An 18-year-old man awaiting trial in the slaying of a teenage girl has confessed to fatally shooting a Mesa grandmother of six during a carjacking attempt shortly before Christmas 2002.
Anthony James Chacon, a resident of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery in connection with the death of Loris Crandell-Bath.
Crandell-Bath, 59, was shot in the head Dec. 15, 2002, while she sat at a traffic light on Hermosa Vista Drive at Gilbert Road in Mesa. She was on her way home from a family gathering celebrating her daughter and son-in-law's eighth wedding anniversary and a daughter-in-law’s birthday.
Mesa police chief Dennis Donna said during a press conference Friday that Chacon confessed he shot Crandell-Bath while trying to carjack her with another person.
Detectives still are investigating that person in connection with the case, said detective Don Byers.
Chacon's name and the second individual's name had come up within days of the homicide, but it wasn't until after the January death of Amanda J. Enos, 17, that Chacon confessed to the slaying.
Enos, another resident of the Salt River community, was found dead Jan. 26 inside the closet of a Brown Road apartment that Chacon shared with his sister.
An unidentified cousin and an unnamed girl later told police they were inside the bedroom Jan. 22 and saw Chacon shoot Enos, an acquaintance, between noon and 5 p.m. that day, court records indicate.
Maricopa County Attorney Richard Romley said his capital review team will be meeting in the near future to determine if the death penalty should be sought for Chacon.