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Third Man Held in Reds Player’s Death

November 9, 2003

PHOENIX (AP) _ A 20-year-old transient suspected in the death last week of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Dernell Stenson was arrested on Indian land east of Phoenix.

Two other men, half brothers, were already being held in connection with the case, one charged with possession of stolen property and the other held on suspicion of robbery, kidnapping and homicide.

Their relationship to the man arrested Saturday, David Griffith, wasn’t immediately clear. Detectives on Sunday declined to give a detailed account of what happened or identify a motive in the baseball player’s death.

Chandler police spokesman Sgt. Mark Franzen said Sunday that authorities were also investigating another shooting death nearby. Police found the body of Jarrod Waring, 23, of Mesa inside a white Buick two days before Stenson was killed. Waring had been shot in the head.

``We’re looking to see if there is a connection at all,″ Franzen said.

Stenson, who had been playing in the Arizona Fall League, was found dead Wednesday in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler after a night out with friends. He had been shot and run over and apparently dragged by his own SUV.

Griffith was booked Saturday in connection with the theft of that SUV after surrendering to police at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, authorities said. Formal charges had not been filed, and authorities, who call Griffith a suspect in Stenson’s death, declined to say why he wasn’t booked on any other charges.

``We have some jurisdictional issues we need to go through,″ Franzen said. Griffith was being held by tribal police.

Kevin Riddle, 43, who described himself as transient, was stopped by police while driving Stenson’s SUV less than two hours after Stenson’s body was found Wednesday, police said. He was charged late Friday with possession of stolen property and was being held on $10,000 bail.

His 19-year-old half brother, Reginald Riddle of Harvey, Ill., was booked Thursday on suspicion of homicide, armed robbery and kidnapping. He has not yet been formally charged. According to court documents, Reginald Riddle admitted his involvement during interviews with police.

Stenson, 25, made his major league debut with the Reds this year. His funeral was scheduled for Monday in his hometown of LaGrange, Ga.

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