George Kayer was sentenced to death by the State of Arizona for a robbery murder. According to court documents George Kayer who was wanted on a parole violation would borrow money from the victim, Delbert Hass, so he could gamble. George Kayer, his girlfriend and Delbret Hass would travel to a casino where Kayer lost all of his money. On the way back they would pull off into a wooded area where Delbert Hass got out to relieve himself. George Kayer would follow and shoot the victim. George Kayer would walk back to the car and then returned to the victim discovering he was still alive and shot him again. George Kayer would drive to the victims home where he stole a number of possessions before leaving. George Kayer would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
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ASPC Florence, Central Unit
PO Box 8200
GEORGE R. KAYER 077910
Florence, AZ 85132
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George Russell Kayer, who was wanted for violating his probation, borrowed money from his friend, Delbert L. Haas, so he could gamble in Laughlin. Kayer’s girlfriend, Lisa Dawn Kester, went with Kayer and Haas to Laughlin where Kayer lost all his money in heavy gambling. Kayer told Haas, however, that he had won big, but his winnings had been stolen from him. Prior to returning to Arizona, Kayer told his girlfriend that they were going to rob Haas and then kill him. When they stopped in Kingman for some beer, Kayer armed himself with a hand gun.
Later, they turned off the Interstate and drove into some woods so the victim could relieve himself. Kayer stopped his girlfriend from leaving the vehicle. He then got out of the van and shot Delbert Haas in the back of the head. He returned to the van with Haas’ wallet, watch, and some jewelry. They drove a short distance, then Kayer said “Oh damn, I didn’t get his keys.” They returned to the scene of the killing. After checking the body, Kayer returned to the van for the gun telling Kester that the victim was not dead. He then shot Haas again in the head. With his keys, they went to Haas’ home in Spring Valley where Kayer stole some guns, a camera, and some jewelry.
Eventually, they returned to Nevada. About 10 days after the murder, Kester reported the murder to officials saying she was upset because Kayer was gambling away all the money and when she confronted him about it, he said “You sometimes have to kill people to survive.” Kayer was convicted of both premeditated and felony murder, as well as trafficking in stolen property, and theft of a firearm both of which were enhanced with two historical prior felony convictions.
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On December 3, 1994, two couples searching for Christmas trees on a dirt road in Yavapai County discovered a body, later identified as Haas. Haas had been shot twice, evidenced by entry bullet wounds located roughly behind each ear. On December 12, 1994, Yavapai County Detective Danny Martin received a phone call from Las Vegas police officer Larry Ross. Ross told Martin that a woman named Lisa Kester approached a security guard at the Pioneer Hotel in Las Vegas and said that her boyfriend, the defendant, had killed a man in Arizona. Kester said a warrant had been issued for defendant’s arrest in relation to a different crime, a fact Las Vegas police officers later confirmed. Kester gave Las Vegas police officers the gun she said was used to kill Haas, and she led the officers to credit cards belonging to Haas that were found inside a white van in the hotel parking lot. Kester appeared agitated to the police officers and security guards present and said she had not come forward sooner because she feared defendant would kill her, too. She asked to be placed in the witness protection program. She described defendant’s physical appearance to the assembled officers and agreed to go with an officer to the police station.
¶ 3 A combination of Pioneer Hotel security guards and Las Vegas police officers soon spotted defendant leaving the hotel. The officers arrested defendant and took him to the police station for questioning. Kester had already been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. Detectives Martin and Roger Williamson flew to Las Vegas on December 13 to interrogate Kester and the defendant. Kester gave a complete account of events that she said led to Haas’ death. Defendant, in contrast, spoke briefly with the detectives before invoking his Miranda right to have an attorney present. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 444 (1966).
¶ 4 Kester’s statements to Detectives Martin and Williamson formed the basis of the State’s prosecution of defendant. She said that defendant continually bragged about a gambling system that he had concocted to defeat the Las Vegas casinos. However, neither defendant nor Kester ever had money with which to gamble. Defendant was a traveling salesman of sorts, selling T-shirts, jewelry, and knickknacks. His only other income came from bilking the government of benefits through fake identities that both defendant and Kester created. Defendant learned that Haas recently received money from an insurance settlement. Kester and defendant visited Haas at his house near Cordes Lakes late in November 1994. Kester said that defendant convinced Haas to come gambling with them. On November 30, 1994, defendant, Kester, and Haas left for Laughlin, Nevada in defendant’s van.
¶ 5 The trio stayed in the same hotel room in Laughlin, and after the first night of gambling, defendant claimed to have “won big.” Haas agreed to loan the defendant about $100 of his settlement money so that defendant could further utilize his gambling system. Defendant’s gambling system proved unsuccessful, and he promptly lost all the money Haas had given him. However, defendant told Haas again that he had won big but that someone had stolen his winnings. Kester asked defendant what they were going to do now that they were out of money. Defendant said he was going to rob Haas. When Kester asked how defendant was going to get away with robbing someone he knew, defendant said, “I guess I’ll just have to kill him.”
¶ 6 The three left Laughlin to return to Arizona on December 2, 1994. On the road, all three — but mostly Haas — consumed alcohol. Defendant and Haas argued continually over how defendant was going to repay Haas. The van made several stops for bathroom breaks and to purchase snacks. At one of these stops, defendant took a gun that he stored under the seat of the van and put it in his pants. Defendant asked Kester if she was “going to be all right with this.” Kester said she would need a warning before defendant killed Haas.
¶ 7 Defendant charted a course through back roads that he claimed would be a shortcut to Haas’ house. While on one such road, defendant stopped the van near Camp Wood Road in Yavapai County. At this stop, Kester said Haas exited the van and began urinating behind it. Kester started to climb out of the van as well, but defendant motioned to her with the gun and pushed her back into the van. The van had windows in the rear and on each side through which Kester viewed what occurred next. Defendant walked quietly up to Haas from behind while he was urinating, trained the gun at Haas’ head at point-blank range, and shot him behind the ear. Defendant dragged Haas’ body off the side of the road to the bushes where the body was eventually found. Defendant returned to the car carrying Haas’ wallet, watch, and jewelry.
¶ 8 Defendant and Kester began to drive away in the van when defendant realized that he had forgotten to retrieve Haas’ house keys. He turned the van around and returned to the murder scene. Kester and defendant both looked for the body; Kester spotted it and then returned to the van. Defendant returned to the van, too, and asked for the gun, saying that Haas did not appear to be dead. Kester said defendant approached Haas’ body and that she heard a second shot.
¶ 9 Kester and George Kayer then drove to Haas’ home. Defendant entered the home and stole several guns, a camera, and other of Haas’ personal property. He attempted unsuccessfully to find Haas’ bank PIN number in order to access Haas’ bank accounts. Defendant and Kester sold Haas’ guns and jewelry at pawn shops and flea markets over the course of the next week, usually under the aliases of David Flynn and Sharon Hughes. Defendant and Kester went to Las Vegas where defendant used the proceeds from selling these items to test his gambling system once again and to pay for a room at the Pioneer Hotel. At this time, Kester approached the Pioneer Hotel security guard and reported defendant’s crime.