CHANDLER, AZ - Two ex-convicts have been arrested in the 2008 drug-related shooting death of an Arizona State University student whose body was found in his burning rented home, police said Wednesday.
Police said Rory Gene Coriell, 29, and William Hayden Crawford, 27, were booked into jail Wednesday after being arrested in Phoenix on suspicion of first-degree murder in the killing of Zachary B. Rowe, 25.
Bond was set at $1 million apiece for Coriell and Crawford, who didn't have attorneys at their initial court appearances Wednesday. Both men have Feb. 7 preliminary hearings scheduled in Maricopa County Superior Court.
Firefighters found Rowe's body in the living room of the burning home on Dec. 23, 2008, but an autopsy determined that he died from a bullet wound to the head.
A police affidavit said investigators found large amounts of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia in the home and that people interviewed during the investigation later told investigators that Rowe was a marijuana dealer and that his home was targeted for a burglary.
One of the witnesses also said the fire was set to destroy evidence, a police affidavit said.
Some of the bullet casings found at the home matched a handgun that belonged to Rowe and that was found at the scene, while other casings were from a second weapon that hasn't been recovered, the affidavit said.
Department of Corrections records state Coriell was released from prison last March after serving sentences on marijuana and weapons convictions in Maricopa County. He previously served time on an armed robbery conviction in Pinal County, the records said.
DOC records also stated that Crawford was released from prison in November after serving time on a drug conviction in Maricopa County.