No murder charge filed in talk-show confession - East Valley Tribune: News

No murder charge filed in talk-show confession

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Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 1:54 pm | Updated: 11:16 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Despite admitting that she called a national radio talk show two years ago and bragged that she shot her ex-boyfriend to death in 2001, an El Mirage woman won’t be charged in his death.

Woman denies radio murder confession to police

Murder charges sought after radio confession

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office on Tuesday decided not to file murder charges against Megan Suzanne Vice of El Mirage. In November 2006, Vice, 30, told radio talk-show host Tom Leykis that she killed Torsten Karl Rockwood of Ahwatukee Foothills, a man she said was her child's father.

Vice will be charged with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor, for saying that her cell phone was stolen.

After reviewing the police report, County Attorney Andrew Thomas said that the original investigation, which includes a medical examiner's report saying the death was a suicide, is correct. He said there is no credible physical or circumstantial evidence to suggest the death was anything other than a suicide. He added that blood splatters noted in the 2001 shooting scene were consistent with a suicide.

"While there is no evidence a murder had been committed, we do have evidence a crime was committed by virtue of the fact that our hard working police were forced to spend valuable resources investigating what turned out to be a bogus claim," Thomas said in a statement.

Julio Laboy, a supervising attorney speaking for Phillips & Associates, Vice's lawyers, said he was aware of the decision when contacted Tuesday afternoon.

"We think turning down the murder case was the right thing to do," Laboy said. He declined to comment further.

Last month, Phoenix police formally presented Thomas' office with the investigation of Rockwood's March 24, 2001, death. Police were seeking a charge of first-degree murder against Vice.

Vice, 30, told an investigator about her relationship with a man she said preferred to be called Karl and their son, who is now 9 years old. She said Rockwood threatened to kill himself on many occasions during the two or three months he lived in her town house, but that she always calmed him down. Rockwood's mother, Mary Francis Searle Rockwood, and one of his sisters, Aunica Brimhall, also told police they had heard Rockwood threatening to kill himself. He told his mother, "I'll shoot myself in the head before I let a shrink give me drugs."

Vice told police that during an argument about their child on the day of the shooting, Rockwood again threatened his own demise.

The investigation was reopened after a woman called Leykis and said she'd killed her former boyfriend and gotten away with the crime. Detectives tracked the call to Vice.

Records show that on May 29, police had Vice read a transcript over the telephone of what the caller said on Leykis' show. The idea was to compare her voice with that of the woman who called "The Tom Leykis Show" in 2006.

During the call, the woman told Leykis that she tried to talk to her ex-boyfriend about why he wasn't paying child support and was told he quit his job so he wouldn't have to.

The woman said on the radio program that her former boyfriend wouldn't listen to her, so she shot him.

"I went over and tried to talk to him just about doing some under-the-table money," the woman said on air. "He wouldn't listen, so I shot him."

"You shot him?" Leykis said.

"Oh yes, I did," the woman replied.

"You shot him dead?"

"I did."

The woman told Leykis that she wasn't arrested because she had lied to police. Leykis told her he would use her phone number to turn her in.

"They've got your confession on tape," Leykis said. "You just confessed."

The woman replied: "But people call up and make stories all the time, Tom."

Seconds later, the line went dead.

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