A Phoenix pedestrian paid with his life in 2005 when he caught the Serial Shooter suspects preparing to shoot and kill a dog, officials said Friday.
Instead of shooting the animal, suspect Dale Hausner turned the gun on Nathaniel Schoffner, a transient who was trying to intervene in the slaying, according to an indictment.
The new details in the case came from Serial Shooter suspect Samuel Dieteman, who pleaded guilty last week in the high-profile case. Police said the new information has led to another murder charge against Dieteman’s co-defendant, Hausner.
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said Friday during a news conference that it will be up to a jury to decide if Dieteman’s latest accusation about Hausner is true, but that prosecutors will present jurors with the evidence.
Phoenix police said that they had always considered the killing of Schoffner possibly related to the Serial Shooters but would not elaborate. Police refused to say whether there are any more victims that could be linked to the case.
An attorney for Hausner couldn’t be reached for comment Friday evening.
Hausner, 35, was already charged with seven counts of first-degree murder and numerous additional charges when a grand jury indicted him Thursday on an additional count of first-degree murder. He is now accused of killing eight people during a 15-month spree in which many others were wounded in Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale.
Dieteman pleaded guilty April 4 to two counts of first-degree murder and agreed to testify against Hausner at trial. Dieteman still faces the death penalty, but Thomas agreed to give him credit for his cooperation when a jury weighs whether to condemn him to death.