PHOENIX – An attorney for a man police allege shot nine people to death in the Phoenix area said Friday that his client is innocent and was shocked to hear about the new recommended charges.
"Anyone who did those things is clearly a monster, and I don't think Mark is a monster and I don't think he committed these crimes," attorney Corwin Townsend said of Mark Goudeau.
Townsend said Goudeau "almost slumped over when he heard the news" Thursday that police were recommending that Goudeau be charged with 71 counts, including nine counts of first-degree murder.
Goudeau, 42, has been in custody since September, when he was arrested and charged with two sexual assaults authorities said were linked to the Baseline Killer, who spread terror across the Phoenix area for nearly a year.
Townsend said he is waiting for prosecutors to file additional charges, and probably will begin assembling a defense team after that.
Bill Fitzgerald, a spokesman for the Maricopa County attorney's office, said Friday that formal charges could take some time, but would not provide a specific timeline. "There's a lot to go through," he said.
Police said Thursday that DNA, ballistics and other evidence point to Goudeau, wrapping up what authorities said was the largest investigation in the police department's history.
"On Sept. 6 on this very spot, we stood before you and announced that Mr. Goudeau had been arrested," Mayor Phil Gordon said Thursday. "We couldn't and wouldn't say that we had a serial killer, but the community knew. You knew. And the attacks stopped. Today, we now have the evidence we need."
Aside from the shootings, which left eight women and one man dead between August 2005 and June, Goudeau is a suspect in robberies and eight sexual assaults — not including the two he already has been charged with.
Police have said the Baseline Killer usually struck at night and wore disguises, which included a wig of dreadlocks and a fisherman's hat. The name came from the Phoenix street where some of the earliest crimes were committed.
Goudeau served 13 1/2 years in prison for three aggravated assaults, armed robbery and kidnapping before being paroled in 2004. The former construction worker once blamed his history of violence on a weakness for crack.
The Baseline Killer was one of two serial killer cases that spread fear across the Phoenix area recently.
In August, police arrested two roommates in what was dubbed the Serial Shooter case. The two men are accused of driving around the city and its suburbs at night, firing at people randomly from a car. Seven people were killed.
The defendants are awaiting trial.