Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Random Recreational Violence: Phoenix's Serial Shooters

Hausner's Trial

Charles Manson
Charles Manson

Hausner denied all charges and struggled to maintain his self-image as a hard-working ladies man. Every once in a while he'd slip and compare himself to Charles Manson or confess his admiration for other serial killers, but mostly he maintained he was just a gun collector who occasionally went shooting out in the desert.

Armed with cell phone records, receipts and his day planner, Hausner tried to prove his whereabouts on the night of each killing, often claiming he was with his sick daughter or his girlfriends, one of whom was indeed a principal in Kyrene Elementary School District. He'd bought groceries an hour before this shooting and then took a bath, he'd arguehe couldn't have had time for a murder that night. He suggested that Dieteman must have been borrowing the car and guns while he innocently slumbered.

Hausner's lawyers Ken Everett and Tim Agan diligently tried to paint Dieteman as the true villain. Dieteman was trying to save himself with his plea bargain, they warned, so his testimony wasn't reliable. After all, the fingerprints on the guns were Dieteman's. Everett tried to show that the killings' geographical pattern followed Dieteman's changes of residence.

Dale Hausner
Dale Hausner
John Kane testified that Hausner had told him about a shooting. Hausner's legal team argued to the jury that Kane, a convicted criminal, was just trying to shorten his own sentence.

The jury ultimately disagreed. Surveillance cameras and witnesses placed the two men at the crime scenes, and Dieteman's testimony was damning. In March 2009, they found Hausner guilty of over 80 crimes, including murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, drive-by shooting, and animal cruelty. He was acquitted, though, of two killings and one of the non-fatal attacks.

Hausner maintained his innocence but ordered his attorneys not to fight the death penalty, saying that his sentence would help the victims' families find peace. He received six death sentences, two terms of life in prison, and hundreds of additional years in prison on the lesser charges.

In June, 2009, his brother, Jeff Hausner was convicted of aggravated assaults in two stabbings, for a total of 18 years. Only Dieteman's fate remained to be decided.

Categories
Advertisement