Bigger sentence upheld; Beaty executed

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Arizona court of appeals upheld the 2007 sentence of convicted hit man Ronald Bigger Wednesday for the stabbing death of eye doctor Brian Stidham.

Bigger received a life sentence for murder and conspiracy.

The appeals panel rejected claims by Bigger's defense team that the trial judge should have moved the case out of Pima County.

And there was no last minute reprieve for convicted killer Donald Beaty.

His final hope ended late Wednesday when the U.S. Supreme Court turned down his appeal, which hinged on objections to a change of one of the execution drugs.

Donald Edward Beaty, 56, died by lethal injection at 7:38 P.M. Wednesday at the state prison in Florence.

A jury convicted Beaty for the 1984 kidnapping, rape and murder of 13-year-old Christy Ann Fornoff.