Mexican charged in traffic death of woman on O'odham land
DAVID L. TEIBELTucson Citizen
A Mexican man has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in the traffic death of a woman last month on the Tohono O'odham Nation, a tribal police detective said this morning.
Susan Bieger-Sharkus, 53, was on her way to Rocky Point when she was fatally broadsided by a pickup hauling 1,500 pounds of marijuana, said Detective Marty Fuentes, head of the Tohono O'odham police vehicular offenses detail.
Jose Miguel Ramirez-Soto, 22, of Culiacan, Mexico, was charged with murder under the felony murder law, which allows for such a charge if someone dies during the commission of certain crimes, such as drug smuggling, even if the person charged was not the actual killer.
Bieger-Sharkus had been driving West Ajo Highway around 5:45 p.m. April 27 when the pickup ran the stop sign at the Federal Route 1 intersection and struck her car, Fuentes said.
Ramirez-Soto was a passenger in the truck believed to have been driven by a relative, Fuentes said. The Tucson Citizen is neither naming the driver nor another passenger, both thought to be hiding in Mexico, as they have not been charged in the case. All three men are believed to have been in the United States illegally, Fuentes said.
Though the trio fled the collision, Ramirez-Soto's injuries prevented his getaway.
He was arrested about 3 pm. Tuesday upon release from Maricopa Medical Center in the Phoenix area and taken to Pima County Jail, Fuentes said.
In addition to the murder charge, Ramirez-Soto also has been booked on suspicion of transportation of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, Fuentes said.