David Cordero; Young Man Convicted of First-Degree Murder in Fatal Stabbing of Former Coworker in Tempe

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David Cordero; Young Man Convicted of First-Degree Murder in Fatal Stabbing of Former Coworker in Tempe

A man who authorities say stabbed a former coworker to death in June 2021 was convicted of first-degree murder in Maricopa County Superior Court on Wednesday.

David Cordero, who was 21 at the time of the stabbing, was arrested after Tempe police received a call at around 3:30 a.m. on June 22, 2021, from a garbage truck driver reporting a dead body near Elliot and Kyrene roads.

Court documents state officers located a man, later identified as 41-year-old Ryan Portscheller, lying in the parking lot near a business’s dock area. Fire personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.

A pool of blood trailed from the body to a white pickup truck nearby. The door to the truck was ajar and the man’s belongings — a wallet, grocery bag and cellphone — were scattered on the ground, according to court documents.

The truck was later identified as belonging to Portscheller, who worked at JFC International. He had recently resumed work over the last few months after he was laid off due to COVID-19.

Sgt. Steven Carbajal, a department spokesperson, said at the time that detectives eventually learned Cordero was a former temporary employee at the business where Portscheller worked. Cordero was connected to the stabbing through interviews with employees and video surveillance from nearby businesses.

Court documents state Cordero was seen on surveillance video arriving in the parking lot at about 11 p.m. on June 21 in a white sedan before exiting his vehicle and walking toward dumpsters on the west side of the JFC warehouse.

Documents say Cordero made his way between tractor-trailers backed into the warehouse and waited for about two and a half hours for Portscheller to clock out of the warehouse. Cordero waited until two other coworkers who were with Portscheller left before lunging at him with a knife and stabbing him multiple times before fleeing the area, documents state.

Police learned Cordero had gotten into a physical fight with Portscheller while on the job in May 2021 and was ultimately fired two days after he started working at the company. Court documents say detectives learned from other employees that Cordero knew when to be at the parking lot based on the warehouse’s schedule.

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Court documents say cellphone records and surveillance footage tied Cordero to the stabbing. Cordero denied stabbing Porscheller but confirmed the fight between them at work happened and was ultimately booked into jail on first-degree murder.

Cordero’s sentencing is scheduled for June 9.

The presumptive sentence for first-degree murder in Arizona is life imprisonment though prosecutors can pursue the death penalty with enough aggravating factors.

Feel free to leave a message of condolences and prayers for the family and friends of the deceased in the comments section as it will go a long way for them during this difficult time.

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