PHOENIX, AZ (December 19, 2012) – An accused armed robber who later tried to orchestrate the murder of one of his victims has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for his crimes. Shaun Tonge (D.O.B. 6/4/86) will also spend four years on probation following his release, under the terms of the sentence imposed yesterday by the Honorable Roger Brodman.
“This sentence removes a menacing criminal from our streets who sought to escape responsibility for his violent acts,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “I commend our law enforcement partners for successfully thwarting an attempt by this defendant to cause further harm to his victim and our community,” he added.
On May 19, 2010, an unidentified armed robber stole a personal vehicle and handgun from an off-duty Phoenix Police Officer in Glendale. Three days later, Tonge burglarized a residence in Phoenix while armed with the stolen handgun. During the burglary, the female resident returned home to find Tonge carrying a sack containing her personal property. He demanded her laptop computer and then struck her in the head multiple times with the handgun. The victim was able to run outside and call 911 for help. Tonge’s accomplice, Shanna Lee Parent, A.K.A. Shannon Ladue (D.O.B. 9/5/78), was waiting nearby in a vehicle and drove away without him after seeing the commotion. Tonge hid in a garbage can in an alley a block away, but was found and arrested by police officers searching the area with a canine unit. At the time of his arrest, Tonge was wearing a wedding ring belonging to the off-duty officer who was robbed three days before.
While in custody awaiting trial on multiple counts of Armed Robbery and Aggravated Assault, Tonge conspired with Shanna Parent and another man to murder the female victim he had robbed and attacked. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office uncovered the conspiracy and successfully introduced an undercover officer into the plot who acted as a hit man for hire. Tonge called the undercover officer from a jail phone and offered him $1000 to kill the victim, believing that if she did not appear in court he would be released. Parent later drove the undercover officer past the victim’s house and introduced him to two other men who sold him several weapons that had been stolen from Yavapai County. Parent promised to pay the officer a $500 down payment and provide him with a revolver to commit the murder. Sheriff’s Deputies arrested her on October 5, 2010. The victim was notified of the plot and not harmed.
Parent pled guilty to one count of Attempted First Degree Premeditated Murder and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Tonge was additionally charged with Attempted First Degree Premeditated Murder. Immediately prior to opening arguments in his trial, Tonge asked to change his plea to guilty to the Attempted Murder charge and one count of Armed Robbery. Judge Brodman sentenced him to 12.5 years on each count, to be served consecutively.