Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
alert-–-‘gilbert-goons’-victim-preston-lord’s-family-break-their-silence-to-slam-gang-for-‘violently-extinguishing-his-life’-in-brutal-beating-outside-party-–-as-police-defend-bungling-probe-into-the-teen’s-murderAlert – ‘Gilbert Goons’ victim Preston Lord’s family break their silence to slam gang for ‘violently extinguishing his life’ in brutal beating outside party – as police DEFEND bungling probe into the teen’s murder

The parents of an Arizona 15-year-old who was allegedly beaten to death by a gang of teens have broken their silence, slamming his killers for ‘extinguishing his life.’

Preston Lord died two days after being attacked outside a Halloween party and left on a road in Queen Creek- a Phoenix suburb. Seven teens and young men believed to be linked to a gang called the ‘Gilbert Goons’ were charged with his murder last month.

His parents Nick Lord and Autumn Curiel told PEOPLE that Preston’s murder represents a ‘parent’s worst nightmare.’

‘Preston Lord was a beloved son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, uncle, and friend to many – always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He was doing the right thing but was in the wrong place at the wrong time, in a neighborhood where he had always felt safe,’ the parents’ statement, through their lawyers, said.

‘The emptiness left in his absence is a constant reminder of the easygoing and generous soul they lost. Preston was a National Honor student, student council member, and three-sport athlete.  He was looking forward to his basketball tryouts the following Monday. Instead, his life ended violently, extinguishing all his potential.’

The parents’ emotional statement comes amid outrage over the five months it took police to make any arrests, with Queen Creek Police Chief Randy Brice defending his department’s probe in an interview with Arizona’s Family.

Preston Lord's parents have broken their silence, slamming his killers for 'extinguishing his life.' Preston's dad Nick Lord is seen with the teen's stepmother Melissa Ciconte

Preston Lord’s parents have broken their silence, slamming his killers for ‘extinguishing his life.’ Preston’s dad Nick Lord is seen with the teen’s stepmother Melissa Ciconte 

Preston was assaulted by a group at a Halloween party on October 28

Preston was assaulted by a group at a Halloween party on October 28

The parents' statement comes amid outrage over the five months it took police to make any arrests, with Queen Creek Police Chief Randy Brice defending his department's probe

The parents’ statement comes amid outrage over the five months it took police to make any arrests, with Queen Creek Police Chief Randy Brice defending his department’s probe

‘I hope people see through [the police report] that this was lightning fast, we moved very, very quickly. I know it did not feel that way but this was a very rapid response,’ Brice said. 

Within a week of the murder, police obtained search warrants and had the names of the primary suspects, as well as evidence that they discussed deleting pictures and bought burner phones days after Preston was killed, according to their report.

The teen suspects allegedly threatened witness before they turned on each other, with one saying he wanted the $10,000 reward offered by police. 

When asked why the delay in arrests, Brice said: ‘An arrest is not enough, it’s a conviction that we are looking for.’

In the weeks after Preston’s murder, one of the suspects, 17-year-old Talan Renner, was allowed to keep playing football after police served him with a warrant at his charter high school.

The seven suspects in Preston Lord's murder from top left to bottom right: Jacob Meisner, Talan Renner, Taylor Sherman, Treston Billey, Talyn Vigil, Dominic Turner, William Owe Hines

The seven suspects in Preston Lord’s murder from top left to bottom right: Jacob Meisner, Talan Renner, Taylor Sherman, Treston Billey, Talyn Vigil, Dominic Turner, William Owe Hines

Talan was seen as the running back for the American Leadership Academy in Gilbert on November 17 and was awarded ‘player of the game’.

The school initially told 12News they allowed him to star because at the time there was no evidence or arrests against any of their students. 

But it has since emerged that in the week before the game police served a search warrant for his phone and DNA while he was on the school campus.

Head football coach and athletic director Randy Ricedorff was fired in January after the scandal broke.

It took five months, but Renner, Dominic Turner, 20, Talyn Vigil, 17, Taylor Sherman, 19, Jacob Meisner, 17, William Hines, 18, and Treston Billey, 18, were arrested in March and all charged as adults.

Talan Renner, one of seven teens and young men charged with Preston's murder, was awarded the honor of Player of the Game on November 17 - two weeks after Preston was assaulted

Talan Renner, one of seven teens and young men charged with Preston’s murder, was awarded the honor of Player of the Game on November 17 – two weeks after Preston was assaulted

Aside from police showing up at his school, there was more evidence pointing to Talan as a suspect in Preston's murder, as revealed by the police report into the case

Aside from police showing up at his school, there was more evidence pointing to Talan as a suspect in Preston’s murder, as revealed by the police report into the case

A police report reveals that Talan’s parents, who have been accused of trying to help cover up his involvement in the murder, pulled him out of school early on October 31.

Talan’s parents told the school he was being called a murderer on social media and he did not return to school for the rest of the week.

On November 2, the dean of students at ALA Gilbert North contacted the Queen Creek police department to share that students were talking about Talan’s involvement in the murder. 

But by November 6, Talan was back in school, where he was approached by detectives, who took his cellphone, photographs and DNA. Court documents noted Talan had ‘minor discoloration to his right and left hands on the knuckles and a small cut on his left hand near his wrist area.’

Police were informed at the time that Talan’s father Travis Renner had obtained a lawyer and was not allowing the teen suspect to speak with detectives. 

Aside from police showing up at his school, there was more evidence pointing to Talan as a suspect in Preston’s murder, as revealed by the police report into the case.

Talan reportedly boasted to Snapchat friends after throwing ‘hammer punches’ on Preston.

He allegedly wrote: ‘I got in a fight, a big group fight and I accidentally killed a kid. I guess I’m just too strong.’

Police records allege one unnamed boy danced on the dying teen’s body shortly after the beating, while others performed ‘humping’ – simulated rape acts – to further degrade their victim. 

Newly-released communications said to be between Talan and friends offer a chilling insight into the aftermath of the deadly beating, AZFamily reported.

Talan allegedly couldn’t help but brag after Lord was killed, texting fellow suspect Taylor Sherman to say: ‘I might have hospitalized that kid. I hit him pretty hard.’

The millionaire gym owners’ son is also said to have shown a video of the fatal beating he’d recorded on his phone to friends while declaring: ‘Oh, I put this kid on life support.’

Arizona businessman Travis Renner has been accused of trying to help his teen son cover up the murder

Arizona businessman Travis Renner has been accused of trying to help his teen son cover up the murder 

Travis Renner's other son Kyler has been charged in connection with two gang attacks at a parking garage and a house party in 2022

Travis Renner’s other son Kyler has been charged in connection with two gang attacks at a parking garage and a house party in 2022

More messages were sent two days after the attack. ‘Bro, that kid died,’ one said. ‘Tresty or Talan might be getting charged with murder,’ said another – referencing Treston Billey, who had allegedly stomped on Preston’s head.

All seven suspects have pleaded not guilty, but not before Talan Renner’s parents allegedly tried to plot an escape from justice for their son.

Talan’s father Travis Renner allegedly tried hide evidence from the night of the beating and shift blame to another boy with a similar name.

Ashley Reynolds, who worked for Talan’s father Travis Renner, has claimed she was an unwilling participant in a coverup that allegedly began as soon as Preston was critically injured.

The former employee at Relentless Media Agency told Arizona Republic that her bosses Renner and Adam Kifer, CEO of Relentless Media Agency, openly discussed their plans to hide evidence and shift blame on another boy with a ‘similar name.’

Travis Renner and his business partner reportedly plotted to bring Talan to a cabin until the injuries he sustained while handing out the beating healed. Detectives recorded that Renner’s family had ‘financial means to aid in fleeing to Mexico’ and he was taken out of the Phoenix area after the attack on Preston.

Police are seen trying to raid Renner's family home to execute an arrest warrant earlier this month, only to find no one there

Police are seen trying to raid Renner’s family home to execute an arrest warrant earlier this month, only to find no one there 

On March 7, Talan Renner's parents Becky and Travis Renner were escorted through a back exit of the Durango Juvenile Court in Phoenix as they attended their son's first appearance in court

On March 7, Talan Renner’s parents Becky and Travis Renner were escorted through a back exit of the Durango Juvenile Court in Phoenix as they attended their son’s first appearance in court

Phoenix police had to apologize earlier this month after Talan’s parents Becky and Travis Renner received special valet parking services from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office cops.

A deputy was seen pulling the millionaire gym owners’ white Tesla Model X into a private car park so they could avoid running a gauntlet of journalists.

Authorities took months to name the suspects, with enraged locals who demanded justice and claimed the young boys’ powerful families were preventing justice from being served.

Renner’s other son Kyler is said to be a violent bully too. He has been charged in connection with two separate gang attacks at a parking garage and a house party in 2022.

Travis Renner was also arrested in January on suspicion of drug possession and paraphernalia charges while his son Kyler was taken into custody over the gang violence claims.

He has not been charged with the alleged cover up attempt.