‘Mistakes, miscommunication’ resulted in suspect getting released: He then allegedly strangled a mother on bus


PHOENIX, AZ — A suspect who had an active felony warrant allegedly ended up committing a worse crime by strangling a mother on a city bus.

The suspect, Joshua Bagley, 26, was recently locked up in Maricopa County’s  jail for his connection to stolen vehicles, but due to several mistakes and miscommunications, was released and on the loose.

However, Phoenix Police reported on May 10 that the suspect was arrested for his alleged role in the homicide of the strangulation victim. The suspect’s motive is unknown.

Bagley was arrested near 27th Avenue and Indian School Road after police received a tip.

Authorities said Bagley had shaved his head and facial hair by the time he was arrested, but allegedly told investigators the man in the video looked like him.

According to an ABC 15 report:

“While in custody, a warrant, with extradition in Arizona and no bond, should have prevented his release — but due to a litany of mistakes and miscommunication, Joshua Bagley was able to walk out of jail. Less than 72 hours later Phoenix police say he killed a 41-year-old mother.”

KPNX reported the victim was Diane Craig, who was taken to a hospital, but died from her injuries:

“Authorities said around 8 a.m., officers were called to the area of 27th Avenue and Baseline Road after receiving reports of a person on a bus who was not breathing.

“When officers arrived at the scene, they located a 41-year-old woman, later identified as Diane Craig, with signs of strangulation.

“Police said Craig was taken to the hospital where she died from her injuries.

“Throughout the course of the investigation, detectives were able to gather enough evidence to name Joshua Bagley a suspect in her death. Bagley has not been located.”


12 News reported that Bagley was booked on one count of first degree murder and is being held on a $2 million bond. Authorities said Bagley was also wanted for a felony warrant out of Mohave County for unlawful means of transportation and criminal damage.

12 News further reported:

“Through investigations, police learned that Craig boarded the bus at the South 22nd Avenue bus stop north of West Buckeye Road with a man later identified as Bagley. 

“The bus driver told police the two were the only passenger on board and they sat near each other at the back of the bus. The driver told officials he heard a noise from the back but didn’t think anything of it. 

“Surveillance video from the bus showed a man, who police said matched Bagley’s description, strangling and pushing Craig to the floor, putting straps from a bag around her neck and repeatedly twisting the straps around. 

“The man was then seen on video removing items from Craig’s property, officials said.

“The bus driver said the man got off the bus at the southwest corner of 19th Avenue and Southern Avenue. The driver found Craig unresponsive on the floor while conducting a bus check.”

Craig’s cousin, Roshuanda Boss, told 12 News that her relative, nicknamed “Bubbles,” was a wonderful person who was so full of life:

“She definitely did not deserve this. Our family is hurting.”

Bagley’s release has been hailed as another example of what some say is a “revolving door” of the criminal justice system.

ABC 15’s report noted:

“Even though he was arrested twice in one month, while having an active felony warrant in Arizona, Bagley was never kept in custody for more than 72 hours.

“Since February 2, multiple law enforcement agencies say they have arrested Bagley in stolen cars.

“Goodyear Police was the most recent agency to arrest Bagley, just one week before the strangling. An arrest report states Bagley was in a stolen car that also had a stolen license plate. When he was pulled over, officers say the 26-year-old threw a meth pipe out the window.

“He was booked in jail on three felony charges and five misdemeanors. A judge found there to be probable cause. Roughly 48 hours after his initial appearance though, Bagley walked free without having to post even a percentage of the $750 bond.

“He was released, in part, because the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office chose not to charge the case right away and, instead, sent it back to Goodyear police for further investigation. A spokesperson for MCAO said prosecutors needed more evidence in order to proceed with charges and have a ‘reasonable likelihood of conviction.’”

The same report noted that a prosecutor was not present on the very early 5 a.m. initial appearance call and that the judge never brought up his active Mohave County criminal cases:

“Bagley himself was the only person to mention the other cases and potential warrants.

“‘More than likely I’m going to be extradited because of a case in Mohave County,’ Bagley told the judge. ‘That may cause a conflict of schedules, right?’

“The judge told him to talk to his attorney and get it sorted out. It did not appear to raise any red flags to prosecutors or police that he may have a warrant involving extradition.

“The decision by MCAO not to charge should not have been the deciding factor in whether or not Bagley was released May 3.

“In fact, Bagley should have been extradited back to Mohave County in early April when Mesa PD picked him up on the felony warrant, issued by Lake Havasu City Police. 

“That never happened.”

The Mesa Police Department allegedly told Lake Havasu City they had Bagley in custody and saw his active warrant, with extradition requested in all of Arizona.

Lake Havasu City Police Department then supposedly told Mesa they wanted to extradite him.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Lake Havasu City Police Department told ABC15:

“Our dispatcher confirmed the warrant was valid and that we would extradite. Mesa PD sent a locate and we placed a detainer on the subject in NCIC. A teletype was sent to Mesa PD and MCSO with the extradition/detainer information.

“You will need to reach out to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office for more information on the reason why Bagley was not picked up.

“If the detainer process is not completed the Mohave County Sheriff’s Department or the courts will notify our agency. In this incident that did not occur.”

When ABC 15 reached out to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Department on Monday evening and asked why Bagley was never picked up and extradited, a spokesperson said they would need more time to look into the matter.

ABC 15 reported:

“Even though Bagley seemed to slip through the cracks in early April, he was still arrested again at the end of the month by Goodyear PD. The warrant was apparently no longer active and instead classified as a detainer. So the arrest warrant had to be re-filed in Mohave County before it could be active.

“So when Bagley should have been held longer, once MCAO declined to file charges within 48 hours, he was released.

“Bagley walked out of the jail at 11 am on May 3.

“A new felony arrest warrant with extradition was issued in Mohave Superior Court around 9:30 p.m.

“On May 6 around 8 a.m. Bagley allegedly strangled a 41-year-old mother.”

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