Phoenix/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 21, 2024
Tempe Man Gary Lennall Cox Sentenced to Life Without Parole for Girlfriend's MurderSource: Chris Potter, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A man with a lethal history of domestic violence, Gary Lennall Cox, 60, has been handed down a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder of his girlfriend in a Tempe hotel. This comes after Cox's release from prison in April 2020, where he served time for killing his previous wife in 2000, as reported by 12 News.

Records indicate Cox's life of crime and punishment took a repeat course when, shortly after his release, he was implicated in the 2020 death of Juli Leigh Munoz, whom police found dead with injuries indicative of severe physical abuse. Signs of a cleanup attempt with bleach were discovered at the motel crime scene, suggesting premeditation and an effort to evade justice. According to KTAR News, a jury convicted Cox on February 13, culminating in his sentencing last Friday.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office painted a grim image of the history leading up to the culmination of Cox's criminal acts, with brutal details of the injuries inflicted upon the victim. "These crimes are the essence of evil and they were committed by a person who is a grave threat to the community," Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in a statement obtained by 12 News. Before the murder, Cox demonstrated a pattern of abuse, including giving his girlfriend a black eye and sequestering her from any outside communication, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office disclosed.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is using the tragic outcome of this case as a stark reminder to report abuse to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, underscoring the critical role of community vigilance in preventing such heinous acts from recurring.