(Phoenix, Arizona) – In July of 2010, Chandler Police Officer Carlos Ledesma was murdered, and two other officers were injured. The planned armed robbery involved ten co-conspirators, two of whom died that day in addition to Officer Ledesma. The final two defendants to be held accountable for the acts of violence that day, Corey Royalty (9/71) and Jerry Cockhearn (10/84), were sentenced on Friday, July 12, 2022.
Royalty and Cockhearn were involved in the 2010-armed robbery that involved undercover Chandler Police Narcotics Detectives. Corey Royalty was sentenced to 43 years to life in prison with the possibility of release after 43 years served. Jerry Cockhearn was sentenced to 38 years to life in prison with the possibility of release after 38 years served.
In May of this year, a Maricopa County Jury found both defendants guilty of eight felony counts, including three counts of First-Degree Murder.
“The death or injury of any officer in this community is a tragedy. The men and women of law enforcement put their life on the line every day to keep our community safe but, the reality that some may not return home at the end of a shift is occurring all too often in Maricopa County,” stated County Attorney Rachel Mitchell. “Ensuring that these dangerous individuals will not be allowed to walk the streets where these brave officers were gunned down is possible because of the hard work by Chandler Police and Prosecutors in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and the patience and grace of these officers’ families. I applaud their efforts and pray for the family of Officer Ledesma who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan and Detective Ledesma’s widow were in the courtroom to witness the sentencing.
"Holding those responsible for the murder of Chandler Police Detective Carlos Ledesma has been a frustrating and emotional process," said Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan. "Twelve years later, the Ledesma family and the men and women of the Chandler Police Department finally have a sense of closure."