Death row inmate executed for 1978 murder

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edward schadPHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced the execution of 71-year-old Edward Harold Schad Jr. at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence.

The execution by lethal injection commenced at 10:03 a.m. on Oct. 9 and Schad was pronounced dead at 10:12 a.m.

Schad was the oldest person on Arizona’s death row and was convicted twice for the 1978 murder of Lorimar “Leroy” Groves, a 74-year-old Bisbee resident.

On Aug. 1, 1978 Groves left Bisbee in a new Cadillac for a trip to visit his sister in Everett, Wash. but he never made it.

Eight days later, Grove’s badly decomposed body was discovered hidden in the brush just off Highway 89 south of Prescott.

Crime scene officials determined Groves had been strangled with a rope that was still knotted around his neck.

About a month later, Schad, who was driving Grove’s Cadillac, was pulled over in New York for speeding and when police discovered many of Grove’s personal belongings in the car, he was arrested. 

After being convicted and sentenced to death in September 1979, Shad was granted a new trial in which he was, once again, convicted and sentenced to death in August 1985.

Schad had a prior conviction punishable by life imprisonment and another involving violence.

Late Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Schad’s petition to delay his scheduled execution.

The complaint did not challenge Schad’s underlying conviction or sentence of death, nor did it allege lethal injection as a form of execution was per se unconstitutional.

Instead, Schad said he had reason to believe the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) intended to execute him with expired pentobarbital.

Schad was seeking an injunction to prevent ADC from carrying out his execution by using pentobarbital from a concealed manufacturer and distributor, as permitted by ARS § 13-757(C), which states: “The identity of executioners and other persons who participate or perform ancillary functions in an execution and any information contained in records that would identify those persons is confidential and is not subject to disclosure.”

Following Schad’s petition for an en banc (full panel of judges) hearing, Ninth Circuit Court Judge Sidney R. Thomas entered the following order: “The full court has been advised of the petition for rehearing en banc. Pursuant to the rules applicable to capital cases in which an execution date has been scheduled, a deadline was established by which any judge could request a vote on whether the panel’s decision should be reheard en banc. No judge requested a vote on whether to rehear the panel’s decision en banc. Accordingly, the petition for rehearing en banc is denied. The Court’s October 7, 2013 decision affirming the district court’s denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction and denying a stay of execution pending a new clemency hearing is the final decision of this Court.” 

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