Man arrested in death of missing AZ MMA fighter

by Jamar Younger | source: azstarnet.com
 

27-year-old Arizona professional mixed martial arts fighter and Rage in the Cage veteran Todd M. Whitzel was last seen at a little neighborhood bar called “The Wagon Wheel” in Picture Rocks, Ariz., a subdivision on the outskirts of Tucson, at closing time Thursday evening, May 12, 2011 ... or into very early Friday, May 13, 2011

Whitzel was involved in an altercation at the bar and was told to leave. His friend Nick and he both exted the bar. Whitzel was involved in an altercation with two men outside the bar, when a group of men from inside came out and joined in. At this point, apparently a gun was pulled by a friend of Whitzel’s to keep the crowd at bay, giving Whitzel time enough to escape on his 2007 Harley Davidson Dyna Low Rider motorcycle, with his friend on the back.

According to the friend Nick, Whitzel dropped him off at his home about four minutes away. He asked Whitzel to stay but he declined and said he needed to go. That was the last anyone has seen or heard from Todd Whitzel.

His girlfriend made a call to his mobile phone at 3:01 a.m. early Friday morning, May 13. The phone was answered and she stayed on the call for 23 minutes calling out for Whitzel but all she could hear was the motorcycle, until finally, the bike shut off and she heard a dog bark but there was still no response.

She hung up and repeatedly tried to call back to no avail until around 5:30 a.m. when either Whitzel’s phone was shut off or the battery went dead.

No further sign of Whitzler was found fro two weeks when two men out shooting guns in the desert came across Todd's 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle. It was turned on it's side and completely torched. 

Now word comes that a suspect has been arrested, and a body found.

A 23-year-old man was arrested Thursday in connection with the death of a Marana man who had been missing since May, authorities said.

Nick Phillip Rogers was booked into the Pima County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder after authorities connected him to the death of Todd Mike Whitzel, 27, said Deputy Dawn Barkman, a Pima County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman.

Whitzel's family reported him missing to the Marana Police Department on May 15, Barkman said in a news release.

Detectives recently received information that led them to believe Whitzel was slain. Detectives went to an area near the 8000 block of North Razorback Road in Avra Valley Wednesday, and found what they believe to be Whitzel's remains.

Detectives continue to investigate, but did not provide details on the cause of death because of the investigation.

According to a search warrant affidavit, detectives received information that Whitzel might have been shot and his body burned in the desert.

No other arrests have been made.

Read entire article...

It is unknown if the Nick Phillip Rogers who was arrested is the same Nick who said he had driven him home after the fracas.

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tags: Todd Whitzel   



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Recent Comments »

Gator Choke site profile image  

11/30/11 11:25 PM by Gator Choke

 This story gets more and more fucked up.. RIP Todd.

Gator Choke site profile image  

11/30/11 11:25 PM by Gator Choke

 This story gets more and more fucked up.. RIP Todd.

Bat21 site profile image  

11/30/11 3:34 PM by Bat21

^^Interesting developments, to be sure. 

Bat21 site profile image  

11/30/11 3:34 PM by Bat21

^^Interesting developments, to be sure. 

kerino1 site profile image  

11/30/11 3:06 PM by kerino1

***UPDATE***A Tucson woman was indicted Monday on two felony charges alleging she threatened a witness in a homicide case.Virginia Rose Hudson is charged with influencing a witness and conspiracy and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Pima County Superior Court.Hudson and a teen boy are accused of threatening a man who is a witness in the state’s case against Nick Phillip Rogers, who is charged in the death of Todd Mike Whitzel, 27, said Deputy Erin Gibson of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.The teen is facing similar charges in juvenile court, Gibson said.Whitzel's family reported him missing to Marana police May 15.Pima County sheriff’s detectives spoke with a man on Oct. 12 who told them that Rogers, 23, and Whitzel were at the Wagon Wheel Bar near Picture Rocks and Sandario Road around May 12 when they got into an argument with another group of people, according to court documents. Rogers pulled a gun on the group and then fled on the back of Whitzel’s motorcycle to a home on West Picture Rocks Road, the man said.The man told detectives Whitzel fell off his motorcycle, hit his head and became delirious. They were also told Rogers decided to kill Whitzel because Whitzel “had threatened all of their lives over a drug debt.”The man said he heard two or three gunshots while he was outside smoking a cigarette and Rogers came outside shortly afterward saying he’d killed Whitzel.He also told detectives he and Rogers wrapped Whitzel in a blanket, burned and buried Whitzel’s body in a shallow grave and set a couch and Whitzel’s motorcycle on fire.Whitzel’s body was found in Avra Valley on Oct. 12 based on what the informant told detectives and Rogers was arrested Oct. 13.The Arizona Daily Star is not naming the man who spoke with police because he has not been charged with a crime.It is unclear how Hudson is related to Rogers or how her alleged victim is connected to the case as he is not the man who spoke with police.A call to Hudson’s attorney, Assistant Pima County Public Defender Michael Rosenbluth, wasn’t immediately returned.Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or kimsmith@azstarnet.comRead more: http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/tucson-woman-accused-of-threats-to-homicide-case-witness/article_dd7bb914-1b80-11e1-8b60-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1fDlXnEIM

kerino1 site profile image  

11/30/11 3:06 PM by kerino1

***UPDATE***A Tucson woman was indicted Monday on two felony charges alleging she threatened a witness in a homicide case.Virginia Rose Hudson is charged with influencing a witness and conspiracy and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Pima County Superior Court.Hudson and a teen boy are accused of threatening a man who is a witness in the state’s case against Nick Phillip Rogers, who is charged in the death of Todd Mike Whitzel, 27, said Deputy Erin Gibson of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.The teen is facing similar charges in juvenile court, Gibson said.Whitzel's family reported him missing to Marana police May 15.Pima County sheriff’s detectives spoke with a man on Oct. 12 who told them that Rogers, 23, and Whitzel were at the Wagon Wheel Bar near Picture Rocks and Sandario Road around May 12 when they got into an argument with another group of people, according to court documents. Rogers pulled a gun on the group and then fled on the back of Whitzel’s motorcycle to a home on West Picture Rocks Road, the man said.The man told detectives Whitzel fell off his motorcycle, hit his head and became delirious. They were also told Rogers decided to kill Whitzel because Whitzel “had threatened all of their lives over a drug debt.”The man said he heard two or three gunshots while he was outside smoking a cigarette and Rogers came outside shortly afterward saying he’d killed Whitzel.He also told detectives he and Rogers wrapped Whitzel in a blanket, burned and buried Whitzel’s body in a shallow grave and set a couch and Whitzel’s motorcycle on fire.Whitzel’s body was found in Avra Valley on Oct. 12 based on what the informant told detectives and Rogers was arrested Oct. 13.The Arizona Daily Star is not naming the man who spoke with police because he has not been charged with a crime.It is unclear how Hudson is related to Rogers or how her alleged victim is connected to the case as he is not the man who spoke with police.A call to Hudson’s attorney, Assistant Pima County Public Defender Michael Rosenbluth, wasn’t immediately returned.Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or kimsmith@azstarnet.comRead more: http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/tucson-woman-accused-of-threats-to-homicide-case-witness/article_dd7bb914-1b80-11e1-8b60-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1fDlXnEIM

Chris Black site profile image  

10/31/11 5:55 PM by Chris Black

That makes no sense, right?Because if the altercation took place before the victim and "Nick" rode away together on the motorcycle, that clearly shows they were on the same side.If what was posted is correct, the story is.... the victim and the victim's friend, "Nick", get into an altercation at a biker bar. "Nick" then pulls a gun on the men arguing with the victim. The victim and "Nick" then get on the the victim's motorcycle and ride away. "Nicks" story to police is he was dropped off a few minutes after the altercation at the bar, and stating he wanted his friend (the victim) to stay for a bit, but he had to go. The victims motorcycle was then found abandoned in the desert 2 weeks after going missing. The the victim's body is found now 6 months later from a tip, and "Nick" is allegedly guilty.I don't think the victim would give "Nick" a ride home right after a heated argument, unless they were on the same side. TTT for details

Chris Black site profile image  

10/31/11 5:55 PM by Chris Black

That makes no sense, right?Because if the altercation took place before the victim and "Nick" rode away together on the motorcycle, that clearly shows they were on the same side.If what was posted is correct, the story is.... the victim and the victim's friend, "Nick", get into an altercation at a biker bar. "Nick" then pulls a gun on the men arguing with the victim. The victim and "Nick" then get on the the victim's motorcycle and ride away. "Nicks" story to police is he was dropped off a few minutes after the altercation at the bar, and stating he wanted his friend (the victim) to stay for a bit, but he had to go. The victims motorcycle was then found abandoned in the desert 2 weeks after going missing. The the victim's body is found now 6 months later from a tip, and "Nick" is allegedly guilty.I don't think the victim would give "Nick" a ride home right after a heated argument, unless they were on the same side. TTT for details

Clay Morrow site profile image  

10/23/11 11:33 PM by Clay Morrow

So his "friend" killed him?

Clay Morrow site profile image  

10/23/11 11:33 PM by Clay Morrow

So his "friend" killed him?