Attorney talks about convicted killer Richard Bible

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

A man convicted of raping and killing a 9-year-old girl in 1988 was executed at the state prison in Florence. Richard Bible had been sitting on death row for more than two decades.

It was a murder that sent shock waves through the community of Flagstaff 23 years ago.

“She was a vivacious, energetic, 9-year-old child and I often wonder what she would be doing now, if she had been allowed to live,” said former Deputy County Attorney Camille Bibles, who helped convict Bible.

Jennifer Wilson's life was cut short at the hands of Bible. She was on vacation with her family in the high country back in 1988.

“This was a case that shook the city to its core,” Bibles said. “The fact that one of their own had committed a crime this horrible and this brutal, that really stands out.”

Bibles had been practicing law for only a year when she was called in to help lead prosecutor Fred Newton with the case.

“As a prosecutor, you feel that it's very important to make sure that you find the truth,” Bibles said.

Wilson was riding her bike when she vanished on June 6. Her body was found nearly three weeks later. She died from blunt force trauma to the head.
 
“As the evidence was developed in the case, they realized there was a lot of biological evidence,” Bibles said. “Potentially the first DNA case and this was the first DNA case in Arizona.”

Bible's trial lasted six weeks and in the end, he was sentenced to death. 3TV got an exclusive interview with him shortly after his conviction back in 1990.

“You see all these victim rights people and the Wilsons and all these people sitting right in front of the jury and you think, 'Dang, I don't have a chance,'” Bible said

“Do you ever wake up and think, God, how did all of this happen? How could this happen?” he continued. “I should have never come back to Flagstaff. I think about all of that. They're trying to kill me now for something I didn't even do.”

To this day, the 49-year-old still claimed he was innocent.

“It was a relief to see the right sentence handed down,” Bibles said. “But then you turn around and look at the family, and you realize you can't bring her back. It's a case that changes who you are.”

Now 23 years later, closure is finally near.

“The loss will never be closed for the family, but we can close the criminal piece of it," Bibles said. “The parents will not worry when the phone rings and then another appeal, that will be closed. And I think this will bring closure for the community of Flagstaff. The community has been watching this case for all of these 23 years.”