Bryan Stewart, a.k.a. Rick Valentini, Convicted of Multiple Counts of Identity Theft -- Up Next: His Murder Trial

Categories: Judge and Jury
stewart.jpg
Bryan Stewart a.k.a. Rick Valentini
Rick Valentini -- a.k.a. Bryan Stewart was in a Maricopa County Superior Court this afternoon, where he was found guilty of 29 counts of forgery, four counts of identity theft, four counts of misconduct involving a weapon, two counts of money laundering, and one count of posession of a forged device -- and he still has a murder trial to look forward to.

Forgery and identity theft aside, Valentini/Stewart is also charged with second-degree murder in the apparent death of ex-girlfriend Jamie Jean Laiaddee, 32.

We say "apparent" because police never found the body.

Laiaddee was last seen by Valentini on March 18, 2010, outside of her Chandler home.

Laiaddee's estranged father, who lives in California, called police after speaking to Valentini, who told him he hadn't seen her in about 10 weeks.

Valentini was questioned by police and told them the two broke up the day before she was last seen -- right after she said she was moving to Denver to find a new job.

Valentini, however, was an obvious person of interest in her disappearance -- and when he was caught driving her car after she was reported missing, it certainly didn't help change his status.

Shortly after Laiaddee was reported missing, he was stopped by Scottsdale police for an unrelated traffic warrant. The car he was driving belonged to his missing ex-girlfriend, and credit cards he was using were determined to belong to her, too.

According to the police report, while in police custody, Stewart told fellow inmates that he shot Laiaddee with a sawed-off shotgun. He told the men he got rid of her body in a way police would never find her.

At first, Stewart said her body had been "fed to the pigs." He then changed his story, saying she'd been cut up and put into bags.

Stewart's sentencing is scheduled for September 7.

Jerry Cobb, spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office tells New Times Stewart's murder trial is scheduled to start on October 11.

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31 comments
maryfrancesf
maryfrancesf

This guy is so arrogant, such a liar. Those who believe in him well would never invite them for a cup of tea at home. Trash the msg written by the one who said is little 6 by 6  cell a grave is smaller than that. aurevoir to idiots who defend obvious murderers

Gbenatti7
Gbenatti7

Well, not sure about these charges. But, I've been in court with Rick and he was found guilty on the charges my family filed against him. The dummy tried representing himself and got ate alive.

Sarah Varga
Sarah Varga

Seriously people. If he did it, he did it. There's absolutely nothing any of you can do about it. Now is there? I personally don't know her or her family. But if what they are saying is true, then do something smart. Honor her memory and don't act immature over this.

Also, I would love to know all the "evidence" that they say they have against him. Can someone please inform me.

Steve Melcher Jr.
Steve Melcher Jr.

Rick was held in a 6x6 cell with no windows and no bars for 17 months, waiting for a trial. He was only allowed 1 hour per day outside of this cement room. Nothing but 4 walls to stare at 23 hours per day for 17 months. The majority of this time was spent waiting for some form of evidence to be produced against him... which never happened. Rick's Constitutional right to a fair and speedy trial was violated, and no one cared. All the while, the case was being sensationalized by the media, while they conveniently left out details of the police findings (or lack of), and reported only those details that made Rick look more and more guilty.

Even during the final stretch of his trial, no evidence had been produced against Rick. The entire trial was based on speculation alone. No body, no blood, no murder weapon, no crime scene, no witnesses... no one is even certain that Jamie is dead, yet a man has been found guilty of her murder.

Rick was appointed an attorney who didn't care about him or the trial. She did nothing to help him, and sat back while the case dragged on. This was her final case before retirement. Win or lose, it didn't matter.

The prosecuting attorney assigned to this case is nicknamed "The Pitbull". He has a perfect record, never losing a case. Rick was being defended against an undefeated prosecutor by someone who was watching the clock, waiting for the case to close and her retirement to begin. There might as well have been no trial at all... he was setup to lose. The verdict delivered before the first testimony had been heard. He was guilty until proven innocent. The system laughed while they spat in his face.

Imagine you were in his position. Everyone against you, no real chance to defend yourself, given a verdict that could mean spending the rest of your life in prison... a verdict that had been delivered without proof of any kind, for a crime that they're not even certain ever happened.

Can you imagine that? You'd better try hard, because this could happen to anyone now. You see, a powerful tactic used by attorneys is to present case law outlining previous verdicts that have been rendered on similar cases. What this means is that this verdict has just opened the door for anyone of you to be sentenced for murder with ZERO evidence produced against you, NO body, NO proof that the crime ever actually happened. Would you still be rejoicing this verdict then?

Let's consider some other possibilities... suicide is one. She also may have learned how to disappear, and done exactly that... after all, she did live with someone who knew exactly how to do that. Leave everything behind, disappear, and become someone else. New identity, no ties to your past life. If she learned how he had done it, she may have done it herself.

Another consideration... let's say she did run away, and someone else had committed the crime that Rick has been charged with. Where is your closure then? Sure, someone serves time for the crime, but what if the real criminal is still out there, making a mockery of the whole situation? Would your mind still be at ease then?I'm not stating that Rick is innocent. I can't decide whether he is guilty or not without seeing some evidence - ANY evidence - that a crime had even taken place. This is where the jury failed. You are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. In Rick's case, nothing was ever proven, yet he was still found guilty, and will spend the majority of his remaining years in prison anyway.

Everyone is missing the point here that human rights are being thrown out the window, and the courts are abusing their power in a disgusting way.

You all want justice. This isn't justice. This is a gross exploitation of a flawed system.If Rick is guilty, I hope that evidence surfaces to justify the verdict he has been given, he is allowed a fair trial, and receives a sentence equivalent to the crime that was committed. Until that evidence is provided, though, he is an innocent man until proven otherwise beyond all reasonable doubt.

Sarah Varga
Sarah Varga

This is def not the person I remember growing up. Did you know him personally or just from what you see/hear on the news?

jmcnerney
jmcnerney

Steve you use word imagine quite a bit. Can YOU IMAGINE if this educated hard working young attractive and LONELY girl was " YOUR SISTER, MOTHER, or very close friend of yours??? Can you do it.

jmcnerney
jmcnerney

Steve he goes by Brian ( remember) he wanted nothing to remember about ( Rick ) the two or three wives and a couple of children, plus all the traumatic childhood experiences and so called abuse he ( tales ) everyone about. That wouldn't have been a mistruth, would it? He did seem to tear up when speaking about never knowing his Father, all the while he abandoned his children and changed his name to avoid the child support and seek a new girl without all his baggage. He grew up in Michigan the place where he was so badly mistreated and abused and the place he wanted to leave in the past and forgotten, but joined a Michigan booster club and met his true Michigan fan girlfriend , you would think every time he looked at his girlfriend knowing she went to Michigan it would make him flashback to to trams and abuse, this guy was convicted on his credibility and deception, if he was smart he would have just not talked to the police at all. Driving his unreported missing for 10 week girlfriend and using her credit cards finished that fool off they should have given him life with no parole he was already a convicted felon, this guy is probably one of the worst defendants I have ever seen interviewed and you steve seem believe everything he says. Maybe you might know more about this case than anyone else, where did he get rid of the body??? The victims slandered family would probably appreciate it.

MrDeeds
MrDeeds

I Agree. How in the world do you get convicted of murder with no body no witness no physical evidence. Some cut up credit card and Id. Who cares about his arrogance. Look at the facts. NO BODY WTF.

maryfrancesf
maryfrancesf

@Steve Melcher Jr. Absolute rubbish, this guy is so arrogant a liar etc. By the way are you a convicted felon or just off your head?

Sara W.
Sara W.

I'm interested to know where you are getting your facts for the case - i.e. the conditions of his imprisonment, who he actually admitted the crime to, how well you think he "disappeared" from his former lives etc.  Were the conditions of his imprisonment grossly different for other inmates in the jail, or is that how the jail is run? Did you read the police report, sit in the courtroom, or is it coming purely from what the media is reporting?  How can you be so confident that the jury made a mistake here?  He took the stand in his defense, correct? Why do you think Valentini's lawyer was so bad?  Do you know what evidence was not allowed to be presented? It does appear to be a circumstantial case, do you think cases like that should not be allowed to be presented in court?

Alexforqa
Alexforqa

I hope this guy is found out by all the "bubba" in jail and made to pay everyday for the cockiness, lying and destruction that he has caused. This is not a man....but a coward that can't even man up to being a free loader and then killing the very generosity that allowed him to even live a life he would have never know otherwise. You don't need to know.....you can tell by pictures this man is but a heartless, spineless, sap that takes for his own gain...the clowst I could come to compare him to is Hitler....

MrDeeds
MrDeeds

We do not convict people of murder (with no body) just because they are Arrogant. We convict on evidence

Steve Melcher Jr.
Steve Melcher Jr.

Sara,

I appreciate your reply, asking questions rather than shooting down my post like most others. The information that I have received has not been filtered through the media. Most of my knowledge is first hand, straight from the sources. I am trying very hard to get the full story aired to the public, and hope to see that happen soon.

In answer to your questions... he was held in solitary confinement for the majority of the "holding period". This is the 6x6 cell referred to earlier. Not only was he detained without evidence of a crime, he was completely isolated. He shared a cell for a short time early on with the man who claims to have heard his confession. Not only did the confession never take place, the inmate's testimony was actually contradicted in the same hearing in which it was given. I am trying to get the details of this to a news team willing to publish the information.

His lawyer was described by a news team present in the courtroom as "seeming senile", asking questions that made no sense, or not asking questions at all when it made the most sense to do so. There were opportunities to have additional witnesses brought in for testimony in Valentini's defense, but his attorney wouldn't allow it. She prevented him from speaking with news crews, or reaching out in any way that would have given him the chance to be heard. The delay in sentencing on the fraud charges overlapped with the murder trial, preventing him from changing counsel, or he would have replaced her.

The problem was not that evidence wasn't allowed to be presented... the problem was that there was no evidence produced by the prosecutor at all. Certain details were provided to the media, making him seem guilty beyond doubt, but when investigations found nothing, this was conveniently not told to the press. One such example of this was the reported "red substance found on the carpet near the front door", which the media reported in a way that made it seem that blood had been found. Further investigation revealed that this substance was actually spilled cranberry juice -- a detail that was not given to the public. They also never reported that he had actually moved out of Jamie's home prior to her disappearance, and was living in an apartment of his own following their breakup, which strengthens his case of "I didn't know she was missing". Naturally, the public wasn't told this because it weakened the case against him.

There is also the matter of her life insurance and stocks. In many murder cases, that is the first place investigators look. Money equals motive. In this case, someone else received a very large sum of money from her death. That fact was skipped over entirely.

There is much more information surrounding this case, which will be provided to the media very soon. I am sickened by the things done to Valentini by authorities, and will do whatever I can to see justice done here, and prevent this blatant abuse of power from affecting the lives of others. Information is being covered up, and I hope to see this information made public, to demonstrate just how corrupt our judicial system has become.

Georgie
Georgie

I thought we lived in America where you are 'innocent' until proven guilty.  According to police records, there is not one piece of evidence against him.  I hope they find Jamie for her families sake.  If Bryan is guilty, he needs to pay for what he did, and he will.  I think you are an egotistical, judgmental person.  Let those who are without sin cast the first stone.  Hitler, Osama Ben Laden and Sadam Hussein, would be proud of you.  

maryfrancesf
maryfrancesf

@Steve Melcher Jr. Have you at least got a life yet. Example working paying taxes instead of defending crap felons.

maryfrancesf
maryfrancesf

@Steve Melcher Jr. Well Mr. Juan Martinez is a man who searchs for the truth and scumbags should be disposed of in the appropriate manner. He is in prison so thank goodness for small mercies. As for the lawyer being senile who wouldn't be having to deal with guys like him. Such an arrogant piece of scum.

Steve Melcher Jr.
Steve Melcher Jr.

Don't confuse the two cases. There was evidence for the FRAUD / FORGERY charges... not for the murder charge. As for your statement about the witnesses, he was denied the ability to call them to the stand. Friends and coworkers WANTED to testify on his behalf, but were not allowed to. He also had a psychologist ready to testify that Laiaddee's disappearance EXACTLY matched behaviors of someone running away and changing their identity. Again, he was refused the ability to call this witness. The court felt it would be "too expensive" to have him take the stand.

Sitting in the courtroom doesn't make you an expert on the matter. If this had been a fair trial, the jury would have seen things in a much different light. He will be filing an appeal. You can count on that.

Alexforqa
Alexforqa

The last time he saw Laiaddee, with whom he says he had broken up just hours earlier, was when Valentini kisssed her goodbye abut 3:15 a.m. March 18.

He might have has another apt. to cover it up but by his own admission saw her on 3/18/11....maybe you should have attend the hearing then you would know what others and myself know....There were actually more than 400one pieces of evidence presented. As far as his witness go most of them turn against him and some even testified against Rick. As a matter of fact you just might be the only person that is his friend...you weren't by chance the guy that owns the garage he was picked up in his underwear for breaking and entering??? Were you one of his "clients"

Steve Melcher Jr.
Steve Melcher Jr.

I would be very interested in knowing where your information is coming from. Please share... what 400 pieces of evidence are you referring to? Were you following the minutes of a different trial? Lol. There was none. Sure, Jamie's friends were allowed to speak against him... did you know that he was denied all the witnesses he tried to call in? Would have changed matters quite a bit.

Curious... if he didn't move out prior to the disappearance like you say, why were police in his apartment searching for evidence? Hard to search a place that doesn't exist, don't you think?

Not sure who you are, or who you've been talking to, but your facts are wrong.

k.
k.

It's amazing how much news coverage this story hasn't received. I believe in the next few months, light will be shed upon this case that will show it's abundantly clear that Bryan Stewart, aka Rick Valentino, murdered Jamie Laiaddee. His sentencing for the murder and 40 counts of fraud in connection with her murder are on December 22nd. It's not enough to Brian her back, but it's a step in the right direction.

Alexforqa
Alexforqa

Have you ever heard of circumstantial evidence?? That coupled with the over 400 and pieces of evidence presented during the trial was obviously enough for his peers to convict him. In addition there were more than one person that he spoke to about the events..... it may behoove you to read the minutes in the case. There were a lot of people that knew Jamie and presented facts that together proved beyond a doubt he did it. Since your such a fan of Rick....Bryan...or whatever real name is then you should feel lucky that he didn't get convicted of first degree murder.....as there was evidence than was presented. Please do yourself a favor and get informed....then you might actually be able to come to realistic conclusion based on facts not emotion or far fetched insurance notions.....btw the investigation did look into that dimension of the case. Still waiting foe those future sightings of forth coming infrmation you spoke of. Also one more thing....he didn't move out before she was killed as you claimed in your post....that is based on his what he said in court and told the police...

Steve Melcher Jr.
Steve Melcher Jr.

Alex,

You may be interested in knowing, then, that he was not the beneficiary of her life insurance or stocks. If he was only after her money, it would have made much more sense to keep her alive, don't you think? Someone else received a large amount of money from her death, and they were very quick to cash in on it, too. The funny thing is that the ones who received this money were never even put under investigation.

You claim that I live in lala land... so far, I'm the only one to actually give facts, rather than just "he did it, he's guilty, blah blah". If you are more informed than I, please share. You claim that he admitted it... When? What was said? There was a convicted felon who came forward and said that he did it, and received a reduced sentence for it. So, if I step up and say that YOU told me that you had done it, with nothing to back my story, everyone should just accept that it's fact, right? That seems to be the approach that you are taking. Steve said that Alexforqa confessed to the murder, so let's schedule a sentencing hearing.

You say there was plenty of proof... please post here what proof you are referring to. Again, I have been the only one presenting facts. I have yet to see you present any. So, please, present away. You have the floor. Let's see this proof. Everyone else, including the prosecutor, has failed to produce anything, so you must clearly know something we don't.

Unless you have facts to back up your claims, they are nothing more than emotional response to the matter.

Alexforqa
Alexforqa

Steve,

People that post this may know fact too...money was a motivator.....he kept using her money after he killed her. You apparently live I have Lala land. He did it...he admit it...there was plenty of proof...and from him too. There isn't a lawyer out there good enough to cover up the truth....I'll be watching for the so called evidence coming out. Sarah thanks for keeping to facts and not emotions..God bless you.

Sarah Varga
Sarah Varga

Steve,  Thank you for posting all of this! I didn't know all of the facts. I appreciate it.

Steve Melcher Jr.
Steve Melcher Jr.

Please enlighten us... what evidence was there? I think you are the one who needs to do some reading. There is no evidence that any crime actually took place. No one knows whether Jamie is alive or dead. The police have found NOTHING on Rick whatsoever. Do some homework and prove me wrong if you can. Please don't speak out unless you have your facts straight. This was an abuse of power by the courts, and an example of how messed up our judicial system is. As an American citizen, I am outraged by this. Rights went out the window, and you people are rejoicing. I truly feel sorry for you.

Alexforqa
Alexforqa

Georgie,

Ummm guilty on all counts....bubba come and get him. Guess you cast the stone in the wrong direction....hope her family can someday find peace.

scott
scott

Time will prove that you are the one who is egotistical and judgemental as you apparently have not read the results of his last court judgement....which proves my response and the three you mentioned all would have the same status as him in anyones book....thanks for the additional references as they all ended up having the same fate...for their inhumane antics.

MrDeeds
MrDeeds

Circumstantial evidence. I just saw the show on 48 hours on ID . The whole case was conjecture. What circumstance that was explained would lead you or any reasonable person to think murder ? Please explain. And where is the body. He'll she could be alive being held against her will. How do I know this I don't. We will never know why because we can't find her or her body. Do see what I am getting at. If we let this case get away from us who knows what the government can do to us. The is. The real issue.

MrDeeds
MrDeeds

Admitted it? A jail house confession. There is no evidence. How can you convicted of murder with no victim? I don't care if he did it or didn't. He should not have got convicted of Murder. There was no body.

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