Former NBA G League star allegedly admits to strangling woman in Las Vegas

A former NBA G League player allegedly admitted to strangling a woman in Las Vegas in a murder plot that had him posing as a prostitute’s customer, court documents revealed Tuesday.

Chance Comanche, 27, appeared in a court in Sacramento County, California, and waived his extradition back to Nevada, where he’ll face charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

The 6-foot-10 Comanche and his former girlfriend Sakari Harnden, 19, worked in tandem to choke Marayna Rodgers, 23, early Dec. 6, hours after the Stockton Kings played the NBA G League Ignite in Henderson, Nevada, according to a Las Vegas police affidavit supporting the arrest.

Comanche was taken into custody last week in Sacramento before he was read his Miranda rights, spoke to Las Vegas police detectives and explained the plot, the affidavit said.

Harnden and the victim were both sex workers, with the former having an ongoing beef with Rodgers over a Rolex watch, police said.

Chance Comanche.
Chance Comanche.Richard Prepetit / NBAE via Getty Images file

The plot called for Comanche to pose as a customer, who would tie Rodgers’ and Harden’s hands behind their backs for sex, according to the police affidavit.

After Rodgers had been bound with a zip-tie in the back of a car, Comanche used an HDMI cord to choke her “for approximately 10 seconds with the cord but stated he stopped when he heard Marayna struggling to breathe,” according to the court record.

“Chance used the cord to strangle Marayna,” the affidavit said, while Sakari used both of her hands on Rodgers’ neck to choke her. “Chance said once he stopped strangling Marayna he released the tension in the cord, but Sakari continued choking her,” the affidavit said.

Once the victim was dead, the pair found a ditch off the side of the road where they put Rodgers, a medical assistant from suburban Seattle, and covered her body with rocks, police said.

Comanche returned to the M Resort Casino, where the Kings were staying, at 6 a.m. before he and teammates left at 8:50 a.m., police said, citing hotel security video.

The same cameras captured Harnden also leaving her hotel room at 10:24 a.m. “visibly upset” and crying, police said. She was arrested Dec. 13.

Comanche, who went to Beverly Hills High School in Southern California and the University of Arizona, was cut from the Kings shortly after he was arrested.

He allegedly told detectives he met his co-defendant 1 ½ years ago through a dating app. Their dating relationship lasted only a few months, but they remained in touch, police said.

Harnden had an ongoing beef with Rodgers because she had allegedly been telling common friends “she was going to ‘smoke her’ if Harnden did not give her” a Rolex watch she coveted, police said.

Comanche had offered to help Harnden find a friend of his to kill Rodgers, police said. But they “were unable to get someone to help with the murder,” so they “decided to carry out the murder themselves,” police said.

Comanche’s defense attorney Michael Goldstein told reporters outside court in Sacramento on Tuesday: “We really have nothing to say. We’re going to let the courts deal it. We’re going to deal with it in Nevada.”

CORRECTION (Dec. 20, 2023, 2:07 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misspelled the victim’s first name. She was Marayna Rodgers, not Maryana.