The Williams man who is the chief suspect in the murder of a Glendale kindergarten teacher did prison time for assaulting a bar patron and Flagstaff police officer.
Charlie Malzahn had a history of violence before he was the main suspect in the homicide investigation of Cathryn Gorospe, whose body was found in Mayer on Oct. 13, according to the Yavapai County Medical Examiner. The remains were confirmed Friday using dental records.
Malzahn spent 4.5 years in prison and on supervised release after being convicted of aggravated assault and resisting arrest.
The conviction stems from an April 2012 incident where Malzahn beat an intoxicated man and assaulted police outside Maloney’s Tavern at the intersection of East Aspen Avenue and North Leroux Street in Flagstaff.
Police attempted to arrest Malzahn after they witnessed him beating a severely intoxicated man outside the tavern, according to the police report.
Malzahn was standing over the victim, repeatedly hitting the man in the face to the point that he could not defend himself.
When police attempted to make the arrest he first attempted to run but then “squared up” in front of the arresting officer and began punching him in the head.
The victim Malzahn assaulted was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center and suffered a busted lip and extensive swelling to his face. Police stated that the “victim’s mouth was full of blood” when they attempted to treat him.
The assaulted officer had minor cuts and bruises to his face and head, according to the police report.
Malzahn was extremely intoxicated at the time of his arrest. He had a blood-alcohol content of 0.165 percent.
He told police that his attack was “retaliation” because the victim had punched him inside the bar.
Surveillance footage shows the victim touching Malzahn on the shoulder outside Maloney’s. Malzahn then gets into the brief argument with the man before attacking him. Surveillance footage did not show anybody hitting Malzahn.
Malzahn’s prison record is mixed. He did not record a single infraction during his first year in prison. He received 11 disciplinary infractions from 2014 to 2016, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections. The infractions ranged from disorderly conduct to possession of contraband.
He worked as a groundskeeper, automotive technician and assisted in the health unit of the prison. Malzahn was released on supervised parole in November of 2016.
He completed supervised probation on June 13, 2017, and met Gorospe that summer after returning to Williams, where Gorospe was working as a summer tour guide for the Grand Canyon Railway. He carjacked his sister’s vehicle on Aug. 20 in Tempe and was arrested that same night in Williams. Gorospe was last seen bailing Malzahn out of Coconino County Jail on Oct. 6.
Malzahn is currently in custody in Phoenix after being arrested on unrelated assault charges and driving Gorospe’s blood-stained Rav4. Murder charges are pending the determination of the location where Gorospe was killed.
Runge says the exact crime scene has not been located but detectives think that area was the last place Gorospe was seen alive. Runge says evidence of vegetation in Gorospe's car is only found in Williams and one other place in Arizona.
Authorities believe the crime occurred fully or at least partially in Gorospe's car.
Runge says he hasn't heard any evidence indicating the homicide was premeditated and that DNA analysis of blood found in Gorospe's car is still pending.
A bail bondsman said he tried to talk Gorospe out of putting up cash for Malzahn multiple times before she did and later went missing.
The bail bondsman said Gorospe told him she went on dates with Malzahn and the teacher later said she loved him.
Malzahn’s stepfather is the Williams chief of police, who has said he has had little contact with his stepson in the past decade after his stepson dropped out of Williams High School in 2007. He has delegated all police matters regarding his stepson to other officers in the department.