Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Lawrence Keith LIBBERTON





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Hate crime
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 16, 1981
Date of birth: February 26, 1961
Victim profile: Juan Maya (gay man)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on October 25, 1982

Date of Birth: February 26, 1961
Defendant: Caucasian
Victim: Hispanic

On November 16, 1981, Juan Maya picked up 14-year-old Marty Norton and made homosexual advances towards him. Norton rebuffed Maya, but suggested that he might find a more hospitable reception in a trailer belonging to Steven James.

When Maya followed Norton into the trailer, James, Lawrence Libberton, and Norton took turns beating him. The three then forced Maya into the back seat of his own car and drove toward Salome, where James' parents owned some property with an abandoned mine shaft on it.

En route, a police officer stopped them but Libberton threatened to kill Maya if he attempted to draw the officer's attention.

After arriving at the Salome property around dawn, James ordered Maya to step up to the mine shaft. As Maya pleaded for his life, James fired directly at him from a distance of less than 5 feet.

Maya charged James and tried to get the gun, so Libberton and Norton began striking Maya with large rocks and a board. After Maya fell to the ground, they fired point blank at him three more times. Nothing came out of the pistol because the barrel was fouled with debris.

They then dragged Maya to the mine shaft and threw him in, dropping rocks and railroad ties on top of him. Norton pled to several charges as a juvenile and testified against Libberton and James.


    Presiding Judge: Rufus C. Coulter, Jr.
    Prosecutor: Myrna Parker
    Start of Trial: June 23, 1982
    Verdict: June 30, 1982
    Sentencing: October 25, 1982

Aggravating Circumstances:

    Pecuniary gain    
    Especially heinous/cruel/depraved

Mitigating Circumstances:



    State v. Libberton, 141 Ariz. 132, 685 P.2d 1284 (1984).



Lawrence Keith Libberton



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