Crime

Former NBA G league player admits he and ex killed woman in Las Vegas

The details from a jail interview between Chance Comanche and Las Vegas detectives were revealed in a newly obtained arrest report.

Marayna Rodgers
Scripps News Las Vegas / GoFundMe
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A former player with Sacramento Kings G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, told police he and his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend devised a plan to lure a woman away from her friends in Las Vegas to kill her because the ex-girlfriend said she was having “issues” with her. 

Chance Comanche, 27, was taken into custody Thursday by the FBI during a practice session in Sacramento and is being held at the Sacramento County Main Jail. His ex-girlfriend Sakari Harnden, whom he said he met on a dating app over a year ago, was arrested two days prior by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) and is being held at the Clark County Detention Center in Nevada. Both are facing open murder and kidnapping charges in connection to the disappearance and death of 23-year-old Marayna Rodgers. 

José Luis Villegas / AP and LVMPD

LVMPD detectives traveled to Sacramento to interview Comanche in jail while he was awaiting extradition to Nevada, which is when he admitted he and Harnden killed Rodgers and detailed their plan, according to an arrest report obtained by Scripps News Las Vegas

According to police, Rodgers was a medical assistant from Washington state who arrived in Las Vegas on Dec. 1. Her boyfriend told detectives they drove down to the city and stayed in an AirBnB with the intent of engaging in prostitution — which is something her friends also confirmed to police, according to the arrest report. 

It’s not clear from the report how Rodgers and Harnden knew each other. 

Detectives learned that Comanche and Harnden began planning a way to kill Rodgers in messages exchanged on the Telegram app starting Dec. 1, after Harnden said she was having problems with her.

On Dec. 4, Comanche arrived at the M Resort on the outskirts of Las Vegas with his team ahead of their scheduled game against G League Ignite in Henderson — which is located about 13 miles away from the hotel. 

Rodgers' friends told detectives she and Harnden got into an argument on Dec. 4 because Harnden was upset that Rodgers allegedly told people Harnden was a police informant for the murder arrest of a man in California. Harnden denied this when interviewed by police after Rodgers’s disappearance, according to the arrest report.

Initially, Comanche told detectives he asked a friend referred to as “Tre” to kill Rodgers for them, but Tre declined. He then asked Tre if knew anyone else who would be willing to help them kill her for $3,000, the arrest report said. 

Comanche told detectives he and Harnden decided to carry out the murder themselves when they couldn’t find anyone to help with it. 

Detectives were able to review Telegram messages exchanged between Harnden and Comanche from Harnden’s phone, which was found when police executed a search warrant on Dec. 8. 

In a series of messages on Dec. 4, Comanche said, “need to get that b**** drunk and mix rat poison or sum in her drink” and then said, “It’s hella ways to off a mf.”

In another message, Comanche then appeared to ask Harnden if she had a gun. Next, he said, “I can snap her neck or just strangle the b****,” then typed “If you get a nice little thick piece of rope or sum sturdy I can do it from the back seat. Like how killers do it in the movies.”

The Telegram messages in the arrest report appear to show Comanche and Harnden planning out how Comanche would contact Rodgers pretending to be a “trick” — someone who pays for sexual acts. The messages also appear to show Comanche telling Harnden she needed to tell police Rodgers was meeting up with men for money and that she last saw her get in an Uber with someone before she went missing. 

Comanche told police he followed the plan and sent Rodgers a TextNow message pretending to be a “trick” under the direction of Harnden. He offered Rodgers $1,000 for an hour for her “services.” 

On Dec. 5, Rodgers allegedly told her boyfriend and some friends she was meeting Harnden for a prostitution “double date,” according to the arrest report. Her friend reportedly dropped her off at Harnden’s car, with Harnden in the driver’s seat and Comanche in the rear passenger seat. 

Rodgers was led to believe Comanche was the “trick” who was paying for the sexual services, he told detectives. 

Comanche said he and Harnden continued to message each other about how they were going to carry out the murder as the trio stopped at a liquor store and purchased a bottle of alcohol before parking in a cul-de-sac. 

Harnden told Rodgers that Comanche was into “kinky sex” and he wanted to tie them up. Comanche told detectives he handed two zip-ties to Harnden as she straddled Rodgers's lap in the front seat of the car. 

Rodgers willingly placed her wrists together to be zip-tied, Comanche said. Harnden then reached her hands behind Rodgers on either side of the headrest pretending her hands were about to be bound as well, according to Comanche. At this time, Comanche said he placed an HDMI cord over Rodgers’ neck and strangled her until he heard her struggling to breathe, and then he stopped. Simultaneously, he said, Harnden used her hands to choke Rodgers and she didn’t stop when he allegedly released the cord. 

When Rodgers was unresponsive, Comanche said they checked for her pulse and saw fluid coming out of her mouth, leading them to believe she was dead. 

Comanche told detectives they drove around with Rodgers’ body in the front seat looking for a place to hide it. They stopped at a ditch, took her body out of the car, placed it in the ditch and began covering it with rocks that they moved with towels so they wouldn’t get DNA on them, Comanche said. 

He told detectives they smashed Rodgers’s cell phone with a rock and took it with them when they left the scene. 

Hours later, Comanche boarded his team bus to leave Las Vegas, police said. Meanwhile, Harnden reported Rodgers missing to police and claimed she last saw her getting into an Uber — just like she and Comanche had allegedly planned. 

During the interview, Comanche reportedly showed detectives on a map where they left Rodgers' body. Detectives later located her remains in a suburb of Henderson. 

Authorities have not released a cause of death for Rodgers. 

According to The Associated Press, Comanche was a power forward and center who played college basketball at the University of Arizona from 2015-17 before declaring for the NBA draft.

He signed a free-agent contract with the Portland Trail Blazers last April but played in only one game. Sacramento signed Comanche in October but waived him 10 days later, at which point he joined Stockton. Stockton confirmed they released Comanche after he was arrested, but did not provide any further comment.