Man accused of shooting Mesa teacher faces first-degree murder charge

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Caleb Bartels' booking photo (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Caleb Bartels' booking photo (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
The California booking photo for suspect Caleb Bartels (Source: Tempe Police Dept.) The California booking photo for suspect Caleb Bartels (Source: Tempe Police Dept.)
(Source: Tempe Police Dept.) (Source: Tempe Police Dept.)
Ryne Zahner (Source: Facebook) Ryne Zahner (Source: Facebook)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The man accused of killing a Mesa High School math teacher is back in Arizona.

The Tempe Police Department tweeted out on Thursday that Caleb Bartels, 27, is now in the state and will be facing charges for the January homicide.

He was arrested on Jan. 21 by the Susanville California Highway Patrol in the town of Doyle, California.

On the morning of Jan. 15, police said Bartels gunned down Ryne Zahner in his backyard in the area of Mill Avenue and Baseline Road. He then ran off.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Body of shooting victim found in backyard of Tempe home]

Police launched an all-out search for him, but not before he was stopped three times by law enforcement in Arizona, Nevada and Utah.

Then on Jan. 21, an off-duty officer with the California Highway Patrol first spotted the vehicle belonging to Bartels parked alongside a highway near Doyle. He called on-duty officers and Bartels was arrested without incident. 

[READ MORE: ARRESTED: Suspect Caleb Bartels in custody, accused in killing of Mesa high school teacher]

Bartels was booked into the Lassen County Jail in Susanville, California. He stayed there for weeks before being extradited to Arizona.

Bartels is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and criminal damage.

A judge set his bond at $1 million.

Police said Bartels and Zahner were friends at one time and that Bartels suffers from mental health issues.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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