Date of Birth: April
On the evening of November 4,
1989, David Detrich and codefendant Charlton traveled to Tucson from
They picked up the victim, a 38-year-old female, who
was hitchhiking somewhere in the Tucson area. Charlton then drove
Detrich and the victim, a known drug addict, to a residential location
where they bought $75 worth of cocaine.
They went to the victim's home
and the victim went into a bedroom and returned with a hypodermic
syringe. Detrich became extremely angry when he realized that the
cocaine was "bad" and could not be intravenously injected.
the victim and blamed her for the poor quality of cocaine. Detrich
demanded that the victim have sex with him, but the victim ignored him
and pretended to sleep.
Detrich then placed a knife to her throat and
continued to threaten her and demanded sex. While holding her at knife
point, Detrich forced the victim into Charlton's car and told Charlton
to drive out of town.
Detrich raped the victim in the front seat and
stabbed her numerous times before slitting her throat.
Presiding Judge: Michael Alfred
Prosecutor: Ken Peasley
Start of Trial: October 23, 1990
Verdict: November 2, 1990
Sentencing: February 7, 1991
None sufficient to call for leniency
State v. Detrich, 178 Ariz. 380, 873 P.2d 1302 (1994)
State v. Detrich, 188 Ariz. 57, 932 P.2d 1328 (1997).
April, 23, 2003.
A Warrant of
Execution has been issued by the Arizona
District Court for the execution of DAVID SCOTT
scheduled for June 3, 2003.
May, 6, 2003. A Stay
of Execution has been issued by the US District Court in the
execution of DAVID SCOTT DETRICH, scheduled for June 3, 2003.
Detrich (Detrich II), 188 Ariz. 57, 932 P.2d 1328
The defendant was convicted in Superior Court (Pima)
of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and sexual abuse. He was sentenced
to death for the murder, but on direct appeal, the Arizona Supreme Court
reversed the murder and kidnapping convictions and remanded for a new
trial. State v. Detrich, 178 Ariz. 380, 873 P.2d 1302 (1994).
At the retrial, defendant was convicted of first-degree murder and
kidnapping, and was sentenced to death for the murder. This is the
defendant's automatic, direct appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court.
(F)(6) (Heinous, Cruel or Depraved) - UPHELD
Cruel: Upheld. "In determining
whether a murder was especially cruel, we must view the entire murder
scenario, not just the final act that killed the victim." 188 Ariz. at
Mental Anguish: Found. Testimony established that the victim
appeared terrified as defendant told her she was going to die and
dragged her to the car with a knife to her throat. The Court found
that the victim suffered mental distress, noting that "anyone in the
victim's situation would have been uncertain as to his or her ultimate
fate." 188 Ariz. at 68.
Physical Pain: Found. The Court found "overwhelming evidence"
of the victim's consciousness throughout the crime, including
defensive wounds on her hands. The victim had forty cutting wounds on
her hands, chest, face, neck, abdomen, and thigh. The cut to her
throat extended from ear to ear, slashing through her voice box,
esophagus, and into her cerebral column. "After her throat was slit,
she attempted to answer defendant's questions, but was able only to
gurgle in response." 188 Ariz. at 67. The victim also had blunt force
injuries to her nose, jaw, and scalp, as well as scraping and tearing
of the lining of her mouth. The Court found that "[s]he must have
suffered excruciating pain before she died." 188 Ariz. at 68.
Heinous or Depraved: Upheld.
Gratuitous Violence: Found. The Court held that only
three stab wounds were potentially fatal, leaving thirty-seven
unnecessary and excessive wounds, which constituted gratuitous
Relishing: Found. "Defendant's statement to [co-defendant], `It's
dead, but it's warm. Do you want a shot at it?' clearly shows that
defendant relished the murder. The trial court found that this
statement showed an abhorrent lack of regard for human life, and we
agree." 188 Ariz. at 68.
Senselessness: Found. Defendant was seeking repayment for
money he wasted on bad drugs. Murdering the victim was not only
unnecessary to achieve this goal, it was counterproductive.
Helplessness: Found. Defendant held a knife to the throat of
the unarmed and partially clothed victim while he dragged her to the
car. She had no means of escape. While in the car, defendant was on
top of her, abusing and stabbing her, and she was unable to defend
The Court found that the following mitigating
circumstances existed, but were not sufficiently substantial to call for
(G)(1) Significant Impairment [alcohol use
at time of crime]
The Court found the defendant failed to prove by a
preponderance of the evidence the existence of the following as
Sentencing Disparity [disparity explained by
differences in culpability]
JUDGMENT: Convictions and sentences
David Scott Detrich