Suspects identified in shooting death of Lefor

The Yavapai Sheriff's Office has identified two Cottonwood teens and one from Glendale as the suspects in the shooting death of Richard Allen Lefor Jr.

Lefore, 22, was killed during a drive-by shooting early Thursday morning at 1810 Donner Trail, just south of Mingus Union High School.

Phong Dinh Nguyen, 17, of Glendale, and two Cottonwood residents, Brittany Janice Bessler, 19, and Terry Sims, 19, are charged in the shooting.

All three were arrested soon after the death was discovered. Sheriff's deputies located Bessler and Sims at Bessler's nearby residence. Nguyen turned himself in at the Glendale Police Department later that day. He was arrested by Yavapai County Sheriff's detectives and transported from Maricopa County Jail to the Yavapai County Juvenile Detention Center.

The shooting reportedly occurred following an argument between the victim and Brittany Bessler earlier during the evening of Feb. 8, according to Scott Reed, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office. There were three other people in the Donner Trail residence when Lefor was struck by one of several shots into the house.

None of the other people in the home was injured.

The Sheriff's Office has refused to divulge further details, but Nguyen appears to be the triggerman, based on the charges. Nguyen, a juvenile, was been remanded as an adult by the court. He is being held on one count of homicide, three counts of aggravated assault, and one count of drive-by shooting. His bond is set at $2 million.

At this time, charges against Bessler and Sims include five counts each of drive-by shooting. They are each being held in Yavapai County Jail on $100,000 bond.

The Cottonwood Police Department and Yavapai County Attorney's Office played major roles in assisting with the crime scene and investigation.


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