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The Latest: Victim’s sisters accused of evidence tampering

January 19, 2018

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on nine killings in the Phoenix area that have been linked to the same convicted felon (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

The sisters and girlfriend of a man killed in a series of Phoenix-area shooting deaths have been arrested for taking that victim’s cellphone from the crime scene.

Court documents made public Thursday state that 26-year-old Liliana Vasquez, 24-year-old Griselda Vasquez and 23-year-old Desaree Monique Coronado were arrested last month on charges including hindering prosecution and evidence tampering.

The Maricopa County public defender’s office said Friday that Liliana Vasquez had not been assigned an attorney. The office had no information about attorneys for the other women.

Investigators say upon finding their brother, 25-year-old Jesus Real, shot dead in their Avondale home, the sisters took his cellphone and gave it to Coronado

The trio initially denied having the phone but a search warrant disputed their claims.

Police say Liliana Vasquez was the ex-girlfriend of the suspect, 35-year-old Cleophus Cooksey Jr.

Authorities say he shot Real and eight other people in a three-week span late last year.

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12:35 a.m.

Phoenix police say no single piece of evidence led them to arrest a convicted felon in the shooting deaths of nine people over a three-week span late last year.

They say shell casings, cellphone records, DNA and even a piece of jewelry helped them link 35-year-old Cleophus Cooksey Jr. to the slayings that occurred in Phoenix and two neighboring suburbs.

He was arrested Dec. 17 at a Phoenix apartment where officers found his mother and stepfather. Both had been shot to death.

Cooksey was rebooked Thursday on additional murder charges and other crimes.

Authorities say the victims, who were shot between Nov. 27 and Dec. 17, range in age and gender.

Police are withholding a number of details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Cooksey is being held on $5 million bond.