Ex-convict pleads not guilty in fatal Arizona shooting rampage

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 06, 2015 3:20 PM

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A former Arizona convict accused of an hours-long shooting rampage that killed one person and wounded five others in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa last month pleaded not guilty on Monday to multiple felony charges.

Ryan Giroux, 41, shackled and wearing faded, striped jail clothing, denied 23 counts including first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault, during a brief arraignment in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Giroux, who was flanked at the appearance before Commissioner Casey Newcomb by his two county public defenders, is being held without bond for parole violation.

A county grand jury indicted him on March 27, nine days after the shooting spree that began in a Mesa motel room and ended in his arrest by a police SWAT team in a vacant condominium.

Police said Giroux killed David James Williams, 29, and wounded Williams' mother and girlfriend at the motel and continue to fire a handgun wildly as he fled the scene.

He is accused of then shooting and wounding a student and carjacking a vehicle outside a nearby bistro, before proceeding to two apartment complexes where he shot and wounded two men.

Police have not said what triggered the rampage, but they described the tattooed Giroux as a transient with multiple previous criminal convictions.

Citing a retired Mesa police detective, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, identified Giroux as a member of skinhead and white supremacist organizations. Police have not confirmed he has white supremacist ties.

Giroux was released from his latest of several stints in state prison in October 2013, after serving six years and three months for attempting to commit aggravated assault, state corrections department records showed.

His next court appearance is scheduled for May 28.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Eric Beech)