Arizona to execute 2 death row inmates in June, July

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PHOENIX – The Arizona Supreme Court has issued two execution warrants for two Arizona inmates, setting one execution date for the end of June and the other for mid-July.

Richard Lynne Bible will be put to death on June 30. Bible was convicted of raping and killing a 9-year-old Yuma girl names Jennifer Wilson.

According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Bible kidnapped Jennifer on June 6, 1988. She was riding her bike on a Forest Service road in Flagstaff at the time. Bible took the little girl to an area near his home and sexually assaulted her.

He then used a blunt instrument to hit her in the face and head. When she was dead, Bible hid her body. She was not found for nearly three weeks.

Bible has been on death row since 1990.

The court also issued an execution warrant for Thomas Paul West, who was convicted of robbing and killing a man outside of Tucson. His execution has been set for July 19.

In this case, West and some friends went to Don Bortle’s trailer to buy some electronic he had advertised. That was in late June 1987. A little more than two weeks later, West returned to Bortle’s home, tied him up, beat him, and stole several items, including his car.

According to the ADOC, West took the stolen goods to Phoenix, apparently intended to sell them. While in Phoenix, West told friends what he had done. One of those friends called the Pima County Sheriff’s Office.

Based on that call, deputies checked on Bortle. They discovered his body, bound and gagged. He had been beaten to death. Five days had passed since West’s second visit.

West was sentenced to death in 1988.

The day before the Arizona Supreme Court issued the two execution warrants, Donald Edward Beaty was executed by lethal injection for the 1984 rape and murder of Christy Ann Fornoff, 13, of Tempe. The state used a drug that had never been used for an execution in Arizona. Pentobarbital replaced the controversial drug sodium thiopental in the three-drug method of lethal injection.