Crime Wave

Officers juggle slew of cases


A busy, violent weekend and a flurry of court activity produced a mini-crime wave in Rim Country.

The cases included reported break-ins by aimless Star Valley teens, a case of violence and bondage, and court actions on a drugged up felon with guns and a violent man who tried to run his girlfriend off the road.

Domestic violence case

One of the most dangerous cases of the weekend ended with the arrest of a Star Valley man for reportedly tying up a woman and threatening her with a knife.

Travis Squire Hill, 34, faces a slew of charges after authorities say he assaulted his ex-girlfriend who had an order of protection against him.

The Payson Police initially went to the woman’s work this weekend after Hill reportedly showed up and caused a disturbance. By the time officers arrived, Hill was gone.

On Sunday, the woman called police and said there was more to the story than what had occurred at her work. She told officers that on Friday, Hill had been at her Star Valley home drinking when he accused her of seeing one of his friends, said Lt. Tim Scott with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman denied the claim, but Hill was so angry he bound the woman’s legs and hands, dragged her into the bedroom and threatened her with a knife, Scott said.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office and PPD got a search warrant for the woman’s home and working together arrested Hill without incident Sunday.

He was arrested on charges of kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a victim restrained, aggravated assault in violation of an order of protection, threats to cause physical injury or property damage, intentional injury to another, endangerment, interfering with judicial proceedings, preventing the use of a phone in an emergency and aggravated domestic violence.

Hill was booked into the Gila County Sheriff’s Office Payson Jail.

Hill was found guilty of assault in 2008 and 2009, theft in 2010, disorderly conduct in 2012 and 2013 and DUI in 2013, according to online court records.

Star Valley burglaries

A group of juveniles is facing charges after reportedly going on a shoplifting and burglary spree Sunday in Star Valley.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office has so far arrested and charged one 18-year-old for his part in the bender and plans to charge three juveniles soon.

The sheriff’s office got the first call of shoplifting in the Star Valley area about 3 a.m. Sunday.

From there, the calls continued until after 5 p.m. when the group was finally caught.

Authorities believe the group stole items from the Circle K and damaged property at the Haught Pit and a rental center.

At 5:20 p.m., an employee from the rental center reportedly heard a disturbance going on, found the group in the yard and held them there until officers arrived, said Lt. Tim Scott with the GCSO.

Deputies contacted the group and they admitted responsibility for the burglary and damages.

The three juveniles were turned over to their parents with juvenile referrals. Daniel Foster, 18, of Star Valley was arrested on charges of shoplifting, defacing property used for religious purposes and third degree burglary.

Scott said the juveniles would likely face criminal damages charges as well.

Felon with a gun

A 39-year-old man will spend 4.5 years in prison after police found him high on methamphetamine and in possession of a firearm with no serial number.

Daniel Hukill, 39, was already a convicted felon when Payson Police found him at a Payson home in May of 2013 with drugs, paraphernalia and a gun.

Hukill’s past felony convictions include stealing a vehicle, possessing marijuana and narcotics.

At the time Payson officers found him, he was on probation out of Maricopa County for felony burglary.

As a felon, Hukill cannot possess a firearm. The gun Hukill had was altered to conceal its serial number, according to Duncan Rose, who prosecuted the case for the Gila County Attorney’s Office.

Hukill also tested positive for meth.

Under the terms of a plea deal with the county, Hukill pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm for a stipulated term of 4.5 years.

Rammed her car

A man that rammed a vehicle holding his fleeing girlfriend and their two children has pleaded guilty to domestic violence and aggravated assault.

Charles Deburger, 35, faces a mandatory prison sentence of up to 7.5 years and up to three years of supervised probation when Judge Gary Scales sentences him in Globe on March 17.

On Sept. 22, 2013, Deburger and his live-in girlfriend got in an argument and shortly thereafter, she got into a car with their two children and headed toward Payson from Jakes Corner, said Shawn Fuller, chief deputy with the Gila County Attorney’s Office.

Deburger followed in his car and rammed their vehicle.

A northbound motorist on Highway 87 called police. So did one of the children inside the car driven by Deburger’s girlfriend.

Payson Police stopped Deburger and arrested him. No one in either vehicle was injured.


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