Man executed in Arizona over 1980 double murder in state’s first lethal injection in eight years | US News

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A man who murdered two people in 1980 has been executed in Arizona.

Murray Hooper was killed by lethal injection at the state prison in Florence on Wednesday.

The 76-year-old’s execution was the third since officials started carrying out the death penalty again in May after a nearly eight-year hiatus.

Hooper was convicted of killing William “Pat” Redmond and his mother-in-law, Helen Phelps, at Mr Redmond’s home in Phoenix.

Mr Redmond’s wife, Marilyn, was also shot in the head during the attack but survived and testified against Hooper at his trial.

Authorities say the killings were carried out at the request of a man who wanted to take over Mr Redmond’s printing business.

Hooper’s death was announced by Frank Strada, a deputy director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Re-entry.

The condemned man chuckled several times when interacting with the execution team. After the execution warrant was read aloud, Hooper said: “It’s all been said. Let it be done.”

It took about 20 minutes from the time the execution team members walked into the room until they inserted IV lines in his right leg and right forearm to administer a lethal dose of pentobarbital.

Arizona hadn’t carried out the death penalty for nearly eight years after criticism that a 2014 execution was botched and because it encountered difficulty obtaining lethal injection drugs.

No other executions are currently scheduled in the state, which now has 110 people on death row.

Read more: Firing squad and electric chair executions are ‘torture’

Hooper was executed within a couple of hours of the US Supreme Court rejecting a last-minute appeal over his claim that authorities had until recently withheld that Marilyn Redmond had failed to identify him in a photo line-up.

Authorities said that claim was based on a mistake a prosecutor made in a letter to the state’s clemency board and now insist that no such line-up was shown to Marilyn Redmond. She later identified Hooper in an in-person line-up.

Courts also rebuffed attempts by Hooper’s lawyers to order fingerprint and DNA testing on evidence from the killings.

Authorities say Hooper and two other men forced their way into the Redmond home on New Year’s Eve 1980. The three victims were bound, gagged, robbed and then shot in the head.

Two other men, William Bracy and Edward McCall, were convicted in the killings but died before their death sentences could be carried out.

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