Lucas Shankles

Lucas Shankles

KINGMAN — A third Bullhead City suspect charged in a January 2018 double murder was sentenced Friday to more than a decade in prison.

Lucas Wayne Shankles, 23, pleaded guilty in June to two counts of kidnapping. He originally was charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Shankles, along with two remaining Bullhead City suspects, are charged in the January 2018 murders of Mona Carter, 51, and Daryl Ward, 22, both of Bullhead City.

Shankles’ attorney, Chris Stavris, asked for a minimum sentence arguing that his client is remorseful, adding that Shankles didn’t know the two victims were going to be murdered. A shoulder injury led his life into a downward spiral, leading to alcohol and drug abuse, Stavris said, adding that Shankles was the least culpable of the five suspects. Shankles also spoke, apologizing for his part in the crime.

Deputy Mohave County Attorney Jaimye Ashley asked for a slightly aggravated sentence, saying there were two lives that were lost, causing suffering to their families. The kidnapping and torture was held in Shankles’ bedroom and he was involved in the victims’ interrogation.

Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert said Shankles played a lesser role in the crime and wasn’t involved in driving the victims to their murders. The judge sentenced Shankles to 121/2 years prison for both kidnapping charges. The sentences were consecutive, since there were two victims.

Shankles’ codefendant, Robin Denise Reid, 50, also was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of kidnapping. Superior Court Judge Billy Sipe Jr. granted Reid’s motion late Friday to remand her case to the grand jury within 15 days. The judge ruled that the prosecution’s presentation to the grand jury was erroneous, misleading or false, which denied her due process.

The third defendant, Lamya Lynn Bencheqroun, 28, is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of abandonment of a dead body.

Another codefendant, Jose Eduardo Vizcara, 29, pleaded guilty in April to two kidnapping charges. Two counts of murder and six other charges were dismissed. Vizcara was sentenced in May to 24 years in prison.

Francisco Javier Romero, Jr., 27, pleaded guilty in December to murder and kidnapping. He was sentenced in February to life in prison without parole for 25 years for the murder charge and an additional 15 years in prison for the kidnapping charge.

On Jan. 10, 2018, the defendants allegedly tortured Ward and Carter, then drove them at gunpoint in a SUV from a Bullhead City house into the desert off El Rodeo Road in Fort Mohave.

Ashley previously said that Bencheqroun shot Ward, who tried to escape from the vehicle only to be shot several more times. Romero then shot Carter. 

Justin Todd Maxwell reportedly arrived later, picked up the five suspects, and allegedly burned the SUV. Maxwell is charged with arson of a structure and hindering prosecution.

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