Stenson shot trying to escape SUV

Updated: November 10, 2003, 11:08 AM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Cincinnati Reds outfielder Dernell Stenson was kidnapped in a robbery of his SUV and killed while trying to escape, police said Sunday.

Stenson, who had been playing in the Arizona Fall League, was found dead Wednesday in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler after a night out with friends.

While police said the robbery began at a Scottsdale nightclub, the events leading up to Stenson's body being found in Chandler were unclear.

In any event, police said Stenson's hands were bound during the robbery and that there was an apparent struggle in his vehicle.

Det. Robert Krautheim said Stenson was shot more than once while attempting to escape from his SUV and then was run over.

Police aren't calling the crime a carjacking because it hasn't been established that Stenson was in the vehicle when it was stolen, said Chandler police spokesman Sgt. Mark Franzen.

Four men were arrested in connection with Stenson's death.

David Griffith was arrested without incident Saturday at his mother's home on the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation east of Phoenix.

Griffith, 20, was arrested on a warrant for vehicle theft in the case. He was held by Salt River police while Chandler police seek extradition.

Upon extradition, Krautheim said Chandler Police will seek additional charges against Griffith, declining to elaborate.

Two other men, half brothers, were already being held in connection with the case, one charged with possession of stolen property and the other held on suspicion of robbery, kidnapping and homicide.

Kevin Riddle, 43, was stopped by police while driving Stenson's SUV less than two hours after Stenson's body was found Wednesday, police said.

His 19-year-old half brother, Reginald Riddle, was booked Thursday on suspicion of homicide, armed robbery and kidnapping. He has not yet been formally charged. According to court documents, Reginald Riddle admitted his involvement during interviews with police.

Their relationship to Griffith wasn't immediately clear.

A fourth suspect, 32-year-old Robert Lee Maye of Phoenix, was arrested late Saturday at his home. He was booked early Sunday for suspicion hindering prosecution in the case, police said.

"He's involved in the homicide, but to what extent, we're not sure right now," Krautheim said. "They are all involved some way or another, and we're trying to figure out how."

Police also said they are investigating another shooting death nearby for a possible connection. Police found the body of Jarrod Waring, 23, of Mesa inside a white Buick two days before Stenson was killed. Waring was shot in the head.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press