Death penalty sought in Maricopa killings

Posted at 4:27 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 19:44:11-05

Pinal County's top prosecutor has filed notice that he'll seek the death penalty for the man accused of killing a Maricopa couple last year and burying their bodies.

County Attorney Lando Voyles cites multiple aggravating factors in the case against Jose Ignacio Valenzuela.

He's facing first-degree murder charges in the deaths of 44-year-old Michael Careccia and his 42-year-old wife, Tina. The couple was reported missing on June 22.

Investigators interviewed Valenzuela and say statements he made led them to search his property.

Authorities unearthed a 6-foot-deep grave containing the couple's bodies and also reported finding a gun believed to be the murder weapon.

County sheriff's officials say Valenzuela admitted to taking methamphetamine before the killings.

A call to Valenzuela's public defender wasn't immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.