Convicted killer gets death sentence in triple shooting that left 2 dead

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PHOENIX – A man has received a death sentence for a triple shooting that left two people dead and a third person wounded almost two years ago.

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced on Thursday that Manuel Ovante Jr., 23, had been sentenced to death.

A probable cause filed by authorities indicates Phoenix police received a call about a shooting on June 11, 2008 in the 5100 block of North 24th Avenue. When officers arrived on the scene they found a dead woman and a wounded man.

The body of another male was found miles away from the scene. He was dead from a gunshot wound and police were able to link his shooting death to the first incident.

Ovante was arrested July 2009 and charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault.

Thomas says, “Drug abuse often has deadly consequences and this case is a tragic example. The community owes thanks to the police who made this arrest and the prosecutors who obtained the guilty plea and sentences.”

Detectives were unable to establish a motive but say Ovante knew all three of the shooting victims. He also reportedly admitted to being under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the shootings.

Ovante entered a guilty plea in December of last year. He received a life sentence on February 24 for the man’s death and was given a life sentence for the woman’s death.