Frank Atwood was sentenced to death by the State of Arizona for the murder of a child. According to court documents eight year old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson was abducted as she was biking to the mail box. The child would disappear with her bike laying on the side of the road. Seven months later the body of Vicki Lynne Hoskinson would be found in a desert. A witness had reported seeing the girl with a suspicious male and gave the license plate number to police who would trace it to Frank Atwood who was out on parole out of California for kidnapping and sexual molestation charges. Frank Atwood would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
Frank Atwood 2021 Information
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federal appeals court has once again rebuffed a bid by a previously convicted pedophile to overturn his conviction for the 1984 death of a 7-year-old Tucson girl.
In an extensive ruling, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the claims by Frank Jarvis Atwood that his trial counsel was ineffective hold no water. Judge Sandra Ikuta, writing for the appellate court, said there were legitimate reasons for decisions made by attorney Stanton Bloom in how to conduct the defense.
And the judges said, in essence, Atwood’s theory that police and prosecutors planted evidence was so far-fetched as to have no credibility.
Wednesday’s ruling could finally bring Atwood, who has been on death row for 30 years, close to the end of exhausting all of his appeals.
Atwood, released on parole in California in 1984 after serving his second prison term for sex acts with children, traveled with a companion to Tucson where, on the morning of Sept. 17, he was seen at De Anza Park. Later that day, Vicki Lynne Hoskinson disappeared while riding her pink bicycle.
Authorities eventually tracked Atwood to Texas, where he was arrested on charges of kidnapping, with murder charges added after Vicki’s skull and some bones were found in the desert northwest of Tucson the following year.
At trial, witnesses for the state testified that pink paint on the front bumper of Atwood’s car had come “from the victim’s bike or from another source exactly like the bike” and that Vicki’s bicycle had nickel particles on it that were consistent with metal from the bumper.
Atwood’s convictions on murder and kidnapping charges were affirmed by the Arizona Supreme Court and in repeated federal court hearings, with the U.S. Supreme Court denying review. But he has pursued a series of claims, including those that resulted in Wednesday’s appellate court ruling.
One of those issues was his claim that a state judge improperly dismissed his contention that FBI agents and Pima County prosecutors planted the pink paint from Vicki’s bicycle on the bumper of his car.
Ikuta, in the 56-page ruling, said Atwood’s theory is that Pima investigators, in collusion with the FBI, removed both bumpers from his car in Texas, where they found it, and transported them as luggage on a commercial airline to Tucson.
There, Atwood claims, investigators scraped pink paint off the bicycle and planted it on the front bumper. And then, he said, investigators collected scrapings from the pink paint they had applied to the bumpers, combined those with scrapings from an unrelated pink paint smear on the bumper, and substituted the combined sample in the evidence log.
And after that, according to Atwood, the Pima County investigators used water-soluable paint to cover up the scrape marks created while collecting the sample, transported the bumpers from Tucson back to the FBI impound garage in Texas, and reattached them to Atwood’s car. It was at that point, he said, agents took photos of the pink paint on the bumpers and substituted those photos for original ones taken earlier.
Ikuta said the “general implausibility of Atwood’s theory” supports the conclusion of the state court that an evidentiary hearing was not necessary.
“There was no reason for the Pima County investigators, as part of a clandestine operation to take both bumpers to Tucson (when they needed only one for the alleged fabrication), to check these bulk items as baggage on a commercial airline, or to take photos of the bumpers during the fabrication process,” the judge wrote.
She also pointed out that the police were in the middle of the investigation, as they did not know at that time whether Vicki was alive or dead.
“Atwood’s claim that at this point state and federal officers would have concocted an elaborate plot to fabricate evidence is simply not credible,” Ikuta wrote.
The appellate court also rebuffed Atwood’s contention that Bloom should have presented evidence from mental health experts regarding the defendant’s drug abuse and the traumatic effects of his own childhood molestation.
But Ikuta noted that Bloom had seen records from multiple social workers, psychiatrists and psychologists from one of his prior incarcerations and that none indicated Atwood had any significant mental impairment or disease. Bloom also could have reasonably concluded that if he adopted a mental health defense, that would open the door to prosecutors seeking testimony that Atwood has pedophilic and antisocial personality disorders, testimony that could be “highly damaging” to the case, the judge wrote.
Frank Atwood Execution
An Arizona inmate convicted of killing an 8-year-old girl nearly 38 years ago was executed by lethal injection Wednesday morning, the state’s attorney general announced in a news release.Frank Atwood’s execution took place at the Arizona State Prison Complex just after 10:15 a.m. local time, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said.Atwood was sentenced to death nearly 35 years ago and had exhausted all his appeal options, the attorney general said.
“To an innocent child whose life was brutally taken and a family that has had to endure decades of suffering, Arizonans will never forget,” Brnovich said in a statement
Atwood was convicted in the September 17, 1984 death of Vicki Lynne Hoskinson. Vicki was riding her bike home when Atwood kidnapped and killed her and left her body in a desert, the attorney general said. A hiker found the child’s remains roughly seven months later, according to the news release.
Prior to Vicki’s killing, Atwood had already been convicted of “lewd and lascivious acts and kidnapping” involving two young children in California, the attorney general said.Federal courts denied Atwood’s motions to halt the execution, in which he claimed the procedure would violate his constitutional rights and would cause a substantial risk of pain because of a degenerative spinal disease he suffered from. In response to that concern, state officials agreed to make accommodations in their execution protocol by providing a device that would help “avoid any unnecessary pain due to his condition,” according to court documents.A district court dismissed those claims and on Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision.
The United States Supreme Court on Wednesday also denied Atwood’s ask to halt his execution.Atwood was the second person executed in Arizona since the botched lethal injection execution of Joseph Wood in 2014 that sparked a stateside hold in executions for more than seven years. Wood, who was also executed by lethal injection, gasped for air and struggled to breathe for most of the nearly two hours it took him to die, his attorney had said at the time.
The governor directed the corrections department to review the process and an independent report released in 2014 found the state’s corrections department followed protocol in Wood’s execution.Approximately 111 inmates remain on death row in the state, according to the news release