Execution warrant sought for an Arizona death row inmate

Aaron Gunches, 51, was sentenced to death for the 2002 murder of his girlfriend's ex-husband.
Aaron Gunches, 51, was sentenced to death for the 2002 murder of his girlfriend's ex-husband.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 10:36 AM MST
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PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday requested the state Supreme Court issue a warrant of execution for death row inmate Aaron Gunches.

The 51-year-old Gunches was originally sentenced to death in 2008. He’s one of 21 death row inmates who have exhausted their appeals.

Last month, Gunches asked the Arizona Supreme Court to issue a death warrant for him to give closure to the victim’s family.

The state has 110 inmates on death row and has already executed three inmates this year. If the Arizona Supreme Court grants the warrant, the execution date would be set for 35 days after the approval.

Prosecutors said Gunches fatally shot his girlfriend’s ex-husband in 2002 and the victim’s body was later found in a desert area.

Gunches was pulled over by the Arizona Department of Public Safety near the California border in 2003 and shot a trooper twice, according to authorities. The trooper survived thanks to a bulletproof vest and bullet casings from the shooting scene matched the ones found near Price’s body.

Gunches later pleaded guilty to kidnapping and killing Price and to the attempted murder of the DPS trooper.

In 2010, the Arizona Supreme Court found an error in the sentencing proceeding and remanded Gunches’ case for new sentencing. He was sentenced to death again in 2013.