Man who set daughter on fire sentenced to death

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PHOENIX -- A Phoenix man convicted of murdering his 2-year-old daughter by setting her on fire in a desert area near Apache Junction was sentenced to death for the third time Monday afternoon.

Death penalty

Maricopa County jury to decide fate of man who burned daughter - A Phoenix man convicted of murdering his 2-year-old daughter by setting her on fire in a desert area near Apache Junction says he'll accept the death penalty if that's what a jury decides.

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Shawn Grell, 34, waived his trial in the 1999 murder, pleading guilty in September 2000. The next year, an East Valley judge gave Grell the death penalty.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2002 found that Arizona's system of judges sentencing defendants to death was unconstitutional and a jury was called on to decide Grell's fate.

Following a three-month trial, Grell told jurors that he was "extremely sorry" for what he did to his daughter, Kristen Salem.

The jury reached its decision Monday afternoon.

After the verdict County Attorney Andrew Thomas said, "This murder was one of the most horrific I can remember. Shawn Grell fully deserves the death penalty, and he shouldn't be allowed to avoid this punishment by filing frivolous appeals for the next twenty years."