Ariz. court turns down death row inmate's appeal

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the convictions and death sentences of a man convicted of fatally stabbing his pregnant girlfriend.

Israel Joseph Naranjo, now 40 years old, was sentenced to death by a Maricopa County Superior Court jury for the March, 25, 2007 killings of Delia Rivera and her fetus.

Jurors ruled that Naranjo was eligible for the death sentences because he killed an unborn child in the womb, had a previous conviction for a serious offense and the murder of Rivera was especially cruel.

The jurors did not find defense arguments for sentencing leniency persuasive.

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