Archive for September 14th, 2011

Baseline Killer Trial Update

Some time around 9 p.m. on June 29, 2006, Jose Reyes was talking on the phone to his girlfriend, Carmen Miranda, who was vacuuming the inside of her car at a car wash on Thomas Road near 29th Street.

Suddenly, Reyes heard a deep voice on Miranda’s side of the call, but because he doesn’t speak English well, he could make out the words, “Give me,” but not what the man wanted her to give. Then he heard Miranda scream and the line went dead.

Reyes called her back, but when Miranda didn’t answer, Reyes called her son, Jaime Coronado Miranda, to see if he knew which car wash she’d gone to.

Jaime was at a store nearby, and he rushed to the car wash where he found one of the floor mats from his mother’s car.

He raced to the apartment he shared with his mother, and when she wasn’t there, he called police and then headed back to the car wash.

Hours later, police found Miranda dead in her car behind a barbershop a half block away.

She was sprawled on the backseat, with her pants pulled down to her knees and a bullet in her head. Her lip was split and there were grip marks on her arms and legs, showing she had struggled with her killer.

Miranda, 37, was the ninth murder by the “Baseline Killer” and last victim.

Both Reyes and Coronado took the stand Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court to testify in the trial of Mark Goudeau, who prosecutors believe killed Miranda and committed a 13-month series of rapes and robberies. He is charged with 74 felonies in the case and, if convicted of any of the murders, faces a possible death sentence.

He is already serving more than 400 years in prison for sexually assaulting two sisters in south Phoenix in 2005.

Miranda’s abduction was caught on surveillance video. It shows a blurry image of a man racing around the back of her car, grabbing her violently and throwing her in the backseat. Then her car can be seen exiting the car wash.

Police descended on the scene within minutes of the 911 call – they were on hair-trigger alert, given the Baseline Killer’s crimes and a serial-shooting spree that was going on at the same time.

But even though Miranda and her attacker were just 100 yards away, police did not find her in time. Her attacker had vanished.

Goudeau lived just two blocks away.

“Carmen Miranda had no way of knowing that the car wash was just blocks from where a serial predator lived,” prosecutor Patricia Stevens said.

Stevens told the jury Monday that the medical examiner extracted a bullet from Miranda’s head that matched the gun used in all the Baseline killings.

Shortly after the murder, police contacted Goudeau as they canvassed the neighborhood. They’d also culled his name out of thousands of tips that came in through Silent Witness.

He was arrested Sept. 6, 2006, after his DNA was identified on one the rape victims, though it took several more months for police to connect him to the murders.

The prosecution is expected to rest its case next week.
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