James D. Mullins, the convicted felon who confessed to the September shooting death of a Scottsdale stripper, has recanted his confession.
The development adds a twist to the Baseline Rapist investigation because Phoenix police have reported "indisputable forensic evidence" that links the slaying to the Baseline Rapist, a serial criminal linked to seven sexual assaults and six slayings.
Tempe police Sgt. Dan Masters said Friday that Mullins, who was extradited in January from a McCracken County Jail in Paducah, Ky., after confessing to the murder of Georgia Thompson, 19, of Tempe, recanted his confession late Thursday.
Masters said Mullins changed his story while he was being questioned by Phoenix police detectives, who are working to capture the Baseline Rapist.
"James Mullins has recanted his statements from the murder of Georiga Thompson," Masters said. "He is denying any involvement in her shooting. Obviously, we'll have to dig a little deeper now that he's denying any involvement in what he's been saying for the last seven months."
Phoenix police said they have linked Thompson's homicide on Sept. 8 through physical evidence to the Baseline Rapist. But investigators said they have ruled out Mullins as the Baseline Rapist.
Thompson worked at the Skin Cabaret in Scottsdale, and Mullins said in his confession that he paid her money to have sex, but later killed her in self-defense when she pulled a gun on him.
Police wouldn't say Thursday whether Mullins was with the Baseline Rapist the night Thompson was killed in the parking lot of her Tempe apartment complex.
Mullins is being held in the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail on $500,000 bond on charges of second-degree murder, according to information from the jail, but has pending felony charges in Kentucky, Masters said. He was indicted on the second-degree murder charge in February.
"With this new information coming to light, we're going to have to prove or disprove his recanting of this," Masters said. "Right now, we're a long ways away of deciding whether or not we would release him back to Kentucky."