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Romero agrees to unspecified plea offer

November 22, 2018

KINGMAN — A change of plea hearing was set for a Bullhead City man charged in a January double murder.

Francisco Javier Romero, Jr., 26, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of abandonment of a dead body.

Romero is also charged with 23 other charges in four other cases including armed robbery, forgery, fraud, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct with a weapon, possession of a vehicle with a defaced vehicle identification number and drug charges.

At the request of Romero’s attorney, Randy Craig, Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert set Romero’s change of plea hearing in all five felony cases for Dec. 19. Details of the plea agreement were not made public.

Two of Romero’s codefendants in the murder case, Robin Denise Reid, 50, and Lucas Wayne Shankles, 22, were also in court Monday. Their hearings were continued to Dec. 17, also before Lambert.

Reid and Shankles are charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of kidnapping. Shankles’ murder trial is set to begin March 12, 2019, with a pre-trial hearing set for Feb. 25.

Romero, Reid, Shankles and two others are each charged in the Jan. 10 murders of Mona Carter, 51, and Daryl Ward, 22, both of Bullhead City.

Lamya Lynn Bencheqroun, 27, and Jose Eduardo Vizcara, 29, are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of abandonment of a dead body. Bencheqroun’s next hearing is set for Monday. Vizcara’s next hearing is set for Dec. 17.

Romero is being held on a $10 million bond for the murder charge. Reid and Vizcara are held on a $7.5 million bond. Bencheqroun is held on a $5 million bond. Shankles is being held on a $1.5 million bond.

A sixth co-defendant, Justin Todd Maxwell, 36, is charged with arson of a structure and hindering prosecution.

On Jan. 10, Romero, Bencheqroun, Vizcara and Shankles allegedly duct-taped the victims and drove them in an SUV to the desert east of Fort Mohave. Maxwell reportedly came and picked the suspects up and allegedly burned the SUV.

Carter was found in the SUV with a single gunshot to her head. Ward was found nearby shot three times in the torso, police reported.

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