Man accused of killing young Tucson girl declines to testify

A man already convicted of killing a Tucson teenager declined to take the stand and testify in his own defense on March 1 as closing arguments began in his second murder trial.

Prosecutors said jurors could possibly get the case by the end of this week.

Christopher Clements, 41, is facing first-degree murder and other felony charges in the death of 6-year-old Isabel Celis, who was reported missing from her bedroom in her parents’ home in April 2012.

Last September, Clements was sentenced to natural life in prison for the 2014 death of 13-year-old Maribel Gonzalez. 

A different Pima County Superior Court jury began hearing Clements’ murder trial last month involving Celis.

Clements, a convicted sex offender with a long criminal record, was arrested in 2018 and indicted on 22 felony counts in the girls’ deaths. 

Gonzalez disappeared while walking to a friend’s house in June 2014 and authorities said her body was found days later. Celis’ remains weren’t recovered until 2017.

Authorities said Clements was identified as a suspect in March of that year after he led federal investigators to her remains in exchange for the dropping of unrelated charges.

Clements said he had nothing to do with Celis’ death and he only knew the location of the body, according to authorities.

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Isabel Celis

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Christopher Clements