Warrant Issued For Convicted Murderer In Connection To June 2019 Domestic Incident

SIERRA VISTA OFFICER TALKED TO SUSPECT ON PHONE BUT LEFT WITHOUT SEEING HIM

An arrest warrant has been issued by the Sierra Vista Justice Court in connection to a domestic incident last year involving a man who served more than 20 years in a Washington State prison for murder before moving to Arizona.

Robert Dean Swindler is the subject of a Jan. 23 warrant stemming from a June 2019 domestic incident with his girlfriend. He refused to turn himself in to police at the time and said officers would “have to blow his head off,” Sierra Vista Officer Joel Mercado noted in the official incident report.

According to Mercado’s report, multiple officers responded to a home around 1:30 a.m. on June 16, 2019 following a 911 call from the mother of Swindler’s girlfriend. The mother reported her daughter sent text messages to a friend stating she needed police at her residence because Swindler, 48, had threatened her but she was concerned because Swindler “is armed and will kill me if they show up.”

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Several officers set up a staging area nearby and met with the girlfriend, who was able to leave the house with two young children before officers arrived. She was not physically injured, Mercado noted.

However, the woman told Mercado that Swindler had a gun and “a fantasy of shooting it out with the police,” the report states.

Officers used a loudspeaker to order Swindler out of the unlit house, but he did not answer. This was followed by several unanswered calls to Swindler’s phone before he finally answered, according to Mercado’s report.

“I informed Robert he was being charged with disorderly conduct, and that he needed to come out because he was under arrest,” Mercado wrote. “Robert didn’t say anything and he hung up the phone.”

The officer had additional phone contacts with Swindler who continued to refuse to present himself to police.

“Robert stated that he wasn’t coming out, that he would rather get a bullet to his head,” Mercado noted, adding that Swindler insisted he hadn’t done anything wrong.

Around 3 a.m., with the house still dark, officers left the scene after informing Swindler there would be a citation pending against him. Although there was a car parked in front of the home, it’s unclear whether Swindler was even in the residence during his conversations with the officer.

There is no mention in Mercado’s report of any attempts by SVPD personnel to serve Swindler with the citation in the following days, weeks, or months.

Then on Jan. 14, 2020, Mercado wrote a supplemental report noting he was requesting a warrant for Swindler’s arrest. The officer also signed a criminal complaint against Swindler for one count of disturbing the peace by engaging in “violent or seriously disruptive behavior” in connection to the June 2019 incident.

Mercado makes no mention of what prompted the actions seven months after the incident.

Swindler is described as five foot-nine inches tall, about 200 pounds, and with a shaved head. He has reportedly been in Cochise County on a regular basis since last summer’s incident and is also known to have connections to the Yuma area.

Public records show the warrant had not been executed as of Thursday and anyone with information about Swindler’s whereabouts is asked to call 520-803-3555.

According to Washington media reports, Swindler served 22 years in prison from 1990 to 2012 for the murder of an elderly woman who died during a robbery of her rural home. He was about 18 years old at the time.

Then in 2016, Swindler was arrested in Washington following an alleged domestic violence incident with a woman who claimed he threatened her with a machete while a young child was in the home. Swindler told police the woman was lying.

A public record request about the outcome of the 2016 incident is pending with the Everett Police Department.