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Awaiting murder trial, Romero charged with four additional crimes

September 7, 2018

KINGMAN — A Bullhead City man already charged in a January double murder in Fort Mohave pleaded not guilty Wednesday to four unrelated charges.

Francisco Javier Romero, 26, is expected to be arraigned at the county jail on four new felony charges including armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault and misconduct with weapons.

The robbery, assault and weapons crimes allegedly occurred Dec. 24, 2017, at a residence in the 1500 block of East La Paz Way in Fort Mohave, according to the indictment.

Romero’s next hearing in the murder case before Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert is set for Sept. 17. Romero is being held on a $10 million bond for the murder charge.

Romero is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of abandonment of a dead body. He is charged in the Jan. 10 murders of Mona Carter, 51, and Daryl Ward, 22, both of Bullhead City.

Romero is charged with 19 other crimes in three other cases including forgery, fraud, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct with a weapon, possession of a vehicle with a defaced vehicle identification number and drug charges.

Two of Romero’s codefendants, Lamya Lynn Bencheqroun, 27, 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.

Two other codefendants, Robin Denise Reid, 49, and Lucas Wayne Shankles, 22, are charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of kidnapping.

A sixth codefendant, 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 a 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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