Phoenix man sentenced to 15 years after bludgeoning a woman to death


A Phoenix man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of stabbing a woman with a screwdriver and repeatedly striking her with a blunt object in 2019.

Authorities said 39-year-old Jesse Don Moquino killed the victim, whom court documents identify as «G.Z.,» and tightly wrapped the body in bed sheets before stuffing it in an air mattress on Sept. 11, 2019, at a home within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Court documents say a family member of Moquino walked by him when she noticed G.Z. wrapped in sheets with her feet sticking out and blood on the ground. The family member «freaked out» and asked Moquino what had happened.

Moquino told the family member, «Don’t do nothing! Don’t call the police!» before the family member ran outside because she was traumatized and eventually called 911, court documents say.

When the family member returned, G.Z.’s body was no longer in the bathroom but the blood remained. Court documents say the family member saw Moquino with a mop trying to clean up the blood and told her the body was «out» and assured her to not worry about the situation and that he would take care of things.

The family member told Moquino that she had called 911 after which he fled in G.Z.’s car, a brown Scion, with his two children, court documents say.

According to court documents, Moquino’s girlfriend at the time told police that Moquino called her and asked her to pick him up from an address in Scottsdale, which was about a two-minute drive from the crime scene.

The woman told police that Moquino looked paranoid and said that the police were after him, but refused to elaborate further. Court documents state that Moquino asked his girlfriend to take him and the kids to his brother’s apartment in Mesa.

Authorities responding to the crime scene found G.Z.’s body on the floor in the bathroom shower wrapped in bedsheets and stuffed into an air mattress and, after cutting her out, noticed a deep cut on the back of her head, court documents state. An autopsy revealed that G.Z.’s skull had been fractured and that she had suffered multiple stab wounds on her neck with a screwdriver.

Police arrested Moquino on Sept. 19, 2019, without incident. He was indicted on one count of first-degree murder. Moquino pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter on Feb. 26, 2020, but his sentencing was delayed to March 25, 2022, due to the pandemic and other scheduling factors.

Moquino was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Reach the reporter Perry Vandell at 602-444-2474 or perry.vandell@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @PerryVandell.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phoenix man sentenced to 15 years after bludgeoning a woman to death





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