Suspect in officer hit-and-run death 'partying' before collision

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Jesus Cabrera Molina, 24 By Mike Gertzman Jesus Cabrera Molina, 24 By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
Jesus Cabrera Molina, 24 By Mike Gertzman Jesus Cabrera Molina, 24 By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The man accused of hitting and killing a Phoenix police officer while driving an SUV was drinking alcohol for hours just before the incident, according to friends of the suspect.

Court documents released Tuesday say an acquaintance of Jesus Cabrera Molina's told investigators with the Phoenix Police Dept. that Molina left his house after drinking and partying, just minutes before the collision occurred.

Several friends told police that Molina was drinking alcohol beginning around 4:00 p.m. on May 18.

The acquaintance's house is near 51st Ave. and McDowell Rd. which is just a few blocks from where Officer Daryl Raetz was run down on May 19, 2013.

The acquaintance told police that he saw Molina get into the driver's seat of the green Ford Expedition with another man who was in the rear seat.

A detective obtained surveillance video of Molina driving through the Camelback Liquor store located at 19th Ave. and Camelback Rd. The time stamp on that video is May 19 at 1:48 a.m. The video clearly shows Molina driving and clearly shows there is no damage to the front of his Ford Expedition.

Police said they found Molina's DNA on the steering wheel of the Ford Expedition and they found Molina's fingerprints on the front bumper.

The DNA from the undercarriage of the suspect's vehicle was matched to Officer Raetz.

After gathering this evidence police attempted to interview Molina again on June 3. He continued to deny his involvement in the collision and requested to speak to an attorney.

The case against Molina

Molina was booked Monday on manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal collision, both class 2 felonies.

Police arrested Molina in May. He is the owner of the SUV believed to be the vehicle that hit and killed Officer Raetz.

Molina was only charged with felony drug possession at the time. He was pulled over by police in El Mirage, Ariz. the day Raetz was killed. Police said Molina had a small baggy of cocaine in his pocket when he was taken into custody

The court paperwork at that time stated that Molina, "is a suspect in a fatal hit and run which resulted in the death of a police officer." It also says that he is in the country illegally and has fled to Mexico in the past. He is being held without bond.

Court paperwork released Tuesday said that Molina admitted to police that he was drinking with friends and was using cocaine. Molina said the damage to the front of his vehicle was from a month ago when he hit a tree while off-roading in the desert near Tonopah.

The Phoenix Police Department announced on that day that the green Ford Expedition involved had been located by Surprise police earlier in the day.

The vehicle had damage to the center of the grill and hood.

Molina is the registered owner of the Ford Expedition. His father told police that his son is the only person who drives the SUV.

Molina was observed in the vehicle by an off-duty police officer approximately 90 minutes after the collision occurred. Molina was later identified by that officer.

Phoenix police officer Daryl Raetz, 29, was killed while handling a DUI investigation near 51st Avenue and Thomas Road.

Raetz was working to process the driver when he was struck by the Expedition. The driver of the SUV then fled the scene.

Phoenix police officer killed in hit-and-run