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Friday, January 27, 2006
Man pleads guilty to murder of Stenson

Associated Press

MESA, Ariz. -- One of two men accused in the kidnapping and murder of Cincinnati Reds prospect Dernell Stenson has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges.

Reginald Riddle, 21, agreed to the plea Thursday to avoid a possible death sentence. He agreed to testify in the trial of his co-defendant, David Griffith, 22, at his September trial. Riddle faces 25 years to life in prison, with or without the possibility of parole, when he is sentenced after Griffith's trial. Griffith still faces capital murder charges.

Riddle and Griffith were charged with kidnapping Stenson as he left a Scottsdale nightclub on the Nov. 5, 2003, and stealing his SUV. Court records allege they drove to nearby Chandler, where Stenson tried to flee the vehicle in a neighborhood. He was shot several times, became tangled in a seatbelt and was dragged more than 1,000 feet.

Stenson, 25, lived in Scottsdale and played for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League at the time of his death.