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Phoenix police: 'More questions than answers' in Liddle stabbing
William Liddle is due back in court on June 1 to learn how much time he will spend behind bars for fraud two weeks after being stabbed in the chest only a few minutes before his sentencing originally had been scheduled.
According to a report by the Phoenix Fire Department, emergency medical services responded to a call to Liddle's Phoenix home about 12:50 p.m. Monday. Liddle was found sitting upright with a minor stab wound to his chest. He was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he was treated and released at 2:52 p.m. the same day.
Liddle was to have been in U.S. District Court before Judge Susan Bolton at 1:30 p.m. Monday for sentencing. A jury in February found Liddle, former vice president of business lending for AEA Federal Credit Union, guilty of 54 counts of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering in a case that led to the financial institution's conservatorship.
Liddle's wife, Rhonda, was sentenced Monday as scheduled to 12 months of home incarceration and five years of supervised release for her role in the case.
An FBI agent interviewed Liddle while he was at the hospital, his attorney David Eisenberg, wrote in a document he filed Tuesday with the court. Eisenberg related that a Phoenix police officer assigned to the emergency room also informed him that an FBI agent had been at the hospital inquiring about Liddle.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix Police Department has a number of questions about the incident.
“Safe to say, we have more questions than answers,” said Sgt. Trent Crump.
“We don't know what happened,” Crump said Wednesday. “And there are no leads.”
He said no new information was revealed during a follow-up interview with Liddle on Wednesday. “We're still getting extremely limited information.”
Crump said police know that Liddle delayed calling 911, and in the meantime he had pulled out the knife, changed his shirt and talked to his wife and attorney.
Potential witnesses in the neighborhood were interviewed, Crump said, “but we haven't been able to locate anyone who saw or heard anything.”
The responding officer became aware that Liddle was supposed to be in court for his sentencing.
The house was searched and a note was found in which Liddle talked about taking care of some personal matters, Crump said. However, he added, “we don't know the purpose.”
Liddle told police who responded to the scene that he had been working on the fence in the alley of his home when an arm came through the fence and he was stabbed. He didn't provide any suspect information. The 3- or 4-inch knife was recovered and is in the police crime lab.
In court Monday, Eisenberg told the judge that he understood his client had been hit on the head and when he came to, found he had been stabbed.
But the Phoenix Fire Department made no mention of a head wound to Liddle.
“We are continuing our investigation,” Crump said. “We don't know if the stabbing is related to the fraud.”
A restitution hearing is set for June 19 for William and Rhonda Liddle and co-defendant Frank Ruiz.
The Phoenix Fire Department report and the court order rescheduling Liddle's sentencing are posted online at yumasun.com.
Joyce Lobeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6853. Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YSJoyceLobeck or on Twitter at @YSJoyceLobeck.