Pinal County seeking death penalty in Maricopa murder case

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — Pinal County's top prosecutor has filed notice that he'll seek the death penalty for the man accused of killing a Maricopa couple last year and burying their bodies.

County Attorney Lando Voyles cites multiple aggravating factors in the case against Jose Ignacio Valenzuela.

He's facing first-degree murder charges in the deaths of 44-year-old Michael Careccia and his 42-year-old wife, Tina. The couple was reported missing on June 22.

>>FILE VIDEO on the case from FOX 10 News Now: Everything We've Learned About Missing Maricopa Couple Michael and Tina Careccia

Investigators interviewed Valenzuela and say statements he made led them to search his property.

Authorities unearthed a 6-foot-deep grave containing the couple's bodies and also reported finding a gun believed to be the murder weapon.

County sheriff's officials say Valenzuela admitted to taking methamphetamine before the killings.

A call to Valenzuela's public defender wasn't immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.


Sheriff Paul Babeu joined County Attorney Lando Voyles announcing that his office is seeking the Death Penalty for...

Posted by Pinal County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, January 20, 2016


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