A Pima County jury decided Friday that because Scott Nordstrom, 41, killed multiple people in 1996, he should be considered for the death penalty.
The jury will return on Tuesday to listen to evidence that will help it decide if he should receive a lethal injection.
Nordstrom was convicted of participating in two robberies that resulted in the deaths of six people in 1996. A Pima County judge sentenced Nordstrom to death in 1998, but the U.S. Supreme Court decided in June 2002 that juries, not judges, must sentence defendants in capital cases.
As a result, prosecutors and defense attorneys spent much of the past week selecting a new jury whose sole duty will be to determine Nordstrom's sentence.
On Friday, Deputy Pima County Attorney Kellie Johnson asked jurors to make Nordstrom eligible for the death penalty, saying Nordstrom was convicted of shooting Thomas Hardman, 28, and Carol Lynn Noel, 50, in separate incidents.
Two witnesses were called to the stand to testify verifying those convictions, a former Tucson Police Department detective and Nordstrom's former defense attorney.
Defense attorney David Darby waived his right to argue the matter before the jury, but told Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard Nichols the state didn't prove its case.
Darby argued that while Nichols himself read a statute to jurors saying first-degree murder is punishable by life in prison or death, Johnson and fellow prosecutor Rick Unklesbay didn't call any witnesses to prove that fact.
"This case is over," Darby said.
Nichols rejected Darby's argument and the jury was sent out to deliberate. It reached its decision in 30 minutes.
Nordstrom and Robert G. Jones Jr. entered the Moon Smoke Shop on May 30, 1996, to rob the place and each ended up killing someone.
Two weeks later, the pair went into the Firefighters Union Hall, where Jones shot three customers in the head, killing them. Nordstrom killed the bartender when the bartender was unable to open the safe.
Both cases were solved when Scott's brother, David Nordstrom, the getaway driver in each robbery, contacted police. David Nordstrom was sentenced to four years in the case.
Jones' death sentence was upheld before the U.S. Supreme Court threw out all death sentences rendered by judges. http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/metro/305928.php