Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




Timothy Stuart RING





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Armored car robbery - Former Department of Corrections officer
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 28, 1994
Date of arrest: February 16, 1995
Date of birth: October 29, 1964
Victim profile: John Magoch (armored car driver)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on October 29, 1997

Supreme Court of the United States


RING V. ARIZONA (01-488) 536 U.S. 584 (2002)
200 Ariz. 267, 25 P.3d 1139, reversed and remanded.

syllabus opinion
concurrence (scalia) concurrence (kennedy)
concurrence (breyer) dissent (o'connor)

Supreme Court of the State of Arizona

opinion CR-97-0428-AP

Timothy Ring

Date of Birth: October 29, 1964

Ring, a former Department of Corrections officer, and his co-defendants James Greenham (also a former corrections officer), and William Ferguson (a former City of Phoenix police officer), plotted to rob an armored car. They executed their plan on November 28, 1994.

The target was a Wells Fargo van, which was driven by John Magoch. David Moss was the messenger (also known as a "hopper"), who made the deliveries and pickups from various businesses throughout the day.

At 1:27 p.m., about halfway through their route, they stopped at the curb outside the Dillard's store at Arrowhead Mall. Moss went into the Dillard's store. Magoch, a smoker, opened the driver's side door of the van to smoke a cigarette.

Ring, an expert marksman, shot Magoch from the parking lot. Greenham pushed Magoch over, got into the armored van, and drove it away. Ring and Ferguson followed in separate vehicles.

The trio met at a church parking lot, where they transferred the money into Ring's truck. About 6:00 p.m. that day, a churchgoer called 911 after noticing that the van looked like one he had seen in a television report earlier that day.

Inside the van, police found Magoch, who was dead from a fatal gunshot wound to the head. A Wells Fargo investigator determined that the van had contained a total of $833,798.12, including $562,877.91 in cash $132,259.60 in coins was recovered with the van.

Ring was arrested on February 16, 1995. When police executed a search warrant on his residence, they found, inside a cabinet in the garage, a green duffel bag, with a nametag for Timothy S. Ring. Inside the bag, they found "bundles of U.S. currency" totaling $271,681.

Ring was tried separately from his co-defendants, and was found guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed robbery, first-degree burglary and theft.


Convicted: Dec. 6, 1996

Sentenced: Oct. 29, 1997

Aggravating Circumstances

Pecuniary gain

Especially heinous or depraved

Mitigating Circumstances

Minimal criminal record


Arizona Department of Corrections "Death Row" Web site

"Profiles of Arizona Death Row Inmates," Arizona Attorney General's Office


Ring v. Arizona

Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584 (2002), is a case in which the United States Supreme Court applied the rule of Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), to capital sentencing schemes, holding that the Sixth Amendment requires a jury to find the aggravating factors necessary for imposing the death penalty. Ring overruled a portion of Walton v. Arizona, 497 U.S. 639 (1990), that had previously rejected this contention.

Facts of the case

On November 28, 1994, an armored car parked in front of Arrowhead Mall in Glendale, Arizona, was robbed. The driver was shot in the head as he exited the van to smoke. One of the robbers then drove the van to a church in nearby Sun City, where they made off with $562,000 in cash and $271,000 in personal checks. An informant tipped the police off to Timothy Ring and two of his friends, who had recently made expensive purchases such as a new truck. Police eventually discovered that Ring was the ringleader of the operation. Ring was later charged with capital first-degree murder under Arizona law.

The jury eventually convicted Ring of first-degree murder under a felony murder theory. But Ring could not be sentenced to death without further findings, and Arizona law provided that the judge alone would make these findings. After a sentencing hearing, at which Ring's accomplices testified, the judge found that two aggravating factors applied: that Ring had committed the murder in expectation of pecuniary gain, and that he had committed the murder in an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner. Although he found that Ring had a "minimal" criminal record, the judge concluded that this did not outweigh the aggravating factors, and sentenced Ring to death.

By the time Ring's case was decided by the Arizona Supreme Court, Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), had been decided. In Apprendi, the Court had held that any fact that increases the punishment for a crime above the statutory maximum punishment must be either submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt or admitted by the defendant. However, in Walton v. Arizona, 497 U.S. 639 (1990), the Court had explicitly ruled that the Sixth Amendment did not require jury finding of aggravating factors in Arizona's capital sentencing scheme. As the Arizona Supreme Court saw it, Apprendi undercut the holding of Walton, yet Walton was directly controlling precedent from a higher court on a matter of federal constitutional law. The Arizona Court had no choice but to affirm Ring's conviction and death sentence. The U.S. Supreme Court granted Ring's petition for certiorari.

Apprendi applies to capital sentencing schemes

Writing for the majority, Justice Ginsburg began with an important characterization of Arizona's capital sentencing scheme. Based solely on the jury's verdict that Ring was guilty of first-degree murder, the greatest sentence for which Ring was eligible was life in prison. In order to satisfy the jury-trial requirement of the Sixth Amendment as interpreted by Apprendi, additional factfinding was required. Yet in Walton, the Court had expressly held that Arizona's capital sentencing scheme was not subject to such a requirement.

This characterization all but dictated the result. Prior decisions, including Walton, had distinguished between the "elements" of a crime and "sentencing factors." The Sixth Amendment required a jury to find elements but allowed a judge to determine sentencing factors. Under Walton, the aggravating factors were "sentencing factors" because they were the modern vehicle by which judges expressed their traditional sentencing discretion in capital cases. But after Apprendi, which built on Jones v. United States, 526 U.S. 227 (1999), the relevant inquiry was "one not of form, but of effect." If a particular fact—whether it was called an "element" or a "sentencing factor"—exposed the defendant to a greater punishment, then the Sixth Amendment required a jury to find it. The Court found no principled basis for exempting capital cases from Apprendi's general rule.

Noting the disparity between Justice Breyer's continued rejection of Apprendi and concurrence in Ring, Justice Scalia added:

While I am, as always, pleased to travel in Justice Breyer's company, the unfortunate fact is that today's judgment has nothing to do with jury sentencing. What today's decision says is that the jury must find the existence of the fact that an aggravating factor existed. Those States that leave the ultimate life-or-death decision to the judge may continue to do so — by requiring a prior jury finding of aggravating factor in the sentencing phase or, more simply, by placing the aggravating-factor determination (where it logically belongs anyway) in the guilt phase.

There is really no way in which Justice Breyer can travel with the happy band that reaches today's result unless he says yes to Apprendi. Concisely put, Justice Breyer is on the wrong flight; he should either get off before the doors close, or buy a ticket to Apprendi-land.

Justice Breyer argued that jury sentencing in capital cases was required by the Eighth Amendment. At the same time he held to his position that jury factfinding of aggravating factors was not generally required in criminal cases. Because death is a different punishment, it must have additional procedural safeguards in order to ensure that it more accurately reflects both the moral judgment of the community and the blameworthiness of the individual defendant.

Justice O'Connor argued that the Court's decision would have serious consequences, opening up a flood of litigation from death-row inmates and creating uncertainty in the laws of nine other states that employed either total or partial judicial factfinding in death sentences.


Ring, Timothy Stuart v. Arizona

By: Gregory Blesch & Kathryn Alfisi, Medill News Service


A sheriff's deputy in Maricopa County, Ariz., found John Magoch dead in the Wells Fargo armored van that Magoch drove for a living, his body slumped in the passenger side with a bullet-hewn hole in his head.

It was evening, Nov. 28, 1994, about four and a half hours after Magoch's partner reported the van missing from the Arrowhead Mall in Glendale, Ariz.

Wells Fargo was out more than $800,000 in cash and checks.

No one witnessed the robbery or murder, but a bicyclist reported to police that a white van followed by a red pickup truck ran a stop sign on the afternoon of the robbery and murder.

An informant led Glendale police to the girlfriend of a man named James Greenham, and the girlfriend led police to Greenham's friend, Timothy Ring, who owned a red pickup truck.

Listening to Greenham and Ring's phone calls, police heard the two discuss plans to disappear "up north" and negotiate payments - Ring was apparently holding Greenham's share in addition to his own.

After a detective left his card on Greenham's door, Greenham made a panicked call to Ring, who then called another man, William Ferguson, saying: "I don't know what to think of it. Um, [Greenham's] house is clean. Mine, on the other hand, contains a very large bag."

Police also issued press releases, hoping news coverage would make the suspects talk. It worked. After a broadcast that included a phony witness reenactment with deliberately botched details, Ring called Ferguson and said, "There was a couple of incontinuities [sic] to their story?. They showed a suppressed revolver of all things."

Two days later, police showed up with a search warrant at Ring's home, where they found a Ruger 1022 rifle outfitted with a homemade sound suppressor, as well as a duffel bag with Ring's name on it.

Inside the bag: $271,681 in cash.

Police also found a note in Ring's headboard with the number $575,995 - with the money in the bag, it was about the same amount of cash Wells Fargo reported missing - and below it the word "splits" and the letters "F," "Y" and "T." Police surmised that "F" was for "Ferguson," "Y" for "Yoda," Greenham's nickname, and "T," for "Tim."

Based on the accumulation of circumstantial evidence - no bullet was found, so Ring's Ruger couldn't be tied to the crime - a jury found Ring guilty of murder, a capital offense in Arizona.

Under Arizona law, a judge must decide whether someone convicted of murder gets death or life imprisonment. A jury alone cannot.

James Greenham, who made a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed robbery, testified at Ring's special sentencing hearing. It was conducted without a jury.

Greenham fingered Ring as the shooter and said Ring wanted to be congratulated on his shot the day after the killing.

But the jury heard none of this evidence during the trial. In fact, the jury heard no evidence that identified Ring as the one who shot Magoch.

Based on Greenham's testimony at the sentencing hearing, the judge ruled that Ring "is the one who killed Mr. Magoch" and that he showed "reckless disregard for human life."

Arizona law requires the judge to find beyond a reasonable doubt at least one aggravating factor in order to sentence a defendant to die. The judge in Ring's case found two: that the murder was committed for money and "in an especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner."

On automatic direct appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court, the state's highest court affirmed the sentence, rejecting a clutch of arguments for a new trial. But one argument in Ring's appeal gave pause to Justice Stanley Feldman, who wrote the opinion.

The U.S. Supreme Court in two recent cases, Jones v. U.S. in 1999 and Apprendi v. New Jersey in 2000, seemed to overrule Walton v. Arizona, a 1990 case that upheld Arizona's sentencing procedure for capital cases.

Feldman wrote, "While the state is correct in noting that neither Jones nor Apprendi overruled Walton, we must acknowledge that both cases raise some question about the continued viability of Walton."

In Jones, the Court ruled that removing a jury's control over facts determining the "statutory sentencing range" would violate the 6th Amendment.

And the Apprendi opinion stated that "any fact that increases the penalty for a crime beyond the prescribed statutory maximum must be submitted to a jury, and proved beyond a reasonable doubt."

The Court in Apprendi went on to say that the Walton opinion stands because Arizona juries find defendants guilty of capital offenses before judges determine aggravating factors and apply the death penalty.

It's a subtle distinction.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor had other words for the reasoning in her dissent: "baffling, to say the least" and "demonstrably untrue."

O'Connor wrote: "A defendant convicted of first-degree murder in Arizona cannot receive a death sentence unless a judge makes the factual determination that a statutory aggravating factor exists?. If the court does not intend to overrule Walton, one would be hard pressed to tell from the opinion it issues today."

Feldman of the Arizona Supreme Court agreed with O'Connor, noting that the trial judge's determination of aggravating factors was based solely on evidence presented at the sentencing hearing and never heard by the jury.

However, because the majority opinion in Apprendi explicitly said that the Court did not mean to overturn Walton, Arizona's highest court regarded the law as constitutional and affirmed Ring's sentence.

On Jan. 11, 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted certiorari in Ring's case. And on Jan. 23, the Court stayed the execution of Florida death-row inmate Amos King, who was scheduled to die the next day. Florida's law governing capital punishment is similar to Arizona's - though in Florida, juries recommend what they deem the appropriate sentence, and judges make the final call. Alabama, Indiana and Delaware have laws like Florida's.

The law in Montana and Idaho is like Arizona's, and Colorado and Nebraska allow a panel of judges to assign the death penalty. All told, a broad decision in the Ring case that holds unconstitutional a sentencing process that allows a judge to consider aggravating factors not considered by the jury at trial, could affect about 800 condemned inmates.

Andrew Hurwitz, who represents Ring before the Supreme Court, said he isn't worried that the Court retained Walton and upheld the Arizona law in the Apprendi decision less than two years ago.

"They did what the Supreme Court often does, which is that they reserved that issue for another day," he said. "And this is that day."

On June 24, 2002, the Court, by a 7-2 vote, sided with Ring, holding that the sentences of those who were sentenced to die by judges not juries cannot stand.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the lead majority opinion, with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Chief Justice William Rehnquist dissenting.

At the heart of the Court's decision was the irreconcilability of the findings in Walton v. Arizona and Apprendi v. New Jersey.

Ginsburg wrote: "We overrule Walton to the extent that it allows a sentencing judge, sitting without a jury, to find an aggravating circumstance necessary for imposition of the death penalty."

The Court found that Arizona's enumerated aggravating factors operate as "the functional equivalent of a greater offense," and that the 6th Amendment required that the jury be aware of these factors in order to determine appropriate sentencing.

"Capital defendants, no less than non-capital defendants, we conclude are entitled to a jury determination of any fact on which the legislature conditions an increase in their maximum punishment," Ginsburg wrote.

The jury in Ring found the defendant guilty of first-degree murder, which carries a sentence of death or life imprisonment. The Court found that if Apprendi were to be applied to the case, then "the required finding [of an aggravated circumstance] expose[d] [Ring] to a greater punishment that authorized by the jury's guilty verdict."

The Court decided in Apprendi that the "Sixth Amendment does not permit a defendant to be 'expose[d]? to a penalty exceeding the maximum he would receive if punished according to the facts reflected in the jury alone'." This decision came ten years after the decision in Walton that held Arizona's sentencing scheme to be compatible with the 6th Amendment.

The Apprendi ruling won out, to the dismay of Justice O'Connor, who wrote in a brief but pointed dissent that she would rather overrule Apprendi than Walton.

"Apprendi's rule that any fact that increases the maximum penalty must be treated as an element of the crime, is not required by the Constitution, by history, or by our prior cases. And it ignores the 'significant history in this country of ? discretionary sentencing by judges,'" she wrote.

The Court's decision in Ring v. Arizona, O'Connor argued, will only serve to open the floodgates to convicted defendants wanting to overturn their sentences.

In the states that have sentencing schemes similar to Arizona's -- Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Nebraska -- there are 168 prisoners on death row. Now that these states' capital sentencing schemes have effectively been declared unconstitutional, O'Connor wrote, all 168 prisoners are likely to challenge their sentencing rulings.

"In addition I fear that the prisoners on death row in Alabama, Delaware, Florida and Indiana, which the Court identified as having hybrid sentencing schemes in which the jury renders an advisory verdict but the judge makes the ultimate sentencing determination, may also seize on today's decision to challenge their sentences."

Justice Antonin Scalia was caught between the majority and the dissenters. While concurring with the Court's decision, he did so with hesitation over states' use of "aggravating factors" in imposing the death penalty.

Scalia wrote that the Court "has mistakenly said that the Constitution requires state law to impose such 'aggravating factors'."

He went on to write, however, that "whether or not the States have been erroneously coerced into the adoption of 'aggravating factors,' wherever those factors exist they must be subject to the usual requirements of the common law, and to the requirements enshrined in our Constitution, in our criminal cases: they must be found by the jury beyond a reasonable doubt."



Timothy Stuart Ring



home last updates contact