Preston Lord murder investigation: Theft of gold chain caused fight that led to teen's death, MCAO says

Authorities have released new information on the events that led up to the death of Preston Lord.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office confirms the theft of an inexpensive necklace from one of Lord's friends set in motion the fight that led to the assault of the 16-year-old last October at a Halloween party in Queen Creek.

MCAO says when the gold chain was snatched, Lord and his friends tried to get it back and a confrontation ensued.

Following the assault, Lord was hospitalized. He died two days after the attack. According to prosecutors, the suspects colluded to try and destroy evidence in the over the months since Preston's death.

On March 7, MCAO confirmed seven people have been arrested and charged with murder in Lord's death.



  1. Talyn Vigil
  2. Treston Billey
  3. Dominic Turner
  4. Taylor Sherman
  5. William Hines
  6. Talan Renner
  7. Jacob Meisner

All seven suspects are accused of first-degree murder and kidnapping, and some are accused of additional charges. A $1 million bond has been set for all of them.

Criminal defense attorney Russ Richelsoph, who is not associated with the case, said the term ‘kidnapping,’ in terms of this case, refers to the victim being restrained during the crime.

"I'm interested in seeing what the evidence is," said Richelsoph. "I know that the police agencies involved spent a long time investigating these cases, and I know that there was a lot of public discontent with regards to the amount of time that this case did take to investigate before arrests were made."

Richelsoph said both the prosecution and defense have an immense amount of evidence to go through before the trials, and there’s still a lot to learn, as probable cause statements by Queen Creek Police have been sealed by the court.

"Could the state seek the death penalty?" we asked Richelsoph.

"That's a tough question," Richelsoph replied. "You know. I've given that some thought. One thing that stands out for me in these cases is the ages of the defendants. So, if I think there's anything that keeps the state from filing a notice of intent to seek the death penalty, it will be their age."

First-degree murder cases are designated as complex cases in the Arizona court system, which Richelsoph said can take years.

"So usually, these kinds of cases have a tremendous amount of evidence, and it takes the attorneys on both sides a very long time to go through that evidence, and you know, review it, determine what it, and then start arguing the legal portion of the case."