Home Local News Man accused of murdering, dismembering man, leaving remains south of Tucson

Man accused of murdering, dismembering man, leaving remains south of Tucson


TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — KGUN 9 Reporter Tina Giuliano will have more details on this developing story tonight at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00.

Police say a man drove a Phoenix man to Tucson and killed him there, then tried to dismember and hide the body.

Phoenix police arrested 45-year-old John Cole in the murder of 28-year-old Antoine Smith.

According to police, Cole kidnapped Smith from his apartment on either Sept. 16 or 17. Family members told police they believed Smith owed a debt connected to Smith that could have led to his disappearance.

Police found Cole driving to California, stopped him and arrested him after finding human remains in the car.

Cole told police he killed Smith in self-defense. He led detectives to a rural area south of Tucson, where more of Smith’s remains were found. Police say Cole bought items meant to dismember and hide Smith’s body.

Cole was booked into Maricopa County Jail and faces charges including first-degree murder.


Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of “Phil on Film” seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star. He is married and has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing phil.villarreal@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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