Family of Student Charged in Beating Death of Arizona Teen Preston Lord Accused of Covering Up

The community has been deeply shaken by the disturbing details surrounding the tragic death of Preston Lord, the Arizona teenager who was brutally beaten at a Halloween party last year.

The Arizona Republic, as part of the USA TODAY network, recently released the extensive police report concerning the Oct. 28, 2023 incident. Spanning over 1,000 pages, this report has attracted significant interest as individuals sift through the numerous witness statements. Notably, one of the accused teenage assailants has garnered particular attention from readers.

Talan Renner, a 17-year-old, is among the seven individuals who have been charged in connection with Lord’s death. According to the documents, it is stated that Renner’s family allegedly assisted him by relocating him out of town after the incident. These allegations were made in a report by Travis Renner’s ex-girlfriend, who is Talan’s father.

Renner is accused of trying to hide his son’s participation in the crime. He relocated his son to their $850,000 cabin, which was located three hours away, and advised him to take time off and let his hands heal before coming back home.

In late February, Ashley Reynolds, a former employee of Relentless Media Agency, spoke with The Arizona Republic and made claims about the alleged cover-up involving Travis Renner.

Family of accused Lord attacker accused of engaging in “coverup”

Travis Renner’s ex-girlfriend decided to approach the police because she believed that Talan had shown no remorse after Lord’s death, as stated in a police document.

According to her statement to the police, she mentioned that Renner was promptly taken away from the town to their family’s cabin. She claimed that his father instructed him to remain there until his hands had fully recovered. Describing him as a determined individual and an angry teenager, she emphasized that he tends to suppress a significant amount of aggression.

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Ashley Reynolds, a former employee of Travis Renner, has also stepped forward to shed light on the alleged coverup. In an interview with The Arizona Republic, she stated that she was an unwilling participant in the scheme.

Reynolds states that after the beating on the night of Oct. 28, Travis Renner swiftly reached out to his son and immediately collaborated with his business partner to safeguard both the boy and their business ventures.

According to The Republic, the mother of one of the boys involved in the altercation stated that electronic calendar data was manipulated to falsely indicate that her son had left town before October 28. She mentioned that she overheard conversations regarding the events of that day, during which she was informed that Renner’s son had initiated the attack and thrown punches.

USA TODAY has contacted Renner, Kifer, and Renner’s attorney for their input on the matter.

Death of Preston Lord

Preston Lord, a 16-year-old student at Combs High School, was among the many teenagers who participated in a Halloween party on October 28, 2023, in Queen Creek, Arizona.

Police were called to the party at around 9 p.m. that night after receiving reports of a “juvenile disturbance.” When they arrived, they discovered teenagers wandering the streets, exiting the house they had been in.

Witnesses gave conflicting accounts of the events that unfolded next. According to some witnesses who spoke to The Arizona Republic, the party had spiraled out of control. However, the police stated that they did not observe any party or signs of unlawful behavior upon their arrival. They had been dispatched to respond to a “high-priority” call regarding an ongoing crime elsewhere.

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At 9:49 p.m., a 911 call was made to the police reporting an assault in the nearby neighborhood, just a few houses away from the previous incident. Upon their arrival, law enforcement discovered Lord lying in the middle of the road.

Sadly, he succumbed to his traumatic brain injuries just two days later, on October 30th.

Police report, 911 call shed details on attack

The disturbing nature of both contents has prompted Lord’s community to rally even harder around his family and loved ones.

“I’m terrified. I’m at a loss for what to do,” he expressed during the phone call at 9:49 p.m. “Are emergency responders on their way? I desperately need them to arrive. I can’t bear the thought of my friend losing their life.”

At 9:53 p.m., another recording captured a teenager informing a 911 dispatcher about a distressing situation. The teenager shared that a group of skilled lifeguards was actively performing CPR on Lord, indicating that Lord may have been without breath for approximately two minutes.

In another captured conversation, there was a discussion about a video that was allegedly deleted, depicting the fight. One teenager expressed concern, saying, “Please tell me you didn’t delete the video of the deceased kid. If you hand it over to the police, you could earn 10k [sic].”

Accused teen attackers appear in court

On March 6, three juveniles and four adults were arrested by the Queen Creek police following a Maricopa County grand jury indictment. The charges against them include murder and kidnapping.

Treston Billey, 18, William “Owen” Hines, 18, Jacob Meisner, 17, Talan Renner, 17, Taylor Sherman, 19, Dominic Turner, 20, and Talyn Vigil, 17, were arrested in connection with the assault. Renner, Vigil, and Mesiner will face charges as adults.

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All the individuals involved in the incident were accused of committing first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and kidnapping. Additionally, Billey, Meisner, and Turner faced charges of aggravated robbery.

According to the Arizona Republic, part of the USA TODAY network, some of the individuals involved in the attack on Lord have connections to the gang called the “Gilbert Goons.” Over the past year, the Goons have been responsible for several assaults on teenagers in the southeast Valley. These incidents have taken place in various locations such as parks, parking garages, outside fast-food restaurants, and house parties, with the attackers allegedly recording their actions.

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell recognized the connection between those involved in the Goon attacks and Lord’s murder.

Hines, Meisner, Renner, Sherman, Turner, and Vigil appeared in Maricopa County Superior Court on March 13 and all asserted their innocence by pleading not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and kidnapping. Meisner and Turner, in addition, entered not guilty pleas for aggravated robbery. Billey, on the other hand, was arraigned the next day and also pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and aggravated robbery.

The trial is set to begin in November.

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