial killer.
Mark Goudeau, 42, is charged with 71 criminal counts, including nine counts of first-degree murder. Goudeau, a former construction worker, is accused of being the socalled Baseline Killer who preyed on Phoenix residents for more than a year.
Goudeau’s trial is scheduled for Jan. 22.