ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County Attorney Mitchell expects lengthy review in Preston Lord murder case

Jan 5, 2024, 2:00 PM

PHOENIX — Maricopa County’s review into charges stemming from the murder of Preston Lord is expected to take a while due to the sheer amount of materials that need to be sifted through, Attorney Rachel Mitchell said Friday.

The Queen Creek Police Department submitted charges to MCAO against seven suspects on Dec. 28, nearly two months after the 16-year-old Lord died after being assaulted outside a Halloween party.

Mitchell told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show the police report for Lord’s case is about 1,800 pages. Prosecutors also have to comb through about 2,000 pieces of evidence, including 600 videos, according to Mitchell.

“We have one chance to do it right and we want to go in with the strongest possible prepared position so that this can be taken care of,” Mitchell said.

How has MCAO been communicating with police regarding the Preston Lord case?

MCAO has been in touch with police in Queen Creek and Gilbert since the investigation started, added Mitchell.

Gilbert has been involved in the investigation due to the alleged link between Lord’s death and the “Gilbert Goons,” a group of affluent teenagers who have been connected to a string of violent assaults in the East Valley.

Both East Valley police departments have taken public criticism for the length of the investigation into Lord’s death and the handling of the teenage gang.

Names of the suspects haven’t been released but authorities said it is a mix of adults and minors.

“When we heard that this behavior was extending into Gilbert, we reached out to them as well,” Mitchell said. “So, you know, we want to make sure that we’re aware of all the facts so that we can handle these cases appropriately and stop this this violence.”

What happened to Preston Lord?

Lord, a student at Combs High School, was assaulted near Sossaman and Chandler Heights roads after a Halloween party on Oct. 28 and died of his injuries two days later.

A reward of up to $10,000 was offered for information that leads to an arrest in Lord’s death.

Queen Creek set up a portal at www.fbi.gov/prestonlord where video, photos and other media can be submitted as potential evidence.

Information can also be called into the FBI’s tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).

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Maricopa County Attorney Mitchell expects lengthy review in Preston Lord murder case