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Accused Phoenix serial street shooter’s lawyers object to tests

(MCSO mughot; AP Photo)

PHOENIX — The man who will stand trial for a series of fatal drive-by shootings in Phoenix is fighting efforts to take court-ordered IQ or sanity tests.

Aaron Juan Saucedo’s lawyers filed the paperwork a week ago arguing against the tests. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office had announced in early December they would seek the death penalty against the former city bus driver.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez said in court records that the death penalty was on the table because the killings were committed in a cold and calculated manner.

Saucedo, 23, has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and drive-by shooting in nearly yearlong attacks that ended in July 2016. Nine people were killed and two others were wounded.

Most of the shootings happened in the Maryvale neighborhood of Phoenix, terrifying the residents.

Victims included a 21-year-old man whose girlfriend was pregnant and a 12-year-old girl who was shot to death along with her mother and another woman.

Saucedo was arrested in May 2017. He declared his innocence during his initial court appearance.

During the spree, a reward for information in the case reached $75,000. Police also Saucedo was responsible for the murder of Raul Romero in August 2015. Romero had been dating Saucedo’s mother.

A status hearing in the serial shooting case was scheduled Thursday morning.

The trial in Maricopa County Superior Court was scheduled for Nov. 4, 2019.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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