Ex-con sentenced to life for deadly Arizona shooting rampage
PHOENIX (AP) — An ex-con was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday after pleading guilty to killing one person and wounding five others during a crime rampage in Arizona last year.
Ryan Elliott Giroux, 42, was sentenced after pleading guilty in April to first-degree murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges stemming from the March 2015 shootings in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Margaret Mahoney described Giroux's admission of guilt as practically unheard of for the nearly two dozen charges he faced and sentenced him to 81 years in addition to natural life in prison for committing first-degree murder.
Giroux appeared in court clean shaven with wire-rimmed glasses. He looked on with a stoic expression while his son sat in the benches behind him.
Across the aisle, family of Giroux's victims quietly waited to hear the fate of the man who killed 29-year-old David James Williams.
Giroux declined to speak on his own behalf during the sentencing. His defense attorneys asked the judge to consider that Giroux had mental health issues including bi-polar and schizoaffective disorder, which he was trying to treat in the days before committing the crimes.
"Ryan is not a mean person, he's not a bad person, he's a sick person, who is seriously mentally ill," defense attorney Marci Kratter said.
Prosecuting attorney Stephanie Low said Giroux's remorse and admission of guilt was a "drop in the bucket" compared to the damage he did to the community.
"Your honor the defendant terrorized the west side of Mesa that morning and although these shootings were over in less than half an hour, this community had no way to know it was going to end," Low said.
Prosecutors previously decided not to pursue the death penalty.
The rampage began last March with a multiple shooting inside a motel that left Williams dead and two women wounded. The violence then spilled out into the street where Giroux shot Isaac Martinez, 20, who was working at a nearby restaurant.
Giroux fled the restaurant, carjacked a school instructor's car and drove two miles to a nearby apartment complex. He went inside and shot Donavon Worker, 24. An officer then found Marcus Butler, 25, in a neighboring apartment building with multiple gunshot wounds.
Police swarmed the city in a massive response. The search ended several hours later with Giroux's arrest in a vacant apartment.
Giroux has criminal convictions in three states dating back to 1993. He was convicted in metro Phoenix on theft, burglary and marijuana possession charges. He also was convicted of burglary, theft assault and theft in California and for robbery in Washington.