ARIZONA NEWS

Convicted killer gets 2 life sentences for 2017 double-murder in Chandler

May 16, 2024, 2:00 PM | Updated: 3:41 pm

Split panel image of convicted killer Taron Watkins on the left and prison cells on the right. Watk...

Taron Lavelle Watkins received two life sentences for a 2017 Chandler double-murder. (Chandler Police Department and Pexels Photos)

(Chandler Police Department and Pexels Photos)

PHOENIX – A man convicted in a Chandler double-murder case from 2017 was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences on Monday, authorities announced.

Taron Lavelle Watkins, 29, also received a 10.5-year consecutive sentence for trying to kill a third victim and 7.5 years for aggravated assault, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

On April 9, a jury found Watkins guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault.

Chandler double-murder: Here’s what we know

On August 26, 2017, the Chandler Police Department received a call about gunshots in the parking lot of an apartment complex near Elliot Road and Arizona Avenue. Witnesses said a red sedan fled the scene.

When officers arrived at the complex around 9 p.m., they found a 20-year-old man with fatal gunshot wounds.

Dispatchers broadcast information about the red sedan to police in other cities.

Mesa officers found a red sedan near Alma School and Baseline roads and discovered two people inside with gunshot wounds. A 16-year-old girl died of her injuries and a 20-year-old man survived, police said at the time.

Detectives worked through the night to identify Watkins, a Glendale resident, as the suspect. He was arrested the next afternoon in Scottsdale.

“This has been a difficult case that has taken years to bring to justice. I commend the prosecutors who have worked arduously on behalf of the victims and their families to ensure this violent offender is held accountable.” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in a press release after Watkins was convicted.

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Convicted killer gets 2 life sentences for 2017 double-murder in Chandler