Thursday, November 6, 2003
Updated: November 7, 2:18 PM ET
Teen arrested on suspicion of murder
PHOENIX -- A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion
of homicide, robbery and kidnapping in the death of Cincinnati Reds
outfielder Dernell Stenson, and police are seeking another suspect.
Stenson's body was found in a street in the Phoenix suburb of
Chandler early Wednesday after a night out with some teammates from
the Arizona Fall League. He had been shot, then run over and apparently dragged some distance by his own SUV.
Reginald Riddle of Harvey, Ill., was arrested late Thursday in
connection with Stenson's death, Chandler police said. Authorities
also were seeking another man, identified as David Griffith, 20.
Reports from The Associated Press that Reginald Riddle had been formally charged with murder were premature. He has not been formally charged.
It was not immediately clear Friday if either man had an
attorney who could comment.
Riddle's half brother Kevin Riddle, 43, was found driving
Stenson's SUV about two hours after the body was discovered, and he
was booked for investigation of possession of stolen property,
Stenson, 25, made his major league debut with the Reds this
year, batting .247 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 37 games.
His last home run accounted for Cincinnati's final run of the
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said he was "terribly saddened
by the sudden and tragic death."
Stenson had been playing in the Arizona Fall League, where
up-and-coming players are sent to hone their skills.
"People are stunned," said Donnie Branch, Stenson's high
school coach in LaGrange, Ga. "In baseball, we've never had a
better player. People in the country hadn't seen that yet and he
was fixing to prove what he really could do."
Mike Gallo, a Houston Astros pitcher and Stenson's teammate on
the Arizona league's Scottsdale Scorpions, said Stenson had a
"He's just one of the most soft-spoken, athletic guys," Gallo
said. "You just wouldn't imagine it could happen to someone like
Gallo said that after a day game on Tuesday, Stenson had gone
out with some teammates "for a few drinks, to relax and just hang
out." Gallo said it was a mystery how Stenson wound up in
Chandler, several miles from the Scottsdale clubs the players
"There's nothing out there," Gallo said. "He had to be forced
into doing it."
In LaGrange, which also produced Mike Cameron of the Seattle
Mariners, Stenson was remembered as a popular all-around athlete.
"He was someone every mother would want their child to be like
-- a great student, a great athlete, a super young man," LaGrange
High School secretary Ellen Batchelor said.