Double homicide suspect from Arizona captured in Kansas City

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Michael Leday's mugshot courtesy of a news release from the Tucson Police Department.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – On Tuesday night, U.S. Marshals and officers with the Kansas City and Independence police departments established a surveillance perimeter near the Crown Lodge motel. Authorities suspected that a man suspected of a double homicide in Tucson, Arizona was in Kansas City and spotted him near the motel with his girlfriend.

The suspect, identified as 28-year-old Michael Leday, fled into a nearby wooded area. Forty officers searched for him with the aid of K-9 units and a helicopter. After approximately 30 minutes, authorities were able to apprehend Leday without injury to officers or the suspect. They also took his girlfriend , Jessica Terrel, into custody.

Leday is accused of running over two people on New Year’s Day after allegedly assaulting one of the victims first. Tucson police allege that Leday was assaulting 46-year-old Cindy Burnett when 32-year-old Patrick Balbastro came to her aid.

In the process of the altercation, police say that Leday got behind the wheel of Balbastro’s vehicle and intentionally ran them over. Both Balbastro and Burnett were killed and Balbastro’s girlfriend was also critically injured.

A news release indicates that Leday fled the scene in Balbastro’s vehicle and left it after hitting a tree. He was then said to have traveled to Kansas City by bus on January 2 and Terrel did the same and reunited with him on January 13.

Leday has been held in detention in Kansas City on a charge of being a fugitive from out-of-state and he awaits extradition back to Arizona. Terrel was arrested for fleeing and failure to obey law enforcement.

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