Beating Death Of Sunizona Man Under Investigation

Detectives in Cochise County are hoping an autopsy report will help explain how a Sunizona man died last month and perhaps why it appears he attacked a friend without provocation.

Timothy E. Eichorn was found on his rural property shortly after 6 p.m. on Oct. 17 after a friend reported striking Eichorn in the head several times after being attacked while helping Eichorn feed some farm animals. He was pronounced deceased at the scene at 7:15 p.m. after Sunsites-Pearce Fire consulted with a doctor at Canyon Vista Medical Center.

The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Eichorn’s residence off State Route 181 after the friend, Michael Lobello, said he hit Eichorn in the back of the head with a grinder in self-defense. Lobello then drove a short distance to call 911 from a neighbor’s home where he waited for deputies who found Lobello “covered in blood” with several visible abrasions and bruises.

Lobello told deputies Eichorn greeted him around 3 p.m. when Lobello arrived to care for the animals, something he did every few days. Later in the afternoon, Eichorn reportedly asked Lobello to join him in a 53 foot cargo trailer on the property known as the milking barn.

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Deputy Roger Clark’s report doesn’t indicate how long the men were in the milking barn but Lobello stated that as he started to leave Eichorn hit him on the back several times with a PVC pipe “for no known reason.”  Lobello said he fell to the floor of the trailer while Eichorn continued to hit him for several minutes until Eichorn appeared to lose his breath.

“As he did so, Michael said he pushed Tim to the floor,” Clark noted in his report. “Michael explained he observed a chain and could not reach it; therefore, he observed what he believed was a grinder with a wheel on it and was able to strike Tim a few times in the back of his head.”

Lobello told Clark he left Eichorn on the floor of the trailer, which is where deputies found him lying face down with the grinder on his back. He had obvious injuries to the back of his head, no pulse, was cold to the touch, and some lividity had set in, according to Clark’s report. The power cord to the grinder was also partially wrapped around Eichorn’s neck.

CCSO Det. Juan Carlos Hoke is the lead investigator in the case which is pending an autopsy report from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner. Hoke declined to comment about what he has learned since Oct. 17 or whether criminal charges are being considered, but he is interested in speaking with anyone who may have information about Eichorn’s death.

The detective can be reached at 520-432-9500.

Public records show Eichorn was a registered sex offender due to several convictions for sexual offenses in California, the first when he was 13. Other offenses occurred in 1973, 1980, and 1988. He was not subject to community notification due to how long ago his crimes were committed.

Eichorn moved to Cochise County around 1999. He was cited at the time for failing to register with the sheriff’s office. That case was dismissed, but in 2009 he was indicted for failing to register after he moved from Tombstone to Benson. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison and appears to have complied with his registration requirement since then.

Clark’s incident report makes no mention of any other criminal history nor any current or ongoing issues related to Eichorn’s old convictions.