Paul Speer was sentenced to death by the State of Arizona for arranging a murder from jail. According to court documents Paul Speer was in jail awaiting trial for a burglary that he committed with his brother.Chris Womble at the Adan & Enriqueta Soto residence. Paul Speer would order his other brother to kill the two witnesses. His brother Brian Womble would go to the Soto residence and shoot Enrigueta and Adan while they were sleeping. Enriqueta would wake up not realizing she was shot and when she was unable to wake Adan she called 911. Paul Speer and Brian Womble would be ultimately be sentenced to death.
Paul Speer 2021 Information
ASPC Florence, Central Unit
PO Box 8200
PAUL B. SPEER 140694
Florence, AZ 85132
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Paul Speer was in jail awaiting trial for a burglary he committed with his brother, Chris Womble, at the residence of Adan & Enriqueta Soto. While in jail, Speer conspired with his other brother, Brian Womble, over the phone to kill Adan and Enriqueta who were to be witnesses in the burglary trial. In the early hours of May 25, 2002, Brian Womble broke into the Soto residence and shot Adan and Enriqueta while they slept with their baby boy between them. Enriqueta awoke in pain, not knowing she had been shot and called 911 after failing to wake Adan. Enriqueta, then 30, was permanently debilitated. Adan, 42, died with his arms around his son. Two other children were asleep in the Soto residence at the time. Brian Womble was also sentenced to death for his participation in this crime.
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On March 14, 2002, Speer and his half-brother Chris Womble broke into an apartment on West Glenrosa Avenue in Phoenix.1 Adan and Enriqueta Soto lived there with their three children. No one was at home during the break-in, but a neighbor saw two men trying to open an apartment window and called the police.
¶ 3 Shortly after the neighbor’s call, two men were seen walking toward a nearby apartment complex. Residents of that complex directed police to the apartment of Sabrina and Bill Womble, Speer’s mother and stepfather. Speer was found beneath a couch; Chris was found in a closet. After the two were arrested, the officers searched the apartment and found items belonging to the Sotos.
¶ 4 Speer was held at the Madison Street jail and made telephone calls to family and friends while in custody. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (“MCSO”) recorded outgoing prisoner phone calls. Most of Speer’s calls were to Al Heitzman, with whom Speer’s half-brother Brian Womble lived. Al or Brian would occasionally then make three-way calls to others.
¶ 5 On March 18, Speer asked Al to post his $7,000 bond, stating that he could not win his case unless he could talk to the victims and convince them not to testify. On April 28, Speer told Al about a plea offer of 6.5 to 13 years imprisonment. Al connected Bill Womble to the call; Speer asked if Bill’s brother would be willing to post bond.
¶ 6 Speer called again on April 29, asking Brian to sell his two handguns to raise the bond money. Brian responded that he needed the guns to commit suicide. Speer said that Brian’s problems were minor compared to Speer’s. Speer also said that instead of accepting a plea offer he wanted to convince the witnesses not to testify.
¶ 7 After Brian said he did not have the money for bond, Speer asked, do “you think you can ․ handle some shit for me?” Brian responded that he “probably could” but “if I do that, I’ll be dead too.” Speer suggested that Brian offer the victims his .357 handgun as an inducement to not testify. Speer called again and told Brian that if the witnesses testified, he would get the maximum sentence.
¶ 8 On April 30, Brian told Speer that he would retrieve his guns from Al’s safe deposit box. Speer told Brian to tell the victims that Speer was not involved. Brian said that he instead would employ “Plan B.” Brian later asked Speer if he should talk to the victims or do his other plan. Answering his own question, Brian said he was going to do his other plan. Speer replied, “Okay. Yeah, yeah. Go ahead.”
¶ 9 On May 5, Speer spoke with Brian and Al at length. Initially, Speer tried to pressure Al into posting the bond money by warning that Brian might do something violent. Al, however, refused, and Speer replied that he and Brian would have “to go to Plan B.”
¶ 10 On May 13, Speer called Brian to talk about “Plan B” and told him to “make sure you take care of everybody in that house ․ there’s only like two.” Brian said he needed a silencer. Speer reiterated that Brian could do the job alone, as there were only “two people in there.” Speer again reminded Brian that “everything in there has to go.”
¶ 11 On May 17, Brian proposed that he break into the apartment and wait for the Sotos to come home. Speer suggested instead that Brian pose as a police officer who needed to take photos for the upcoming trial. Brian again told Speer that he had retrieved his guns; Speer said, “make sure you talk to both people.” Brian said that he had been to the complex and staked it out. Speer said, “Handle business fool, alright?”
¶ 12 On May 19, Speer called Brian again. They referred to a “surprise birthday party,” and Speer said it would be a waste of a party if Brian did not get both people. Brian told Speer that he now had a silencer and described the effect his gun would have on the Sotos.
¶ 13 On May 24, Al told Speer that Brian was severely depressed. Speer then asked Brian, “Is it pretty sure you’re going to ․ you’ll be able to get it running tonight?” Speer also told him to make sure to throw away the evidence. Speer again asked Brian, “I don’t have nothing to worry about, about you getting the car together, right?”
¶ 14 Speer and Brian then called Bill Womble and asked if anyone had talked to Sabrina about the burglary trial. Speer reiterated to Bill that Sabrina was on medication at the time and therefore should not remember anything. Speer later asked Brian whether the “car window” was down when he checked it. Brian replied that “there’s always a ․ way for ․ water to squeeze in.” Speer urged that the plan be executed that night.
¶ 15 On May 25, 2002, at 3:00 a.m., the Sotos returned home from a party. At approximately 5:00 a.m., Enriqueta placed a 911 call. When EMTs arrived, they found Enriqueta on the living room couch; she had been shot, but her wounds were not fatal. An EMT found Adan lying in bed with his arm around an infant. Adan was dead from a gunshot wound; the infant was unharmed.
¶ 16 When police arrived, they found the screen for the front window to the apartment removed. Brian’s palm prints were later identified on the screen.
¶ 17 On the day after the murder, Speer called Brian and asked him if he got “the car running” and fixed “both parts.” Brian said, “Yep, perfect.” Speer told Brian that he should leave for Nevada and that he needed to “get rid of those [engine parts] cause I don’t want the ․ grease getting all over ․ my room.” Speer and Brian called Bill; Speer told Bill that he could be out of jail in four months and that Bill had raised some “rioters.”
¶ 18 Speer called Sabrina the next day. Speer told her that anything Brian had said was the result of drugs. Sabrina said that the Sotos had been murdered. Speer tried to quiet her and told her that if she had to testify she should say that she was on pills at the time of the arrest and remembered nothing.
¶ 19 On June 10, Speer called Brian. Brian said that one of the Sotos was still alive, but Speer said that he was not worried. On June 19, Speer sent a letter to Brian reminding him to get rid of the “engine parts” and his shoes. When police later searched Brian’s bedroom, they found the letter and a book on silencers.