Tucson Man Convicted of Second-Degree Murder for Killing Deputy United States Marshal

Ryan Schlesinger, 31, of Tucson, was convicted yesterday by a federal jury of second-degree murder of a federal officer. Second-degree murder is a homicide committed with malice aforethought, which means deliberately and intentionally, or recklessly with extreme disregard for human life. Second-degree murder is a class A felony punishable by up to life in prison.

Schlesinger also was convicted of three counts of attempted murder of a federal officer, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison; four counts of assault of a federal officer, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison; and five counts of discharging a firearm during the commission of a violent offense, a felony punishable by not less than 10 years, and up to life, in prison. The guilty verdicts came after a 13-day trial before United States District Judge Raner C. Collins. Schlesinger’s sentencing is set for January 22, 2024.

On November 29, 2018, deputies with the United States Marshals Arizona Wanted Violent Offender Task Force attempted to serve a felony arrest warrant on Schlesinger for allegedly stalking a Tucson Police Department (TPD) sergeant. Schlesinger refused to exit his residence and opened fire on the deputies who were outside his window. Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White was shot twice in the upper torso and died a short time later.

Prior to the murder, Schlesinger had been in a yearlong dispute with TPD. Schlesinger sent multiple threatening emails, went to a TPD officer’s parents’ home, and attempted to arrest a TPD sergeant. Despite being under multiple active injunctions against harassment, Schlesinger possessed three firearms in violation of those court-issued injunctions. The evidence showed that Schlesinger sent a final threatening email to TPD hours before the murder. While the Task Force attempted to execute the arrest warrant, Schlesinger outfitted himself in body armor. After murdering Deputy White and committing the other crimes of which he was convicted, Schlesinger ultimately surrendered to TPD, wearing the body armor and a ballistic helmet.

Deputy White was 41 years old. He is survived by his wife and four children. He was also a lieutenant colonel with the United States Air Force Reserve. Deputy White was the first Deputy U.S. Marshal killed in the line of duty in Tucson in 66 years.