David Detrich Arizona Death Row

david detrich arizona death row

David Detrich was sentenced to death by the State of Arizona for the murder of a woman. According to court documents David Detrich and Alan Charlton would pick up a woman who was hitchhiking. The woman and the men would pick up $75 worth of cocaine and drove to the woman’s home. David Detrich became upset due to the poor quality of the cocaine. Detrich would force the woman back into the car and while Alan Charlton drove the woman would be sexually assaulted in the back of the vehicle before being stabbed to death. David Detrich would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.

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ASPC Florence, Central Unit
PO Box 8200
DAVID S. DETRICH 083703
Florence, AZ 85132
United States

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On the evening of November 4, 1989, David Detrich and codefendant Charlton traveled to Tucson from Benson, Arizona. 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. He threatened 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.

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On November 4, 1989, defendant and a co-worker, Alan Charlton, drove Charlton’s car from Benson to Tucson. In Tucson, defendant and Charlton picked up the victim, E.S., a hitchhiker, hoping she might help them find some cocaine. With the victim’s assistance, the three purchased some cocaine and then drove to the victim’s home. There was evidence that all three were drinking excessively throughout the evening.

At the victim’s home, defendant became incensed when he discovered he had purchased “bad drugs.” According to Charlton and other witnesses at the scene (the victim’s daughters and a friend), defendant directed his anger at the victim, claiming she now “owed” him. One witness overheard defendant threaten to kill the victim. Another witness overheard defendant tell the victim that they “were going to have sex … [and that] they can either do it … right there or they will do it his way, and they don’t want to do it his way.” At trial, Charlton acknowledged that defendant was so enraged at the time that he “might not have known what he was doing.”

While several people ran for help, defendant forced the victim into Charlton’s car and with Charlton driving the three fled before the police arrived. An eyewitness confirmed that defendant held the victim at knifepoint until they left.

According to Charlton, who was the state’s key witness at trial, defendant held the knife to the victim’s throat while they were driving, and began “humping” her. Charlton testified that he looked over at one point and saw that the victim’s throat was slit from ear to ear. He also recalled that the victim made a gurgling response when defendant interrogated her about the name of the drug dealer. Although Charlton could not remember much of a struggle (he claims he was in and out of a drunken “blackout”), it was later determined that the victim had been stabbed *382 40 times. The half-naked corpse was found several days later in the desert on the out-skirts of Tucson.

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Soon thereafter, the police arrested Charlton and defendant. Defendant’s first trial ended in a mistrial when a witness for the prosecution mentioned that defendant had invoked his rights at one point in the investigation. After a second trial, defendant was convicted of first degree murder and kidnapping. He was acquitted of sexual assault, but convicted of the lesser included offense of sexual abuse.

https://law.justia.com/cases/arizona/supreme-court/1994/cr-91-0071-ap-2.html

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