By Antonio Ray Harvey, PACE NEWS Contributor
SACRAMENTO, CALIF – Chance Comanche, a former player with the NBA’s G League’s Stockton Kings, a former student at View Park Prep High and a standout at Beverly Hills High School recently waived his rights in a Sacramento court on Dec. 19 to be extradited to Las Vegas to face kidnapping and “open murder” allegations, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Comanche, 27, and his girlfriend, Sakari Harnden, 19, were both arrested and charged with kidnapping Harnden’s friend, 23-year-old Marayna Rodgers between the night of Dec. 5 and early morning of Dec. 6. Comanche has admitted that the pair killed the woman from Seattle, Washington, in what is described as a “Male and Female” Execution “Murder Plan” homicide case by LVMPD investigators. “We really have nothing to say,” Comanche’s lawyer Michael Goldstein said outside of the Sacramento County Main Jail where the court proceedings took place. “We’re going to let the court deal with it.
We’re going to deal with it in Nevada.” Comanche appeared in court in an orange jumpsuit issued to incarcerated inmates of the Sacramento County Main Jail in downtown Sacramento. He spoke to his attorney and the Hon. Superior Court Judge Alicia Hartley. He spoke to the officers of the court behind bars that resemble a caged box. Within less than two minutes, the 6-foot-11 athlete responded twice to Hartley with a “yes ma’am” in a nice manner and corrected her when she referred to him as “Chase,” politely telling her that his name is Chance. Comanche and his lawyer were told that the state of Nevada had 30 days from the court date to transfer him back to where the alleged crimes were committed. After his supposed confessions, the Clark County District Attorney’s office attached an open murder charge to the case. In Nevada, open murder is a general allegation that includes several homicides the prosecutor can charge under First-Degree Murder, Second-Degree Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter and Involuntary.
Rodgers was reported missing on Dec. 7, two days after she was last seen with friends. She had arranged to meet with Harnden and Comanche on Dec. 5, according to police. Comanche was in Las Vegas with the Kings for a game against G League Ignite. Law enforcement discovered human remains in a desert area in Henderson, Nevada. The remains were later identified by the Clark County Coroner to be Rodgers. Investigators determined that Harnden and Comanche were responsible for the murder of Rodgers. Comanche and Harnden started hatching the plan to kill Rodgers at the end of November and implemented the action after Comanche’s game, according to text messages listed in an arrest warrant. Their intentions were to farm out the murder through an acquaintance for $3,000 but that part of the plan fell through when they received no response from the would-be recruit who went by the name of “Tre,” according to information in the arrest warrant.
“Chance and Sakari were unable to get someone to help with the murder. So they decided to carry out the murder themselves,” the detectives wrote in the document filed in Las Vegas’ Justice Court on Dec. 18. The 15-page document also states that Harnden and Rodgers were sex workers and they had planned to meet with Comanche to have “kinky sex” for the price of “$1,000,” the basketball player told investigators. Harnden and Comanche text each other before the game. He later met Harden at his hotel and the pair went to pick up Rodgers in a Mercedes Benz at a liquor store that had surveillance cameras. Comanche told detectives in Sacramento that he choked Rodgers with a HDMI cord and Harnden used her bare hands. Comanche said he Harnden “lured” Rodgers away from her friends to kill her “under the direction of Sakari,” as mentioned in the arrest warrant. The diabolical plot to kill Rodgers all began when Harnden shared with Comanche that she was having “some issues’ ‘ with Rodgers about a Rolex watch she had in her possession and that she feared Rodgers was going to “smoke” her if she did not return the piece of jewelry. On Dec. 13, Harnden was arrested in Las Vegas by the Criminal Apprehension Team (CAT) and booked into the Clark County Detention Center. She first appeared in court on Dec. 18 and is currently being held on $500,000 bail.
On Dec. 15, Comanche was arrested by the members of the California Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Criminal Apprehension Team at a Stockton Kings practice in northwest Sacramento. He told investigators that he had known Harnden for about 18 months. Comanche was a Division III all-state selection and the 2015 Southern Section Division 3A Player of the Year. He averaged 20.1 points, 16.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game as a senior to lead Beverly Hills High School to a 26-6 record and a Southern Section 3A title as a senior. As a 6-foot-11 center, he entered the NBA draft in 2017 after leaving the University of Arizona. He was not drafted and bounced around in the league’s G League, playing one stint with the Stockton Kings last season.
Comanche returned to the Kings when he was added to the Sacramento Kings’ training camp roster on Oct. 2. He was cut by the team on Oct. 12, and then signed a contract to play with the Stockton Kings for a second stint. The team played their first home game on Nov. 19 in Stockton’s Adventist Health Arena against the South Bay Lakers, an affiliate of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers. Comanche played 28 minutes as starter in the contest, scoring 10 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and blocking 2 shots. “The Stockton Kings, the NBA G League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings, announced (Dec. 15) they have released Chance Comanche,” the team said in a written statement.
The LVMPD was contacted on Dec. 20 seeking information whether any of the Stockton Kings players were interviewed by detectives concerning the alleged homicide but its public information office did not provide any details. “The individual is pending extradition. This is still an ongoing investigation,” LVMPD replied in an emailed statement to the reporter. According to the arrest warrant, Comanche and Harnden dumped Rodgers’ body in a ditch in the desert and covered it with rocks. During the interview in Sacramento, Comanche showed detectives where the body had been discarded by pointing to the location on a map. Rodgers was a scrub nurse at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Seattle. After she disappeared, her boyfriend created a GoFundMe account.
“Marayna has a boyfriend, family, friends, two dogs, and works as a surgical tech back home in Washington,” the page creator, Tremaine McAdams of Henderson, Nevada wrote.