PHOENIX — A federal appeals court turned down two motions Friday from an
Arizona death-row inmate scheduled to be executed next week for murdering six
people in Tucson 17 years ago.
Lawyers for Robert Glen Jones Jr. asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
in San Francisco for an evidentiary hearing, arguing that prosecutors withheld
evidence at Jones’ 1998 trial.
They also asked the 9th Circuit to remand his case back to a district court,
saying Jones received ineffective counsel at his trial that ended with his
conviction on six counts of first-degree murder.
Federal public defender Dale Baich said his office was reviewing the appeals
court’s opinion and “will decide if we will ask the full court (en blanc) to
review the panel decision. “
After that, Baich said the next step would be taking Jones’ case to the U.S.
Jones, 44, is scheduled to be executed by injection Wednesday morning at the
state prison in Florence.
He was sentenced to death for the fatal shootings of six people during armed
robberies at a Tucson smoke shop and a social club weeks apart in 1996.
Co-defendant Scott Nordstrom also was sentenced to death in the case. He’s one
of 121 people remaining on Arizona’s death row, including two women.
Jones’ attorneys argue that a now-deceased Pima County prosecutor withheld
evidence at his client’s trial and Jones’ conviction hinged on the testimony of
the getaway driver, who wound up with only a four-year prison sentence.
The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted 4-0 last week against a reprieve
or recommending to Gov. Jan Brewer that Jones’ sentence be commuted to life in
Jones didn’t attend his clemency hearing and has denied interview requests.
His execution would be Arizona’s 36th since 1992 and the second this month. On
Oct. 9, the state executed 71-year-old Edward Schad, who was convicted of
killing a Bisbee man in 1978.