A look at alleged cop killer's criminal past

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by Marie Saavedra, 3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 6:32 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 2 at 7:43 AM

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- On a quiet block in Gilbert, the Vinyard family is miles away from the crime scene in Glendale where Officer Brad Jones was shot and killed on Oct. 28, but alleged shooter Ryan Heisler's criminal record links the two with a burglary back in 2009.

"When I got home that day, I just noticed that our TV was kind of twisty and our DVD player was gone," recalled Becky Vinyard. "Then I went over to the computer and our laptop was missing. And I thought I don't know what he's gone and done. "

At first she thought her husband had done some rearranging, but they later learned it was a group of teens who admitted to clearing out their house. Heisler was one of them, who police later caught red-handed.

"For some reason, most likely because he was probably recovering from a drug state, he let them look in his backpack and they found our things," Vinyard said.

Heisler was charged with possession of burglary tools. He served some jail time, but was then put on probation. By all accounts, even Vinyard's, he seemed to be doing well, on the way to turning his life around.

But in October of 2010, he was charged with unlawful imprisonment, for grabbing a woman in a Mesa alley. Heisler's court file shows that family and friends wrote letters in support of him, saying he'd made strides to get off drugs, get a job, and get back on track. He received three years of supervised probation.

He was meeting with his probation officer that Friday night, when he allegedly shot and killed Jones.

Vinyard says she doesn't feel pity, just disappointment that Heisler may have once again made the wrong choice.
 
"It's too bad when you give people like that a chance and a shot and they don't manage to come out of it," she said.

Heisler remains in a Valley hospital.

The Glendale Police Officers Coalition and the Glendale Police Department will be holding a candlelight vigil to honor Jones Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Glendale Public Safety Memorial at Glendale Civic Center Plaza, 5800 W. Glenn Drive. The public is welcome, even encouraged, to attend.

Public visitation will take place Thursday, Nov. 3, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m., at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 12951 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria.

The funeral service will be Friday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m. at Christ's Church of the Valley, 7007 W. Happy Valley Road, Peoria. Jones will be interred immediately after the service at Phoenix Memorial Park, 200 W. Beardsley Road, Phoenix.

A memorial fund has been established for Jones' family. The account number for the Bradley Jones Memorial Fund at Arizona Federal Credit Union is 822633. You also may contribute to the 100 Club of Arizona, which supports the families of officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.


 

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