Patrickson Joe Benally arrested in connection with June homicide

PHOENIX - One man was arrested in connection with a June 22 homicide after telling police that he may have killed someone.

According to court documents, the suspect, Patrickson Benally, reportedly called police Sunday saying that he wanted to talk to them about an incident about a month before.

Benally told police that he had been drunk at a family member's home and went to look for more beer. He said he met another individual at Solano Park around 17th and Missouri avenues where he expected to get alcohol.

One of the individuals at the park angrily came at them with a knife when they inquired about alcohol, but Benally was able to get the knife from the man and take him to the ground, he told police.

Benally said he put the man in a "triangle choke hold" and left the man unconscious. 

Witnesses in the area at the time of the incident say they heard some type of fight occur in the park and the area went quiet about half an hour later.

When police responded to the scene before 6 a.m., they found a man, identified as Jimmie Kerley, lying face-down under a picnic shelter.

Police determined that Kerley died after being strangled by a thin rope or material, but Benally denied using another material. Benally also denied taking items from the victim before they left the scene.

Kerley's family members alerted officers that several items, including his phone and debit card were taken from him at the time of the incident.

Police were able to track down the cell phone to a woman who said she purchased it from another man and discovered that security footage captured an individual with a woman in a wheel chair attempting to use the victim's debit card at a grocery store.

When police showed Benally the security footage, he identified the individuals as himself and his aunt, but denied using the card. He told police that the other individual with him had gone through the victim's pockets and given him the card, but that he destroyed the card.

Benally has been previously found guilty of several shoplifting charges and has a criminal charge from Page, Ariz. 

He is facing charges of first-degree murder, theft and robbery.



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