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Shocking charges in arson/murder case

Zachary Stuart Sutton

Zachary Stuart Sutton

A Yavapai County Superior Court grand jury on Thursday indicted Zachary Stuart Sutton, 24, of Prescott on several charges including first-degree murder per domestic violence in connection with the death of Carey L. Johnson, 44, whose body was found Jan. 12 inside a bedroom in a burnt-out home in the 700 block of Campbell Avenue.

Sutton was also indicted on charges of arson of an occupied structure, one count of necrophilia, two counts of animal cruelty, criminal damage, theft of a means of transportation, one count of tampering with physical evidence, one count of theft and one count of interfering with judicial proceedings.

Sutton's next court appearance will be at 9 a.m. on Feb. 22 in Division Pro Tem B before Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow in Camp Verde, said Penny Cramer, administrative assistant for the Yavapai County Attorney's Office.

According to the Yavapai County Medical Examiner, Johnson, the renter of the home and Sutton's girlfriend, died from multiple stab wounds and was dead before the fire started, said Lt, Andy Reinhardt, spokesman for the Prescott Police Department.

Prescott police detectives arrested Sutton last Wednesday after he "did admit to detectives that he killed her prior to lighting the house on fire," Reinhardt said.

"The individual in custody has had multiple police contacts in the past, an extensive criminal history and previous domestic violence incidents with the victim," Reinhardt said.

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