Eldon Schurz was sentenced to death by the State of Arizona for a robbery and murder. According to court documents Eldon Schurz and Patrick Allison attempted to rob the victim however when the victim resisted he was beaten by the two men. Eldon Schurz would then douse the victim with gasoline and set him on fire causing his death. Eldon Schurz was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. Patrick Allison would testify against Eldon in exchange for a lighter sentence.
Eldon Schurz 2021 Information
ASPC Florence, Central Unit
PO Box 8200
ELDON M. SCHURZ 043800
Florence, AZ 85132
Eldon Schurz More News
On December 2, 1989, codefendants Eldon Michael Schurz and Patrick Delmar Allison attempted to rob Jonathan Art Bahe of money and liquor at the City Center Motel, located at 600 West Van Buren. Mr. Bahe resisted, so Schurz struck the victim several times about the face and head with his fist. Following the fight, Schurz found a quantity of gasoline and doused the victim with it. Schurz then made a trail of gasoline away from the victim and lit it with a cigarette lighter. This caused the victim to be set ablaze and subsequently die. Schurz and Allison fled the area and were arrested a few hours later. Allison testified against Schurz pursuant to a plea agreement. In addition to the death sentence, the trial court sentenced Schurz to 12 years for an attempted aggravated robbery enhanced by two prior felony convictions.
Eldon Schurz Other News
On the night of December 1, 1989, Marcella Bonito, Ronald Yazzie, Larry Figueroa, and an unidentified white male, were drinking beer in a stairwell at the back of a Phoenix motel. Defendant Eldon Schurz, Patrick Allison and Julie Moore came by and asked for some beer. After they were refused, Schurz grabbed the beer. Bonito tried to get it back, but gave up after Schurz threatened her. Schurz and his companions left and drank the beer, after which Schurz stated that the group at the motel must have more beer or money and suggested that they go back and take it.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Bahe, the victim, approached the first group. Having run out of gas, he was carrying a plastic jug of gasoline to his car. Bonito told him about the earlier robbery of their beer and complained that no one had done anything to prevent it. Bahe stated that, had he been there, he would have done something about it. Schurz, Allison and Moore returned. Schurz apparently overheard Bahe’s statement and argued with him. When Schurz began pushing and punching Bahe, Bonito and Figueroa ran up the stairs to wake someone to call the police. Yazzie and the white male left.
Schurz, Bahe, and Allison remained. Moore was some distance away. Bahe was on the ground and, in an attempt to get away, crawled under a chain-link fence into a small enclosed rectangular space between a stairwell and a brick wall. Schurz picked up the plastic jug, smelled its contents, and then splashed gasoline on Bahe. Using a lighter, Schurz ignited a small puddle of gasoline. When the flames failed to spread to Bahe, he kicked the burning puddle toward him. Bahe went up in flames. After Schurz and Allison fled, Bahe managed to crawl under the fence and out of the enclosed space. Police and fire fighters arrived and extinguished the fire. Schurz later said to Moore, “He wouldn’t give me the money or the beer, so I burned him.”
Bahe was conscious on the way to the hospital. He was severely burned over 90 to 100 percent of his body and was moaning and shaking in pain. Much of his body was completely charred. He was unrecognizable. Even his race was unclear. The burning had caused the long muscles in his limbs to shorten so that his arms and legs were rigidly flexed and could not be straightened. He was given morphine to control the pain, but there was little else that could be done.
Bahe lived for approximately four and a half hours and, remarkably, was conscious enough to respond to questions from the police. Because of the extremely damaged state of his mouth and tongue which were charred his answers were nearly impossible to understand.
Approximately half an hour after the burning, Schurz and his companions were picked up by an unidentified man who wanted to buy some cocaine. Schurz claimed to know where to get some, and after exacting money from the man, directed him to a housing project where Schurz got out of the car briefly but returned without any cocaine. Schurz then said that he was robbing the man and held a lighter flame to his neck. The driver put up no resistance and Schurz, Allison, and Moore fled.
Schurz and Allison were arrested a few hours later. Both were charged with first degree murder and attempted aggravated robbery, but Allison pled guilty to the latter charge in return for testifying against Schurz. Allison was placed on probation. The evidence against Schurz consisted primarily of the testimony of Bonito, Yazzie, and Allison, who was the only other person present during the burning. The defense presented no evidence. Schurz’s principal theory was that Allison killed Bahe. He also argued that his intoxication made it impossible for him to form the intent required for the offenses.
Schurz was convicted of first degree murder, on both a premeditation and a felony murder theory, and attempted aggravated *51 robbery. He was sentenced to death for murder and to the maximum twelve year prison term for the attempted aggravated robbery with two prior convictions.