Suspects charged in serial shootings - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Suspects charged in serial shootings

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Posted: Wednesday, August 9, 2006 10:33 am | Updated: 3:46 pm, Wed Jun 19, 2013.

Two Mesa men suspected in a yearlong spree of random shootings have been formally charged with a long list of crimes, ranging from aggravated assault to first-degree murder. Prosecutors filed a 32-count criminal complaint Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court against Dale S. Hausner, 33, and Samuel J. Dieteman, 30.

The Serial Shooter suspects were arrested Thursday.

The complaint alleges that Hausner and Dieteman committed two counts of first-degree murder, 14 counts of attempted first-degree murder and 16 counts of drive-by shooting.

The next big question facing prosecutors is whether to seek the death penalty. Barnett Lotstein, special assistant county attorney, said prosecutors have 60 days to decide.

The two first-degree murder charges stem from the deaths of 22-year-old Mesa resident Robin Blasnek and Claudia Gutierrez-Cruz, 20, of Phoenix.

Blasnek was gunned down about 11:15 p.m. July 30 as she walked south on Gilbert Road at Grandview Drive. Dieteman told police that Hausner pulled the trigger on Blasnek, according to court documents.

Gutierrez-Cruz was shot as she walked from a bus stop near 6100 E. Thomas Road in Scottsdale. "Hausner pulled alongside in the curb lane and Dieteman fired one shot from a shotgun at the victim," court documents state. Dieteman and Hausner could face more charges when they go to trial because the Maricopa County Attorney's Office typically seeks grand jury indictments in major felony cases before filing a formal complaint.

Police said they have reason to believe the two men are responsible for 37 shootings, seven of them homicides, since May 2005.

On Monday, Hausner held a jailhouse news conference to say he was innocent and that Dieteman, who lived with him before their arrests, must have taken his guns and car without his knowledge and used them to commit the crimes.

The criminal complaint filed Tuesday includes charges of aggravated assault. Lotstein said the complaint was structured that way to give a jury another option if it were to decide against the attempted murder charges, which require proof of premeditation.

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