Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Richard Dean HURLES





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Attempted rape
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 12, 1993
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: June 1, 1959
Victim profile: A woman (librarian)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife 37 times
Location: Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on October 13, 1994

Date of Birth: June 1, 1959
Defendant: Caucasian
Victim: Caucasian

On November 12, 1992, two witnesses observed Hurles in the Buckeye Public library looking at childrens' books.

At about 3:00 p.m., two men tried to enter the library, but found the front door locked. As these men were trying to get in, another witness saw Hurles leaving from the rear door of the library.

One of the men looked in a window, and saw a woman, who was the librarian, lying in a pool of blood. When the police arrived, they found that the victim's blouse was bloody, her skirt was pulled up around her waist, and she was naked from the waist down. The victim had been stabbed 37 times, and later died from these stab wounds.

That same afternoon, Hurles went to his nephew's house and asked his nephew to give him a ride to the Phoenix Greyhound bus station.

On the way to Phoenix, Hurles threw a bloody teeshirt and blue jeans into the desert. Hurles was later arrested when the bus stopped in Wickenberg.

At trial, the jurors found Hurles guilty of first-degree murder, attempted sexual assault, and first-degree burglary.


    Presiding Judge: Ruth Hilliard
    Prosecutor: Al Fenzel
    Start of Trial: March 31, 1994
    Verdict: April 15, 1994
    Sentencing: October 13, 1994

Aggravating Circumstances:

    Especially heinous, cruel, or depraved

Mitigating Circumstances:

    Deprived and dysfunctional family life
    Good behavior during his prior incarceration


    State v. Hurles, 185 Ariz. 199, 914 P.2d 1291 (1996).

January 6, 2000
Warrant of Execution has been issued for the execution of the following ADC inmate: Richard Dean HURLES #39884 on February 23, 2000.

January 24, 2000
STAY of Execution has been issued in the execution of the following ADC inmate: Richard Dean HURLES #39884 on February 23, 2000.


State v. Hurles, 185 Ariz. 199, 914 P.2d 1291 (1996)

PROCEDURAL POSTURE: The defendant was convicted in Superior Court (Maricopa) of first-degree murder and was sentenced to death. This is defendant's automatic, direct appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court.


(F)(6) (Heinous, Cruel or Depraved) - UPHELD

Cruel: Upheld.
Mental Anguish: Found. The Court found the victim was conscious based on evidence that she tried to reach a phone, later responded to paramedics who treated her at the scene, and a witness who saw her directly after the attack spoke to her before calling 911. The Court found that the victim must have suffered "great terror." 185 Ariz. at 207.
Physical Pain: Found. The Court found that the victim suffered "great pain" during the attack. The victim endured fifteen defensive stab wounds to her hands, eight stab wounds to her head, twelve stab wounds to her torso, and two stab wounds to her lower extremities. The victim further suffered blunt force trauma, which tore her liver. The Court found this "barrage of violence" to be "above the norm of even first-degree murder, leaving no room to doubt that this murder was especially cruel." 185 Ariz. at 207.

Heinous or Depraved: Not addressed.


The Court found that the following mitigating circumstances existed, but were insufficiently substantial to call for leniency:

Difficult Childhood/Family History
Model Prisoner [good behavior]

JUDGMENT: Conviction and sentence affirmed.


Richard Dean Hurles



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