Man found guilty of killing 2 people in Chandler parking lot in 2017

Apr 12, 2024, 6:44 AM | Updated: 6:54 am

Chandler double murder suspect found guilty, top prosecutor says...

Taron Lavelle Watkins was found guilty of a double murder in Chandler. (Photos: Chandler Police Department, left, Nati Harnik/via Associated Press, right)

(Photos: Chandler Police Department, left, Nati Harnik/via Associated Press, right)

PHOENIX — A man who killed two people and wounded another in a shooting in Chandler nearly seven years ago was found guilty of first-degree murder and other charges, authorities announced Thursday.

Taron Lavelle Watkins, 29, shot people who were sitting in a parked car with him on Aug. 26, 2017, according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

One of his victims was a 16-year-old girl in the backseat, MCAO said.

Prosecutors don’t know why Watkins opened fire. They said Watkins also shot a third victim, who survived his wounds and called 911 for help.

What punishment does the Chandler double murder culprit face?

Watkins faces two natural life sentences after being found guilty of these charges:

  • Two counts of first-degree murder.
  • One count of attempted first-degree murder.
  • One count of aggravated assault.

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said this case has been especially hard to prosecute.

“This has been a difficult case that has taken years to bring to justice,” Mitchell said in a statement. “I commend the prosecutors who have worked arduously on behalf of the victims and their families to ensure this violent offender is held accountable.”

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Man found guilty of killing 2 people in Chandler parking lot in 2017