Police taped slayings suspect’s calls - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Police taped slayings suspect’s calls

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Posted: Saturday, July 15, 2006 7:12 am | Updated: 3:26 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Mesa police secretly listened to 27 hours of phone conversations involving Scottsdale resident William Miller in the days between the slayings of five people in Mesa’s Barrington Estates and his arrest on five counts of first-degree murder.

Miller’s attorney, Carmen Fischer, said Friday in Maricopa County Superior Court that the state just recently turned over to her the audiotapes of the calls and almost 2,000 pages of documents.

Fischer’s comments were the first public disclosure of the wiretaps.

The case was first marked by the refusal of authorities to turn over information to defense attorneys and the public as a precaution against retribution for witnesses and to protect the integrity of the investigation.

Last month, the county attorney’s office unsealed about 90 pages of search warrants, affidavits and inventories of items seized from Miller’s home and the crime scene. But the voluminous police report has yet to be released.

Fischer said police tapped two of Miller’s telephone lines after the killings at 2208 S. Barrington. The state believes Miller committed the killings to silence witnesses in an arson case against him, according to court documents.

Slain were Steven Duffy, 30, and his girlfriend, Tammy Lovell, 32, who were former employees of Miller and who became informants against Miller in a Nov. 25 blaze at his home. Also killed were Duffy’s brother, Shane Duffy, 18, and Lovell’s children, Cassandra Lovell, 15, and Jacob Lovell, 10.

Besides the murder and arson cases, Miller is charged with trying to hire four men to commit the slayings.

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