A scruffy 21-year-old walked into the police station in the small eastern Arizona town of Springerville, winded after running the 2 blocks there from his home. He wanted to tell the police chief that cops from out of town were in his jurisdiction.
“There’s people in your town,” William Inmon told Chief Steve West, then suggested that West run them off.
West saw no harm in hearing out the gangly young man’s complaints about the officers from nearby St. Johns. He then listened for hours as Inmon told stories of a troubled childhood, the weapons he owned, and, finally, that the officers were investigating the killing of 16-year-old Ricky Flores from their town.
Then, authorities say, Inmon admitted killing the teenager.
Inmon had hoped to divert attention from himself by sprinting to the police station, authorities said. Instead, his world came tumbling down. On Sept. 30, he pleaded guilty to killing Flores and to two other murders. He proclaimed himself a serial killer, and said his plans to kill two more times had been thwarted.
In each murder to which Inmon admitted, he had at least one accomplice, but authorities say he was the driving force, motivated by a desire to rid society of those who didn’t live up to his standards
. Four other people have been arrested in the three slayings that started in 2007 and ended with Flores in August.
Inmon’s fall began when St. Johns police served a search warrant at the home he shared with his girlfriend. Inmon went to West “because everyone says you’ll listen,” he told the chief. “He thought that I would say ’it’s my jurisdiction, get out of my jurisdiction,’
but police departments just don’t do that,” West said.
“He was nervous because more than likely they were close,” West said.
Inmon confessed to Flores’ murder after Apache County investigator Brian Hounshell joined West in the interview. Hounshell said they repeatedly told Inmon he didn’t have to keep talking and was free to leave, but he pressed on.
Weeks later, Inmon admitted to fatally shooting William “Stoney” McCarragher, 72, and Daniel Achten, 60, as part of a deal that spares him the death penalty. Now awaiting sentencing on three counts of first-degree murder, Inmon didn’t respond to an interview request and his lawyer had no comment.