ARIZONA NEWS

Convicted killer gets 2 life sentences for 2022 double-murder in East Valley

May 9, 2024, 10:08 AM

Mugshot of Aaron Thomas, who was sentenced May 3, 2024, to life in prison for a 2022 Mesa double-mu...

Aaron Thomas was sentenced May 3, 2024, to life in prison for a 2022 Mesa double-murder. (Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry Photo)

(Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry Photo)

PHOENIX – A convicted killer was sentenced last week to life in prison for a double-murder in Mesa more than two years ago.

Aaron Aldric Thomas, 54, was found guilty in December 2023 on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed robbery and one count of burglary.

He received natural life sentences for the murders and 21 years for each of the other charges during a May 3 hearing.

Thomas was convicted of killing 32-year-old Mottio Paschal and 24-year-old Makinley Charnoski.

What happened during Mesa double-murder in 2022?

Police were called to a home near Alma School Road and Main Street around 3 a.m. on Jan. 28, 2022, and found the victims, who were pronounced dead at the scene.

Thomas planned the Mesa double-homicide by acquiring a gun, gloves and a mask and then arranging to buy drugs, according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said Thomas shot Paschal as soon as he turned his back after answering the door so he could steal the drugs. He then shot Charnoski multiple times at point-blank range while she begged for her life.

Investigators identified Thomas as the suspect and arrested him at his home in Laveen on March 10, 2022.

“In two minutes, this man killed two people in such a cold-blooded, calculated way, making prison for the rest of his life the right place for him to be,” County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in a press release Thursday.

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Convicted killer gets 2 life sentences for 2022 double-murder in East Valley