Mesa police have arrested a man investigators say stabbed a 28-year-old man to death inside an apartment on Sunday before sexually assaulting a woman who lived there, later tying her and her two children up inside a bathroom.
Jason Noonkester, 35, who was released from prison less than two weeks ago, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder, three counts of kidnapping and two counts of sexual assault about 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Rio Vista Apartments, 454 W. Brown Road, about three hours after police say he fatally stabbed Robert Marchant and sexually assaulted a 25-year-old woman inside an apartment in the 100 block of West Ninth Place.
Police were able to arrest Noonkester when officers responded to a call of a man urinating in a swimming pool area at the Brown Road location and they noticed blood on his clothes as well as tattoos that matched the description given by the woman. Hours before, police had responded to a scene at Ninth Place where they discovered the walls covered in blood and Marchant’s lifeless body.
Police said Marchant and Noonkester knew each other, and Marchant had asked him over to the residence.
The two men served time in Arizona Department of Corrections prisons at the same time, but each in different facilities, according to prison records.
The woman told police that Noonkester arrived at the apartment she shares with Marchant sometime after midnight and she went to bed as Marchant and Noonkester stayed downstairs and talked. After later waking up, the woman said Noonkester walked up the stairs to her bedroom and told her that someone had broken into their apartment and he “took care of it.” According to police, Noonkester then began to sexually assault the woman before tying her up and locking her inside the bathroom with her 19-month-old daughter and 5-year-old son.
The woman was able to free herself and run to a neighbor’s apartment with her children, police said.
Noonkester, who was wanted on an outstanding parole violation, was taken into custody without incident. He did not provide any statements to police about the crime. His backpack, found near the pool area, contained blood-soaked clothing.
In 2004, Noonkester was sentenced to eight years in prison for seven counts of burglary. He was released July 15, according to Arizona Department of Corrections records.
While in prison, Noonkester racked up seven disciplinary infractions between 2003 and 2010, including two assaults on inmates and one for arson, according to prison records.
In 2008, Marchant was sentenced to 21 months in prison on misconduct involving weapons and drug paraphernalia violations, but was released on Dec. 31, 2009, after serving 15 months, according to Arizona Department of Corrections records.
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