Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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John M. CRUZ





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: To avoid arrest
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: May 26, 2003
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: February 13, 1970
Victim profile: Patrick Kent Hardesty, 40 (police officer)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Pima County, Arizona, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on May 10, 2005

INMATE 194940


On May 26, 2003, Cruz murdered Officer Patrick Hardesty, an on-duty law enforcement officer with the Tucson Police Department.

Officer Hardesty had responded to a traffic collision in which Cruz’s vehicle struck another vehicle. Cruz fled the scene and Officer Hardesty and other officers located him inside a nearby apartment.

Cruz told the Officers that his name was Frank White and led the Officers to a vehicle parked outside the apartment complex to get identification.

Instead of producing his identification, Cruz escaped, sneaking through a hole in a fence right next to the apartments. Officer Hardesty began chasing Cruz on foot while another officer ran back to his police car and drove in the direction that Officer Hardesty was chasing Cruz.

Cruz shot and killed Officer Hardesty before the other officers arrived. Cruz fired four shots, including shots to the head and adbomen, from point-blank range.



Presiding Judge: Hon. Ted B. Borek

Prosecutor: Rick Unklesbay & Thomas Weaver, Jr.

Defense Counsel: Brick Storts & David Basham

Start of Trial: January 19, 2005

Verdict: February 25, 2005

Sentencing: March 10, 2005



Aggravating Circumstances

Murder of a peace officer in the line of duty





[Direct Appeal pending before the Arizona Supreme Court]



Officer Patrick Kent Hardesty

Tucson Police Department Arizona

End of Watch: Monday, May 26, 2003

Biographical Info
Age: 40
Tour of Duty: 13 years
Badge Number: 31432

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Monday, May 26, 2003
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Sentenced to Death

Officer Hardesty was shot and killed while investigating a hit-and-run traffic accident in a midtown neighborhood.

Shortly after arriving at the scene, Officer Hardesty located a suspect and a struggle ensued in which Officer Hardesty was shot five times and fatally wounded. Officer Hardesty was taken by ambulance to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. Responding officers apprehended the suspect after a short foot pursuit. The suspect was found guilty of first degree murder on February 25th, 2005, and was sentenced to death on March 10th, 2005.

Officer Hardesty was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He had been with the Tucson Police Department as a reserve officer for 11 years, and as a full-time officer for 19 months. He is survived by his wife, three children, parents, two sisters, and a brother.






John M. Cruz



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