PCSO: Casa Grande homicide suspect admits to hitting man with cement block, rock

Posted at 7:26 AM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 09:41:21-05

Pinal County Sheriff's officials have made an arrest in connection with the death of a 65-year-old man in Casa Grande.

Jerry Lee was taken to the hospital late Wednesday night after someone called 911 to report that he fell down a small flight of stairs.

Doctors and nurses determined Lee's skull and facial fractures were not consistent with falling down the stairs. He later died from his injuries. Deputies did not originally respond to the scene of the medical call, but after receiving information from hospital staff, they began an investigation.

At the scene, deputies found a bloody rock and blood spatter that suggested an assault occurred near the stairs.

According to the investigation, Lee and his roommates hosted a gathering at their home and he later discovered that a tool was missing from his toolbox.

Lee tried to call Gabriel Huante about the missing tool and Huante later returned to the home where witnesses heard an assault occur.

Huante was later located at another home and was taken into custody after a foot pursuit.

Witnesses thought Lee had fallen down the stairs, but Huante admitted to shoving Lee to the ground and striking him with a cement block and a rock.

Huante's girlfriend told officials that Huante was using methamphetamines that night. 

Huante was booked into jail on a first-degree murder charge and is being held on $500,000 secured bond.