Former NBA player allegedly admitted to fatally strangling woman in Las Vegas, court documents show
Dec 20, 2023, 7:43 PM
(Lachlan Cunningham, Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former NBA G League player allegedly admitted to fatally strangling a woman whose remains were found earlier this month near Las Vegas, according to court records obtained Wednesday.
Chance Comanche, 27, was taken into custody last week in Sacramento, California, where he described for Las Vegas detectives the alleged murder of Marayna Rodgers, 23, according to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department affidavit.
“I cannot comment on the substance of any statements made to law enforcement,” Comanche attorney Michael Goldstein said Wednesday. “We made our initial appearance yesterday, and the allegations will be addressed in court.”
The basketball player, who is being held without bond, appeared in a Sacramento County court Tuesday and agreed not to fight his transfer in custody to Nevada, where authorities said he’ll face murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges.
“We’re going to let the courts deal with it,” Goldstein told reporters outside the court. “We’re going to deal with it in Nevada.”
Comanche’s former girlfriend, Sakari Harnden, 19, is also facing charges in Rodgers’ death, police said. She is being held without bond in a Las Vegas jail.
Anna Clark, a deputy Clark County public defender representing Harnden, declined comment Wednesday about the case.
Rodgers, a medical assistant from Washington state, was reported missing Dec. 7 during a trip to Las Vegas to visit friends. Her remains were later found in the Vegas suburb of Henderson.
According to the affidavit, Comanche and Harnden worked together to choke Rodgers in the early hours of Dec. 6.
Police said Harnden and Rodgers were both sex workers and that Harnden had an ongoing dispute with Rodgers over an expensive watch.
According to the affidavit, the plot called for Comanche to pose as a sex customer who would tie Rodgers’ hands behind her back. Comanche then used a cord while Harnden used both her hands to choke Rodgers, the affidavit said.
Once Rodgers was dead, police said, Comanche and Harnden left her body in a ditch off the side of a road.
Before his arrest, Comanche had been playing for the Stockton Kings, the NBA G League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings, and averaged 14 points and seven rebounds in 13 games.
Comanche, a 6-foot-10 power forward and center, played college basketball at the University of Arizona from 2015-17 before declaring for the NBA draft.
He went undrafted and signed a free-agent contract with the Portland Trail Blazers last April but played only one game.
Sacramento signed Comanche in October but waived him 10 days later, at which point he joined Stockton.