Jury finds Christopher Clements guilty in Tucson kidnapping and murder of Maribel Gonzalez




  • In US
  • 2022-09-30 23:14:27Z
  • By AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
Maribel Gonzalez (left) disappeared in 2014, and Isabel Celis disappeared in 2012.
Maribel Gonzalez (left) disappeared in 2014, and Isabel Celis disappeared in 2012.  

A jury found Christopher Clements guilty in the disappearance and death of a 13-year-old girl in Tucson in 2014.

Clements, 40, was convicted by a jury Friday at Pima County Superior Court of first-degree murder of an individual under 15 years and kidnapping of an individual under 15 in the death of Maribel Gonzalez.

Gasps of relief could be heard throughout the courtroom Friday afternoon as members of law enforcement as well as Maribel's family and friends witnessed the reading of the verdict after two weeks of hearings.

Meetings to discuss a sentencing date will take place on Oct. 12.

Gonzalez disappeared on the evening of June 3, 2014, while walking to her friend's house. Her body was found stuffed under tires, and her clothes and shoes had been removed.

Family speaks: Teen's mother gives tearful testimony as trial begins for Christopher Clements

According to the Associated Press, Clements is serving a prison sentence of up to 35 years for a Maricopa County burglary in 2017.

During the trial, the prosecution showed that Clements' cell phone was in the location where Maribel was walking as well as where her body was found the night she disappeared.

Trial winds down: Closing arguments heard in trial for man accused of killing 13-year-old Tucson girl in 2014

Clements is also charged with the kidnapping and first-degree murder of 6-year-old Isabel Celis, whose body was identified in 2017, five years after she disappeared. This trial is slated to take place in February.

According to the Associated Press, Clements allegedly told FBI agents he had information on Celis' whereabouts and later led them to her remains, in the hopes of getting his burglary arrest dropped.

He reportedly told authorities he wasn't responsible for her death and only knew where her body was through talking with other inmates.

The bodies of both girls were found just outside of Tucson on Trico and West Avra Valley roads.

Coverage of southern Arizona on azcentral.com and in The Arizona Republic is funded by the nonprofit Report for America in association with The Republic.

Reach the reporter at sarah.lapidus@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Christopher Clements found guilty in Maribel Gonzalez kidnap, murder

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