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Suspect pleads not guilty in Maricopa County elections theft case

Image of a still from Senate security footage that shows a man authorities believe is Walter Ringfield Jr. taking items from a desk.
Arizona Senate
Image of a still from Senate security footage that shows a man authorities believe is Walter Ringfield Jr. taking items from a desk.

The man accused of stealing a security key from the Maricopa County Elections Department pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

Walter Ringfield Jr. is accused of taking the security key while working as a temporary election worker at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center.

Last week, Ringfield was indicted by a state grand jury on one count of computer tampering stemming from the incident. That charge is classified as a Class 2 felony, because it deals with computer systems that are considered critical infrastructure.

Class 2 felonies can carry a prison sentence of between 3 and 12.5 years, though additional years can be added for repeat offenders.

Ringfield currently faces charges in three other cases as well, including an alleged theft in 2023 from a Fry’s grocery store; trespassing and burglary charges from an incident at the Arizona Senate; and the theft of jewelry from the Phoenix Art Museum.

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Wayne Schutsky is a broadcast field correspondent covering Arizona politics on KJZZ. He has over a decade of experience as a journalist reporting on local communities in Arizona and the state Capitol.
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