September 27, 2012 http://www.azcentral.com
Tempe police have arrested a gang member on suspicion of first-degree murder in the slaying of a man 12 years ago, using DNA and other evidence.
But suspect Albert Carreon, 50, wasn’t very hard to find. He already is on death row after his conviction and sentencing in a gang hit in Chandler 11 years ago.
Carreon, a New Mexican Mafia member, is now accused of first-degree murder in the slaying of Jose “Joey” Gonzalez, 20, who was found dead in a parked car on Dec. 20, 2000 at the Fiesta Village Townhouse complex in the 1400 block of West La Jolla in Tempe.
“The DNA is what really made the case. This guy was looked at as a potential suspect in 2005,” said Sgt. Jeff Glover, a Tempe police spokesman.
He said detectives determined that Gonzalez was shot to death at a different location, placed in a car he had borrowed from his girlfriend and driven to the townhouse complex, where his body was abandoned.
Jurors sentenced Carreon to death in April 2003 after finding him guilty of first-degree murder in the slaying of Armando Hernandez inside a Chandler apartment. The victim’s girlfriend testified that Carreon stepped out of a bathroom with his gun drawn, accused Hernandez of being a snitch, shot him to death and then shot her four times.
Although the girlfriend was left for dead, she survived her wounds and testified against Carreon in a Maricopa County Superior Court trial. Carreon and Hernandez had been housed in adjoining cells in a maximum security prison in Florence.
A prosecutor argued during that trial that Carreon was hired to kill Hernandez by a gang member who believed that Hernandez was responsible for the arrest and conviction of the gang member’s brother.
Carreon’s disciplinary record in prison includes three major violations, including two assaults and a drug possession or manufacturing infraction.