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Family suing counties for failing to extradite suspect before he strangled woman on Valley bus

Diane Craig was strangled to death on a Phoenix bus last May. A lawsuit blames multiple agencies for releasing Craig's suspected killer from custody before her death

PHOENIX — A lawsuit filed earlier this month in Maricopa County Superior Court is accusing multiple government agencies of failing to keep a suspected killer locked up before he strangled a woman to death on a Valley bus.

The family of Diane Craig believes agencies in Maricopa and Mohave counties failed to properly communicate with each other before a suspected criminal was released from custody and killed the 41-year-old woman.

Craig died last year after Joshua Bagley allegedly strangled her to death on a Valley Metro bus. The suspect allegedly wrapped the victim's purse straps around her neck before pushing Craig's body between rows of seats at the back of the bus, records show.

The bus driver discovered Craig's body a short time later.

The recent lawsuit suggests Craig's death could have potentially been avoided if the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Mohave County Sheriff's Office, and the Lake Havasu Police Department had better coordinated together to have Bagley extradited out of Phoenix. 

"These three entities failed to follow their own policies and procedures to effectuate the subject extradition," the lawsuit states.

A timeline of events surrounding Craig's death based on details listed in the lawsuit is as follows:

  • Joshua Bagley is released from the Arizona Department of Corrections in May 2021 after serving time for disorderly conduct.
  • Bagley is charged with vehicle theft in Mohave County in February 2022. 
  • Bagely is arrested on April 2 in Mesa and booked into jail to await extradition.
  • Bagley is released from custody and arrested again on April 30 by Goodyear police on suspicion of vehicle theft.
  • Another extradition warrant for Bagley is signed in Mohave County Superior Court on May 2.
  • Bagley is released from custody in Maricopa County on May 3.
  • Diane Craig is murdered on May 6.
  • Bagley is arrested on May 10 near 27th Avenue and Indian School Road.

Craig's wrongful death lawsuit accuses Maricopa County and Mohave County of gross negligence and negligent supervision.

Maricopa County officials declined to comment on the pending litigation.

Bagley's criminal charges for Craig's death remain pending in court.

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