Messages, costume part of evidence detailed in Preston Lord’s murder

Posted at 10:48 AM, April 1, 2024

GILBERT, Ariz. (Scripps News Phoenix) — Newly released documents are shedding new light on the violent beating death of an Arizona teenager and the group charged in his death.

photo of preston lord

16-year-old Preston Lord died two days after he was attacked outside of a Halloween Party. (Queen Creek Police Department)

The police report in Preston Lord’s murder, released by the Queen Creek Police Department on Thursday, is over 1,000 pages long and details the investigation that unfolded after the 16-year-old was attacked outside a residential Halloween party. He died two days later.

Queen Creek police have also released 911 calls, including one from one of Lord’s friends talking about how he had been knocked unconscious for about two minutes and surrounding people, who knew life-saving procedures as lifeguards, were giving him CPR.

According to the report, it was a chaotic scene with hundreds of kids and alcohol at the party. Two adults admitted to knowing their daughter was having a party but did not know that there were over 200 people on their property until there was a commotion outside, separate from Lord’s assault. Queen Creek recommended two misdemeanor charges for them — criminal nuisance and contributing to a delinquency of a minor. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said the “submitted charges are still under review.”

Police had a hard time getting to the scene because so many cars were on both sides of the road.

The police report showed search warrants were issued for some Snapchat posts as early as Oct. 31, 2023. Officers executed a search warrant at suspect Treston Billey’s house on November 2, looking for his purported Halloween costume, a gold chain, and other potential evidence.

According to the report, an ex-girlfriend of Talan Renner told a school administrator that he sent a “snap” on the night of the attack, saying, “I got in a fight, a big group fight, and I accidentally killed a kid.”

Within a day of Lord’s death, witnesses linked several of the people involved to a group called “Gilbert Goons” or “Goonies.”

Lord’s death prompted community vigils and outrage, as the case also brought to light a series of violent attacks on teenagers in the East Valley.

Earlier this month, seven people were arrested after being indicted with first-degree felony murder in Lord’s death.

This story was originally written by Melissa Blasius, Ashley Holden and Nicole Grigg for Scripps News Phoenix, an E.W. Scripps Company.