Man gets the death sentence in 2001 murder case

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX (AP) -- A man convicted of sexually assaulting and killing a Phoenix woman in 2001 has been given the death sentence.

Maricopa County prosecutors say jurors deliberated four days before voting unanimously Thursday to give 38-year-old Joel Escalante Orozco the death penalty.

He was convicted in January of first-degree murder, burglary and sexual assault.

Authorities say Orozco fled to Mexico after the killing of Maria Garza-Rivera in her apartment and was arrested six years later in Idaho.

Garza-Rivera was discovered dead in her bathtub with water running from both the showerhead and faucet on March 10, 2001.

Authorities say Orozco lived at the same apartment complex and was employed to perform general labor and maintenance.
They say at the time of the murder, Orozco had been remodeling the unit occupied by Garza-Rivera.