Prosecutors say they will seek death penalty against 2 men accused in Phoenix serial shootings

Tuesday, October 3rd 2006, 10:24 pm
By: News On 6

PHOENIX (AP) _ Prosecutors said Tuesday they will seek the death penalty against two men accused of terrorizing the Phoenix area in a series of random shootings.

Samuel John Dieteman, 30, and Dale S. Hausner, 33, are charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder for allegedly killing two people and wounding 14 others in a string of shootings since May. They have pleaded not guilty.

``These men stand accused of a spree of cold blooded murder and random violence unprecedented in our community,'' Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said in a statement. ``This campaign of terrorism is fully deserving of the ultimate penalty allowed by law.''

Police also are trying to determine whether they are linked to 21 other shootings that date back to May 2005. In all, the shootings grouped in the Serial Shooter investigation left seven people dead and 17 wounded.

Dieteman's attorney declined to comment Tuesday, and Hausner's attorney wasn't immediately available for comment.

One woman who police said the men shot July 8 wasn't sure whether to be happy with the decision.

``I don't necessarily agree with it because I'm religious,'' Ashley Armenta, 27, said. ``You shouldn't take lives like that. Then again, if I knew someone who'd passed away, maybe I'd feel differently.''

Hausner's older brother said the possibility that his brother could be executed underscored the need for a fair and unbiased trial.

``A rush to judgment will not benefit anyone,'' Randy Hausner said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. ``My family and I feel that from this point, it is in God's hands.''

The investigation of Dieteman and Hausner is one of two serial predator cases Phoenix police have been investigating this year.

In August, police arrested parolee Mark Goudeau in connection with the ``Baseline Killer'' investigation. Goudeau has been charged in a sexual attack on two sisters last year. Police also are checking whether he is connected to 22 other attacks that left eight people dead.

Goudeau has pleaded not guilty.