Listing of Arizona Death Row Inmates V - Z

Started by Jeff1857, February 15, 2010, 05:50:30 PM

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February 15, 2010, 05:50:30 PM Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 11:01:35 AM by Michael
Pete Van Winkle
A prisoner convicted of first-degree murder in the fatal beating of another inmate in Maricopa County's Fourth Avenue Jail got the death penalty on Tuesday.
Pete Van Winkle, 27, was sentenced to death in the May 1, 2008, slaying of Robert Cotton, 28. In a separate case, Judge Paul McMurdie sentenced Van Winkle to 22 years in prison for attempted second-degree murder and 2 years in prison for misconduct involving weapons. Both sentences will run consecutive to the death sentence. Sentenced to Death 11/17/09.

Juan Velasquez
In August, 2001, Juan Velazquez moved in with Virginia Venegas and her two young children, three-year-old Isabella and one-year-old Liana.
On September 26, 2002, Venegas called 9-1-1, reporting that Liana was missing. The Phoenix Police Department responded and a massive search for Liana began. Venegas and Velazquez told the police that Velazquez had gone to a local laundry mat earlier and had left the arcadia door open. Ms. Venegas was busy in the kitchen and assumed Liana had gone with Velazquez. When Velazquez called home from the laundry mat, they realized Liana was missing.
While the police were searching for Liana, her father arrived. He observed bruising on Isabella's head and took her to a nearby hospital. Among other injuries, Isabella had a skull fracture, swollen bruises on her face and bruising on her chest and back.
Phoenix Police detectives interviewed Velazquez and arrested him the next day, September 27, 2001. He admitted tripping Liana several times, causing her to hit her head and finally lose consciousness. He further admitted holding his hand over Liana's mouth to keep her quiet, knowing that she could not breathe and to squeezing her around the rib cage. He also admitted that he had been abusing both for approximately a month.
On September 28, 2001, divers found Liana's body in a canal, weighted down by a cement block which Velazquez had tied to her with wire. She had been killed by a blow to the head.

Joshua Viillebos
A Maricopa County Superior Court jury sentenced a Phoenix man to death Tuesday for the beating murder of his girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter.
On March 31, Joshua Villalobos was convicted of felony murder and child abuse in the January 2004 death of Ashley Molina.

Robert F. Walden Jr.
On June 13, 1991, the victim's husband returned home and found the victim's body in their bedroom. The victim's shoes, pants and underwear had been removed. A lamp cord was still tied around her neck and her throat had been cut. The room showed signs of a struggle and an autopsy revealed numerous abrasions and bruises on the victim's body.
The autopsy also revealed sperm in the victim's vagina and on her thigh. Walden's fingerprints matched those found at the victim's residence and those found during the investigation of two other sexual assaults. Both surviving sexual assault victims positively identified Walden as their attacker, as did a witness who observed Walden outside the victim's apartment.

James G. Wallace
Wallace lived with Susan Insalaco and her two children, 16-year-old Anna and 12-year-old Gabe. After an argument with Susan on the night of January 31, 1984, Susan told Wallace to move out the next day.
After Susan, Anna and Gabe left the next day, Wallace did not leave and instead stayed in the house and decided to kill them. When Anna returned from school that day, Wallace was waiting with a baseball bat. He hit Anna repeatedly on the head until the bat broke, then pushed the broken end of the bat through her throat.
Wallace put Anna's body in the bathroom, cleaned up and then got a steel pipe wrench from a shed. When Gabe came home, Wallace followed him into his room and killed him by striking him in the head with the pipe wrench. Wallace then waited for Susan. When she arrived two hours later, she asked him why he had not left as she had requested. He followed her into the kitchen and killed her by hitting her in the head with the same wrench.

Theodore Washington
Fred Robinson and Susan Hill lived together for a number of years. Beginning in 1984, Susan made several efforts to leave Robinson, but he always forced her to return. In February 1987, Susan left Robinson for a week to visit her father, and stepmother, Sterleen Hill, in Yuma. After this visit, Susan went to California to live with other relatives and did not tell Robinson. On June 8, 1987, Robinson decided to go to Yuma and bring Susan back. Robinson persuaded his friends, Washington and Jimmy Mathers to go with him. The men loaded Robinson's car with weapons and drove to Yuma. Washington was wearing a red bandanna. Around 11:45 p.m., two men entered the Hills' home, forced the couple to lie on their bedroom floor and tied them up. A black man wearing a red bandanna held a gun to the husband's head, then ransacked the drawers and closet while the second man stood over the Hills. One of the men shot the Hills with a 12-gauge shotgun. Sherleen Hill died from her wounds but her husband survived. Washington, Robinson, and Mathers were tried jointly and each received the death penalty. On appeal the state Supreme Court reversed Mathers' conviction, finding insufficient evidence to support the jury verdict.

Thomas P. West
On June 26, 1987, West and some friends went to Don Bortle's trailer outside Tucson to buy some electronic goods Bortle had advertised for sale.
On July 12, 1987, West returned to the trailer, tied Bortle up, beat him and stole numerous items. West stole Bortle's car and took the stolen goods to Phoenix, where he intended to sell them. While in Phoenix, West told friends what he had done. One of his friends called the Pima County Sheriff's Office and told them to check on Bortle.
On July 17, 1987, a deputy entered Bortle's trailer and found Bortle's bound and gagged body. Bortle had died from blunt force injuries to his head.

Michael R. White
Michael White and Susan Minter were lovers. Minter was also having a relationship with David Johnson, a miner from Bagdad. Minter and White decided to kill Johnson to collect on his life insurance policy, so in November of 1987, Minter married Johnson. She then had herself and her children named beneficiaries on the policy.
On December 12, 1987, White waited outside Johnson's home for Johnson to return from work. Using a potato as a silencer, White shot Johnson with a .357 Magnum in the face and the back. Minter, who was inside the home, locked the doors and refused to let Johnson in as he called for help. Johnson died later that night.
Minter was tried separately, convicted of first-degree murder and she received a life sentence.

Aryon Williams
Williams was convicted of murdering his former girlfriend, Rita DeLao.
On January 28, 1990, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to Ellis Road, where a hunter discovered DeLao's body. The victim was identified by her Arizona driver's license, which was found in the dirt near her body.
Examination of the crime scene indicated that a struggle took place near the west side of the road and that DeLao fell over a berm down to a pond. Drag marks indicated that DeLao was dragged from the pond to where her body was discovered. She was shot three times, beat on the head with a sharp instrument and repeatedly run over with a car.
DeLao's car was found parked in the Casa Grande High School maintenance yard. There was blood on the left rear wheel cover, rear tire whitewall, side molding, the front wheel cover and the left side front spoiler.
While an officer was securing evidence from the victim's car, he noticed someone writing down the license number of the vehicle. The person identified himself as Aryon Williams. Williams told the officer he wanted to assist them in finding his lost girlfriend. Williams became a suspect after the Phoenix Police Department reported that several of DeLao's friends related that Williams was abusive toward DeLao.
Williams told his then-current girlfriend that he had killed DeLao.

Ronald T. Williams
On the morning of March 12, 1981, Williams kicked in the front door of a home in Scottsdale and began to burglarize it. While Williams was inside, a neighbor, John Bunchek, came to the home to investigate. Williams shot Bunchek in the chest, killing him. Williams left Arizona that same day without telling his roommates. Three months later, FBI agents arrested Williams in New York City. A gun taken from Williams at his arrest had fired the bullet that killed Bunchek. Williams had previously twice been convicted for murder.

Pete Van Winkle
A prisoner convicted of first-degree murder in the fatal beating of another inmate in Maricopa County's Fourth Avenue Jail got the death penalty on Tuesday.
Pete Van Winkle, 27, was sentenced to death in the May 1, 2008, slaying of Robert Cotton, 28. In a separate case, Judge Paul McMurdie sentenced Van Winkle to 22 years in prison for attempted second-degree murder and 2 years in prison for misconduct involving weapons. Both sentences will run consecutive to the death sentence.
Sentenced to Death 11/17/09.

Brian A. Womble
Brian Womble conspired with his brother, Paul Speer, to kill Adan and Enriqueta Soto. Speer was in jail awaiting trial for a burglary he committed with his other brother, Chris Womble, at the Soto residence. While Speer was in jail, he and Womble, plotted over the phone to kill the Soto's who were to be witnesses in Speer's burglary trial.
In the early hours of May 25, 2002, Womble broke into the Soto residence and shot Adan and Enriqueta while they slept with their baby boy between them. Enriqueta awoke in pain, not knowing she had been shot and called 911 after failing to wake Adan. Enriqueta, then 30, was permanently debilitated. Adan, 42, died with his arms around his son. Two other children were asleep in the Soto residence at the time.
Paul Speer was also sentenced to death for his participation in this crime.

Joseph R. Wood
Wood and his 29-year-old ex-girlfriend, Debbie Dietz, had been involved in a turbulent relationship for five years, which had been marred by numerous breakups and several domestic violent incidents.
Debbie was working at a local body shop owned by her family. On August 7, 1989, Wood walked into the shop and shot Gene Dietz, age 55, in the chest with a .38 caliber revolver, killing him. Gene Dietz's 70-year-old brother was present and tried to stop Wood, but Wood pushed him away and proceeded into another section of the body shop.
Wood went up to Debbie, placed her in some type of hold and shot her once in the abdomen and once in the chest, killing her. Wood then fled the building.
Two police officers approached Wood and ordered him to drop his weapon. After Wood placed the weapon on the ground, he reached down and picked it up and pointed it at the officers. The officers fired, striking Wood several times. Wood was transported to a local hospital where he underwent extensive surgery.

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