The widower of a prominent Arizona prosecutor who died shortly after leaving office last year fatally shot his girlfriend and her mother before turning the gun on himself, police said Tuesday.
The Christmas Eve murder-suicide occurred at the home of David DeNitto, husband of the late Maricopa County Prosecutor Allister Adel, authorities said.
DeNitto shot his girlfriend Maryalice Cash, 47, and her mother Cynthia Domini, 83, inside his home near Central Avenue and Bethany Home Road around 11:30 p.m. MST (1:30 a.m. ET Monday), officials said .
Cash and Domini were rushed to the hospital where they died; DeNitto was pronounced dead at the scene from a self-inflicted wound.
Cash and DeNitto were arguing just before shots rang out, police said.
“It was some type of fight, some type of altercation. I don’t know what it was about,” Phoenix police spokeswoman Donna Rossi told NBC News.
DeNitto’s late wife, Adel, was named prosecutor for Arizona’s largest county in 2019 when Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery was appointed to the state’s high court.
The night she won a close 2020 election, Adel was hospitalized with a brain hemorrhage.
Then, in 2021, Adel took time off work to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse and eating disorders. Senior MPs questioned Adel’s ability to lead the office before she resigned on March 25, 2022.
She died on April 30 of the same year following “health complications,” her family said.
“It is impossible to comprehend a tragedy like this,” Maricopa County Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell said in a statement Monday.
“Words cannot adequately express the outpouring of sadness. I ask the community to join me in praying for the affected families and, especially, for the children of Allister,” Mitchell said. “I also ask the community to surround families with love, kindness and respect for the need for privacy.”
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