Suspect in New York hotel killing remains in custody without bond in Arizona stabbings

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Raad Almansoori listens during his hearing, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in Maricopa County Superior Court, Phoenix. (Mark Henle, The Arizona Republic via AP)

PHOENIX – A suspect in the killing of a woman at a New York City hotel was indicted Tuesday by a grand jury in Arizona's most populous county in the subsequent stabbing attacks of two women in the Phoenix area.

The Maricopa County Attorney's office announced Raad Almansoori, 26, was indicted on two counts each of attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault, and attempted sexual assault, as well as one count each of attempted armed robbery and theft of means of transportation. The grand jury indictments replace the direct charges filed against Almansoori last week.

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Almansoori is suspected of stabbing an 18-year-old woman at least three times in the neck in a McDonald’s restaurant bathroom in Surprise. Phoenix police have also named Almansoori a suspect in the attack a day earlier on a woman who was stabbed in her car in that city.

The women in both Arizona attacks survived, but New York police say Almansoori is a suspect in the killing of a woman in that city earlier in the month. The body of Denisse Oleas-Arancibia was found by staff on the floor of a hotel room. Officers said her death was determined to have been caused by blunt force trauma to the head and a broken clothes iron was found nearby.

The Arizona Republic reported earlier Tuesday that Surprise police Detective Jeremy Goebel testified during a Monday afternoon hearing that Almansoori told him he wanted to rape and kill sex workers, and kill members of his own family.

Goebel also testified that Almansoori described to him how he tried to kill Oleas-Arancibia at the hotel because he thought she shorted him on time for paid sex, choking her, stomping on her head and putting a sock over her head in an attempt to suffocate her.

Almansoori's defense attorney Dakota Johnson said his client was previously diagnosed with schizophrenia and reported hearing voices in the past.

The Arizona case has sparked a political feud between Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, a Republican, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat.

Mitchell has balked at sending Almonsoori back to New York for prosecution before he is tried in Arizona in the stabbing attacks and implied that Bragg is lax on crime.

Bragg's critics have distorted his record for bringing charges against former President Donald Trump. He has also faced backlash for his office’s decision not to prosecute certain low-level offenses.

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