Man convicted of murdering 2 in Mesa awaiting death penalty decision

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Jesus Busso-Estoppellans' 2011 mugshot (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Jesus Busso-Estoppellans' 2011 mugshot (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Jesus Busso-Estoppellans' 2011 mugshot (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Jesus Busso-Estoppellans' 2011 mugshot (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

A 28-year-old man convicted of murdering two young men is waiting to find out whether he will spend the rest of his life in prison or be put to death.

Jesus Busso-Estoppellans was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting deaths of 18-year-old Tyler Webster and 19-year-old Olek Wladyszewski.

It happened in Mesa on June 29, 2011. According to police, Webster and Wladyszewski were sitting in a car when Busso-Estoppellans, 21, at the time, walked up and shot them both in the head.

[ORIGINAL STORY: 2 Mesa teens shot, killed while sitting in car]

“… Webster was able to call 911 alerting officers that he had been shot in the head while he sat in the passenger seat of his car,” explained a news release about the conviction from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. “The driver Wladyszewski, had also been shot in the head and died at the scene.”

Webster later died at the hospital.

According to MCAO, police used text messages to connect Busso-Estoppellans to the double shooting. Investigators said he and Wladyszewski had been communicating about meeting in the area just minutes before the incident.

Police arrested him a couple of days after the shooting.

“Busso-Estopellan later admitted to investigators that he had lured the victims with the promise of a drug deal and then shot them both as they sat in the car,” according to MCAO. “He told investigators he had planned to kill Wladyszewski and killed Webster to ensure there were no witnesses to the murder.”

[RELATED: Police: Suspect admits shooting, killing 2 young men]

Court paperwork from the time of the arrest showed that Busso-Estopellan brokered a marijuana purchase from Wladyszewski two months before the shooting, but the man who bought the pot hadn't paid yet and was threatening Busso-Estopellan.

Busso-Estopellan, who is in the U.S. illegally, said his actions were to protect his family from the man involved in the purchase of the marijuana. He also indicated he had been planning to the crime for one to two months.

MCAO spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto said the jury found aggravating factors in the case, which means they can sentence Busso-Estoppellans to death.

There are 117 inmates on Arizona's death row right now. All but three of them are men.

Executions in Arizona

It has been nearly four years since Arizona carried out an execution. The last execution was that of Joseph Wood in July 2014. It took him nearly two hours to die after he was given 15 doses of the two-drug combination -- the anesthetic midazolam and a narcotic painkiller -- Arizona used at the time.

The execution, which Woods' attorney described as botched, spawned more debate about how Arizona carries out the death penalty. Executions were put on hold while lawsuits on the issue made their way through the system.

[READ MORE: New documents shed little light on AZ inmate's 'botched' execution (April 21, 2015)]

In September 2017, a judge ruled that Arizona does not have to tell the public where it gets the drugs it uses for executions. Several media outlets, including Arizona's Family, had sued to get the information released.

Earlier in the year, the state revised its execution procedures, but lawyers for condemned inmates said the changes are not enough because the Arizona Department of Corrections director can make changes to the written procedure as he or she deems fit.

[RELATED: Lawyers for inmates rip revised execution procedures]

A few months later, both sides hit upon an agreement that limits the power of the DOC director to change execution drugs at the last minute, requires that drugs be tested before use and bars the state from using expired drugs. It also increases transparency in the execution process.

[READ MORE: Arizona, prisoners reach deal to settle death penalty suit]

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