Convict to be executed for girls' murders

Dec. 2, 2012 at 11:17 PM
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FLORENCE, Ariz., Dec. 2 (UPI) -- An Arizona convict is just days from execution for raping and killing two teenage girls while his co-defendant is now a free man.

Richard Stokley, 60, will, barring an unlikely stay of execution from the U.S. Supreme Court, be executed Wednesday in Florence, while Randy Brazeal, 41, was released from prison last year and has married, The (Phoenix) Arizona Republic reported Saturday.

Evidence ultimately showed the two raped, strangled, stabbed and stomped on their victims, Mandy Meyers and Mary Snyder, both 13, in July 1991 before tossing their bodies into a flooded mine shaft.

Brazeal got a plea deal, ostensibly because the Cochise County attorney said the constitutional time limit for a speedy trial would run out before DNA results could be finalized.

Matthew Borowiec, the judge in both defendants' cases, said, "They presented [the plea deal] as if there weren't much alternative. I didn't have a feeling that one was less culpable than the other."

The DNA evidence of Brazeal's guilt was not available in time for his Oct. 22, 1991, trial, the newspaper reported.

Stokley, however, had waived his right to a speedy trial and the DNA evidence was ready by the time he stood trial.

Brazeal entered into a plea bargain on two counts of second-degree murder, for which he received two concurrent, 20-year sentences.

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