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Post-9/11 killer of Arizona Sikh convicted

Sept. 30, 2003 at 4:08 PM   |   Comments

PHOENIX, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- An Arizona jury convicted Frank Roque of murder in the death of a Sikh gas station owner following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The Arizona Republic said a Maricopa County jury Tuesday rejected Roque's insanity contention and convicted him of first-degree murder in the Sept. 15, 2001, shooting of Balbir Singh Sodhi.

Roque admitted to shooting the 49-year-old Indian immigrant at his service station but blamed it on mental illness and voices he heard in his head.

Prosecutors called the shooting an act of ethnic hatred rather than mental disease.

The trial moves on next to the aggravation phase, which the Republic said would determine if Roque will be eligible for the death penalty.

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