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Prescott Valley Tribune | Prescott Valley, Arizona

home : latest news : local December 17, 2014

3/8/2013 8:02:00 AM
Man who shot roommate tried to bribe her

Scott Orr
Special to the Tribune

PRESCOTT - John Frank Heinkel III was found guilty of two counts of aggravated assault in the shooting of his roommate last June.

Heinkel, 59, was arrested after officers responded to a 911 call at a residence in the 8800 block of Waco Court at about 1:15 a.m. on June 19, 2012. They found a 56-year-old female victim with a gunshot wound to her arm.

Heinkel's attorney, Matt Cochran, never contested the fact that "When the gun was fired, it was in Mr. Heinkel's hand," but argued that he was attempting to break up a fight between two men in the living room when he fired the pistol. The round instead struck his female roommate in the arm, causing injuries that required her to be airlifted to a Valley hospital for treatment.

The prosecution argued that Heinkel actually appeared at the bedroom door of the woman while drunk and accidentally shot her there.

In two recorded telephone calls made from the Camp Verde jail, Heinkel asked the victim to drop the charges in return for an unspecified sum of money. The victim apparently hung up during one call; the other one ended when the jail's automatic timing system cut it off.

A police detective's testimony contradicted Heinkel's version of events. The detective showed photographs of blood on the bedroom floor and dents in the wood of the bedroom door. He also showed pictures of the living room carpet, which had no blood at all on it.

On Wednesday, a jury found Heinkel guilty of two counts of aggravated assault as a dangerous offense. A third count was dismissed. He could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison - 15 years for each count - but Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley could also elect to run the two sentences concurrently, so he could serve up to 15 years total.

She will sentence Heinkel in April.

Related Stories:
• Man who shot roommate gets 6.5 years in prison
• Trial begins in case of man who shot roommate
• Prescott Valley man arrested after early morning shooting

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