Wendi Andriano—white, age 30

Sentenced to death in Maricopa County, Arizona
By: A jury
Date of crime: 10/8/2000
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Andriano killed her husband, Joe, who was dying of cancer. She poisoned her husband and was going to claim he had a heart attack so she could obtain money from a medical malpractice suit. While Joe was dying from the poison she hit her husband over 20 times in the head with a bar stool and then stabbed him. Andriano argued that she acted in self defense because she was trying to prevent him from reaching for a knife after they fought because she had been having an affair. A state psychologist explained that she was extremely manipulative and faked a suicide attempt to ensure her an easier time in jail after her arrest.
Prosecutor(s): Juan Martinez
Defense lawyer(s): David DeLozier, Dan Patterson
Sources: The Arizona Republic 11/19/04 (2004 WL 98651084), 12/23/04 (2004 WL 101483047)

David Lamar Anthony—white, age 52

Sentenced to death in Maricopa County, Arizona
By: A jury Date of crime: About 7/7/01
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Anthony killed his wife and two children (ages 12 and 14) so that he could take control of his wife’s assets. Their bodies were never found. The prosecution proof of death relied partly on blood and semen trace evidence. The defense attempted to suggest that Anthony’s wife’s former husband, who was the biological father of the two children, was the culprit. (Note: Anthony was convicted in 2002, but not sentenced until 2004 because the constitutionality of Arizona’s death penalty statutes was being litigated. Thus, he was sentenced by a different jury than the one that convicted him.)
Prosecutor(s): Vince Imbordino
Defense lawyer(s): Ulises Ferragut for the guilt/innocence trial in 2002; Robert Doyle for the penalty phase in 2004.
Sources: Arizona Republic, 3/8/04, 9/24/04; Maricopa County Superior Court order 2/15/02

Charles David Ellison—white, age 33

Sentenced to death in Mohave County, Arizona
By: A jury Date of crime: 2/24/99
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Ellison killed Joseph and Lillian Boucher in their home in Kingman during a burglary. The jury found 6 aggravating circumstances: his prior criminal record, that he was on parole for armed robbery at the time of the murders, that the crime was committed for pecuniary gain, that the victims were older than 70, that the victims were bound and suffocated with tape, and that there were two murders. The defense mitigation focused on Ellison’s rough childhood and his drug and alcohol addictions, and attempted to convince the jury that the primary wrongdoer had been accomplice Richard Finch, who was earlier sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutor(s): Matt Smith
Defense lawyer(s): Vince Lannone
Sources: Kingman Daily Miner 2/17/04, 2/18/04

Ruben Garza—Latino, age 19

Sentenced to death in Maricopa County, Arizona
By: A jury
Date of crime: 12/1/99
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Garza and an unknown other person burglarized the home of Garza’s aunt by marriage. The aunt was shot twice in the head. A man who also occupied the home was shot multiple times during a struggle. The prosecution alleged robbery as a motive, but the jury did not find it as an aggravating circumstance. The defense argued that Garza had only confessed to being present in the home, and that there was insufficient evidence that he had inflicted any violence on the victims. In mitigation, the defense offered his youthful age (19), his lack of any criminal record, and friends and relatives to attest to his non-violent character.
Prosecutor(s): No information
Defense lawyer(s): James Cleary, Christopher Dupont
Sources: Telephone interview with defense lawyer James Cleary, 1/13/05

Leroy Dean McGill—white, age 39

Sentenced to death in Maricopa County, Arizona
By: A jury
Date of crime: 9/13/0
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Charles Perez and Nova Banta told the person with whom McGill was living that McGill had stolen the person’s shotgun.  That person threw McGill out, so that he became homeless.  To get revenge, McGill created a mixture of gasoline and Styrofoam (to make a gel so it would stick better and burn hotter), barged into Perez and Banta’s apartment, doused them with the mixture, and set them on fire.  Perez died, and Banta was so seriously burned she had to be placed in a medically-induced coma.  After the murder, McGill asked if an acquaintance had smelled burning flesh.  McGill had two prior armed robbery convictions.  No information was found concerning the defense strategy.
Prosecutor(s): Catherine M. Hughes
Defense lawyer(s): Maria L. Schaffer, Elizabeth Todd

Steven Ray Newell—white, age 20

Sentenced to death in Maricopa County, Arizona
By: A jury Date of crime: 5/3/01
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Newell kidnapped 8-year-old Elizabeth Byrd on her way to school, sexually assaulted her, strangled her with her backpack strap, wrapped her body in a piece of carpet, and dumped it in an irrigation ditch. Newell confessed to the kidnapping and sexual assault, but denied the murder. Physical evidence and eyewitnesses placed him at the crime scene. Newell had a prior conviction for attempted kidnapping. In mitigation, the defense showed Newell’s deprived childhood and his drug addiction.
Prosecutor(s): Cleve Lynch
Defense lawyer(s): Bruce Peterson
Sources: Arizona Republic 2/3/04, 2/11/04, 2/13/14, 2/26/04

Joseph Clarence Smith, Jr.—white, age about 25 (re-sentence after an appellate reversal)

Sentenced to death in Maricopa County, Arizona
By: A jury Date of crime: late 1975
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Smith kidnapped two teenaged female hitchhikers in separate incidents, took them into the desert, bound them, suffocated them by forcing dirt into their noses and mouths, and then taping their mouths. He then inflicted perverse injuries on their corpses. Smith had other convictions for rape. This was at least Smith’s second re-sentencing after an appellate reversal.
Prosecutor(s): David Powell
Defense lawyer(s):
Sources: State v. Smith, 599 P.2d 187 (Ariz. 1976)

Juan Velazquez – Latino, age 23

Sentenced to death in Maricopa County, Arizona
By: A jury
Date of crime: 9/25/2001
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Velazquez beat his girlfriend’s 20 month-old daughter, Liana, to death. He was angered by her crying so he repeatedly kicked her legs out from under her until she couldn’t get back up. Then he covered her with a pillow and left her to die. He bound a rock to the child’s body and threw her in a canal. Defense attorneys brought expert witnesses to testify as to Velazquez’s borderline personality disorder and brought family in to testify how he was beaten as a child and watched his father beat his mother.
Prosecutor(s): Jeanette Gallagher
Defense lawyer(s): Robert Storrs & Joey Hamby
Sources: The Arizona Republic 10/9/2004 (2004 WL 95919700)