By Don Smith
Phoenix Police arrested two men in connection with the brutal murder of 17 year old aspiring 2016 Olympic boxing hopeful Alexis Urbina on Friday November 8. Formal charges against the two suspects were filed on Wednesday, 11/13. Urbina was found unconscious on the kitchen floor in his South Phoenix home on September 3 and transported to Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix where he passed two days later as a result of severe trauma to his head which caused his brain to swell three times its' normal size. The charges against the pair of suspects at this time read: 1st degree murder, trafficking stolen property and second degree burglary.
23 year old Joseph Jessie Corrales was the first suspect arrested and he told Channel 3 television reporter Karen Brown,at the Maricopa County Jail facility in Phoenix, that he had nothing to do with the murder, but he did concede that he drove 22 year old Robert Randy Chavez to the Urbina where he allegedly waited outside and heard what sounded like fighting inside the home. Corrales' information led police to the felony arrest of Chavez and both men were booked Friday evening and formally charged on Wednesday, 11/13. The law requires charges be filed within 48 hours after the arrest excluding holidays and weekends.
Phoenix Police SGT Trent Crump (Media Relations Official) told me he believes the motive for the crime was robbery. He used the street slang term "Hit A Lick" in theorizing why the two suspects allegedly entered the house, stole a television set, cell phone, playstation and other personal items including boxing memorabilia. They (suspects) needed fast, easy money, so why not cruise the neighborhood and find a house where nobody was home and grab a few items that could be turned into quick cash.
Unfortunately, "Hit A Lick" scheme came upon an obstacle; Alexis Urbina was home and they allegedly killed the innocent victim during the commission of the crime.
This premise may lay the foundation for the Maricopa County Attorney Office's case against Chavez and Corrales. The prosecution phase is expected to begin in a few days and the state could seek the death penalty depending on mitigating circumstances and the temperament of the court and jury. Bail has been set at $1,000.000.00 and both suspects will remain at the 4th Avenue Jail in Phoenix until the prosecution phase is completed. I forwarded a request to interview the incarcerated subjects, but that request was denied by the defense team. I wasn't surprised.
The criminal investigation is still ongoing, but at this time there isn't reason or evidence to conclude that others participated in the crime. However, Andrew Soto (Alexis Urbina's Trainer and brother in law), in remarks made to Phoenix television reporter William Pitts (NBC affiliate-channel 12) on Saturday 11/9; the distraught boxing mentor expressed doubt that the two men charged with the crime acted alone. Soto suggested that someone else wrote the script and deployed Chavez and Corrales to carry out the act. He wasn't able to support his theory with evidence, but he looked and sounded convinced that others are also responsible for the crime. Alexis's mother is on record stating "God may forgive the two suspects, but I can't." Closure for the Urbina family will take time.
What is known about Chavez and Corrales is attributed to online mug shot info, brief police profiles and published tidbits. Chavez is 23 and Corrales is 22. Both men are Hispanic males. Corrales stands at 5' 11" and weighs 198 lbs. Chavez is 5' 9" tall and weighs 155 lbs. Corrales pleaded guilty to burglary in 2009. Chavez was arrested in Phoenix, 10-19-2013 for failure to take care of outstanding warrants, he was released on his own recognizance. His arrest on 11/8 marks the fourth time this year he has been booked by police authorities. Twice in Nevada and 2 times in Phoenix. Corrales attended high school in Phoenix and both men were living in the South Phoenix area at the time the crime was committed.
A very special thank you to the individuals who called the Phoenix Police after both suspects tried to sell the victim's property to random Phoenix residents. The big break came when witnesses recognized pictures of Alexis on the victim's IPhone and immediately did the right thing by calling authorities after the thieves left.
Their capture was a team effort. At least 400 flyers were placed in the hands of volunteers with instructions to post them around Phoenix on windows of consenting area businesses including boxing gyms. USA Boxing Arizona Chief of Officials (Richard Soto) publicized the search at local boxing tournaments and allowed flyers to passed out during the events. The boxing community was fabulous in the pursuit of Justice for Alexis. And last, but not least, Kevin McCabe, NBC Sports Radio AM 1060-Phoenix and socially conscious parent. It was Kevin who persuaded CBS Outdoors to donate billboard space near the scene of the crime. Kevin and other journalists deserve a standing O for representing the "Fourth Estate" proudly.