PHOENIX, AZ (August 24, 2012) – A deadly family argument over a carton of cigarettes has resulted in a 22-year prison sentence for William Kenneth Null (D.O.B. 1/13/70). Judge Daniel Martin today sentenced Null to the maximum term for second degree murder of his aunt, Cynthia Pesek, plus a concurrent three-and-a-half year term for one count of burglary, followed by four years of probation for a second count of burglary. He will not be eligible for early release.
“While today’s sentence marks a just conclusion to the State’s efforts to hold this defendant accountable for his actions, nothing will ever fully repair the damage done to this family by his brutal and senseless act of violence,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Our hearts go out to the next of kin as they attempt to recover from this horrible tragedy,” he added.
At around 1:00am on November 15th, 2011, Mesa Police responded to a 911 call from an unidentified male caller who stated that a 62 year-old woman had fallen in her residence on Inglewood Avenue and was profusely bleeding from the head. Upon arrival, first responders found Cynthia Pesek lying in a pool of blood in her kitchen, which was spattered with blood. She was pronounced dead. While at the scene, police learned that Pesek shared the residence with her nephew, William Null, who was observed by patrol officers exiting a vacant residence next door and taken into custody.
Null subsequently told investigators that several days prior to his aunt’s death, neighbors purchased a carton of cigarettes for him. Null was not able to reimburse them for the $50 purchase, so Pesek paid the neighbors which triggered a lengthy argument between the two of them. Null admitted to placing the 911 call, but repeatedly stated he did not know how his aunt became injured. A search warrant executed at the residence later uncovered a wooden stake buried in the back yard with a substantial amount of blood on one end. Detectives also found bloody clothing, shoes and a carton of cigarettes in the attic of the vacant residence next door, where Null told investigators he had hidden and watched police and fire units respond to the scene on the night of his aunt’s death.
On November 18, 2011, a Maricopa County Grand Jury indicted Null on one count of first degree murder, two counts of burglary, and one count with tampering with physical evidence. On May 24th, 2012, Null waived his right to a jury trial and agreed to plead guilty to one count of second degree murder and two counts of burglary.