Griffith booked in theft of SUV

Updated: November 9, 2003, 2:45 AM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- A 20-year-old transient suspected in the death of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Dernell Stenson was arrested Saturday on American Indian land east of Phoenix.

David Griffith was booked in the theft of Stenson's vehicle after he surrendered to police on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, authorities said.

Stenson, who was playing in the Arizona Fall League, was found dead Wednesday in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler. He had been shot, run over and apparently dragged by his own SUV.

Police released few details of the arrest of Griffith, who wasn't booked in Stenson's death.

"We have some jurisdictional issues we need to go through," said Chandler police spokesman Sgt. Mark Franzen.

Griffith, who hasn't been formally charged in the case, will be held by tribal police until Maricopa County prosecutors extradite him, said Lt. James Sutphen, spokesman for the Salt River Police Department.

"Of course we will cooperate," Sutphen said.

Griffith, a member of the tribe, also was arrested on unrelated tribal charges, said Sutphen, declining to elaborate.

Two other men have been arrested in connection with the case.

Within two hours after Stenson's body was found, 43-year-old Kevin Riddle was stopped by police while driving Stenson's SUV, police said.

Riddle remains in custody on a $10,080 bond. He was charged on Friday with possession of stolen property.

Riddle's 19-year-old half brother, Reginald Riddle, is being held on a $500,000 cash bond for homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and burglary. He has not yet been formally charged.

Reginald Riddle made an initial court appearance Friday. According to court documents, he admitted his involvement during interviews with police.

Franzen declined to elaborate on what Riddle told authorities.

Kevin Riddle identified himself as a transient to police, and Reginald Riddle listed no address on court paperwork.

Griffith's connection to the Riddle brothers and to Stenson is still unclear.

Detectives have thus far declined to identify a motive or to give a detailed account of what happened to Stenson.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press