Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Wednesday that death row inmate Murray Hooper had been executed by the state of Arizona for the 1980 murder of Pat Redmond and Helen Phelps.
“The people of Arizona made it clear once again that those who commit heinous crimes in our state will be held accountable,” said Brnovich. “We must never forget the victims or cease to pursue what justice demands.”
The execution by lethal overdose occurred at 10:33 a.m. on Wednesday at the Arizona State Prison Complex.
Yesterday, AZ carried out another execution of an inmate sentenced to death nearly 40 years ago.
The people of Arizona made it clear again that those who commit heinous crimes in our state will be held accountable.
We must never forget the victims or cease to pursue justice. pic.twitter.com/K2BGYQbuRb
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) November 17, 2022
Fox 10 reported that Hooper’s final meal was Kentucky Fried Chicken, macaroni and cheese, cheesecake, and ice cream. Witnesses described the 12 minutes from injection to declared death as peaceful. Hooper’s final words were as follows: “It’s all been said. Let it be done. To all my lawyers and loved ones, don’t be sad for me. Don’t cry. Don’t say goodbye. Say, ‘I’ll see you later.’ Let’s go.”
Hooper and his attorneys made a last-minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS), alleging that one of the survivors of the attack had failed to identify Hooper in a photo lineup. Authorities insisted no such lineup ever occurred, and SCOTUS rejected the appeal hours before the execution.
As reported by The Arizona Sun Times, Hooper’s story began in 1980, when Robert Cruz, the head of a Chicago crime organization, wanted Arizona resident Pat Redmond dead. Redmond and Ron Lukezic co-owned Graphic Dimensions, a printing business in Phoenix. Cruz offered Redmond “lucrative” printing contracts with Las Vegas hotels, but Redmond refused.
Cruz wanted to remove Redmond from the picture to one day take the business for himself. Hooper and William Bracy, both Chicago residents, traveled to Phoenix in December to carry out the hit. Former Phoenix police officer Edward McCall joined the pair to complete the job.
On New Year’s Eve, the groups gathered at Redmond’s home, where his wife, Marilyn Redmon, and her mother, Phelps, were preparing dinner. The armed men forced entry into the house, demanding money and other valuables. The three victims were bound and gagged in the master bedroom, where the intruders proceeded to execute them. All three were shot, and McCall detailed that Hooper slashed Pat’s throat.
Hooper and Bracy then returned home, but unknown to them, Ms. Redmond survived the ordeal and would go on to identify the two at an in-person lineup in Chicago. Trials ensued, and in February 1983, all three men were sentenced to death, although Bracy and McCall would die in prison before the sentencing could be carried out.
Brnovich filed a notice of intent to execute Hooper to the Arizona Supreme Court in July. Hooper’s death marks the third Arizona death row inmate executed in 2022. Before Hooper, Frank Atwood was executed in June for the kidnapping and murder of 8-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, and Clarence Dixon was executed in May for the rape and murder of ASU student Deana Bowdoin.
Dixon’s death marked the first time an Arizonan prisoner had been executed in nearly eight years. In 2014, the execution of Joseph Wood was botched, leaving him gasping for air for almost two hours before dying, which led to the execution process being suspended. It took Brnovich a year’s work to resume the death penalty in the state.
The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, & Reentry states that 110 inmates remain on Arizona’s death row.
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