Sean Runningeagle was sentenced to death by the State of Arizona for the murder of a couple during a robbery. According to court documents Sean Runningeagle would stab to death a couple after making his way into their home. Sean Runningeagle would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Sean Runningeagle 2021 Information
ASPC Florence, Central Unit
PO Box 8200
SEAN B. RUNNINGEAGLE 071847
Florence, AZ 85132
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At about 6:00 a.m. on December 6, 1987, Running Eagle, Corey Tilden, and Orva Antone were burglarizing the Robert Davis residence in Phoenix. Davis’ neighbor, 72-year-old Herbert Williams, came outside and told the men to leave or he would call the police. Running Eagle began to tease and threaten Mr. Williams with a large hunting knife. Mr. Williams’ wife, Jacqueline, then came outside and began yelling. Tilden hit Mrs. Williams over the head with a large flashlight. Running Eagle and Tilden then forced their way into the Williams’ home, and beat and stabbed them both to death. Mr. Williams was stabbed five times in the chest, arm, pelvis and back. Mrs. Williams was stabbed four times in the chest and abdomen and her throat was cut. Running Eagle and Tilden were tried jointly. Antone pled guilty to second-degree burglary and testified against Running Eagle and Tilden. Running Eagle and Tilden were both convicted of two counts of first-degree murder; Tilden received two life sentences.
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In the early morning of December 6, 1987, Runningeagle, Tilden, and their two friends Orva and Milford Antone, were driving around Phoenix. Runningeagle wanted parts for his car, so the foursome stopped at the Davis house, which had a car parked outside. Runningeagle, Tilden and Orva got out of the car, while Milford remained passed out drunk in the back seat. Runningeagle used his large hunting knife to remove two carburetors from the Davis car. Orva put them and an air scoop in the trunk of Runningeagle’s car. Tilden *62 and Runningeagle also stole a floor jack and tool box. Orva took a bicycle from the open garage.
Herbert and Jacqueline Williams, an elderly couple, lived next door to the Davises. Mr. Williams came out of his house and told the young men to leave or he would call the police. Orva returned to the car, but Runningeagle and Tilden approached Mr. Williams. Runningeagle concealed his knife by his side. Tilden carried a large, black flashlight. Runningeagle then began to tease and scare Mr. Williams with the knife. Mr. Williams retreated and told Runningeagle to put the knife away. Mrs. Williams then came out of the house and yelled at them. Tilden confronted Mrs. Williams, argued with her, and then hit her on the side of the head with the flashlight. Mr. Williams told them to leave his wife alone, and helped her back into the house. Runningeagle broke through the Williams’ door with a tire iron, and he and Tilden barged in.
The noise awakened a neighbor, who heard Mrs. Williams crying and the words “bring him in” spoken by a tall, young man he saw standing in the Williams carport. The neighbor called “911,” but by the time the police arrived, Mr. and Mrs. Williams were dead. Mr. Williams suffered several head injuries and five stab wounds, three of which were fatal. Mrs. Williams also suffered several head injuries, one of which fractured her skull and was possibly fatal, in addition to four stab wounds, three of which were fatal.
The police searched the Williams home. The drawer in which Mrs. Williams stored her jewelry was open and some jewelry was missing. They found an empty purse, blood drops and two bloody shoe print patterns. They discovered Runningeagle’s palm print on the clothes dryer next to the bodies.
Runningeagle discussed the crimes on several occasions before his arrest. He told his girlfriend that he had been in a fight with two people and had hit them “full-force.” He showed her his car trunk full of the stolen property. He showed the hood scoop and carburetors to another friend. Tilden, too, spoke about the crimes and informed Runningeagle that an account of the burglary was on the radio and that “they got there an hour after we left.”
When the defendants were arrested, the police found, among other things, the Davis air scoop with Runningeagle’s prints on it, two carburetors, the tool box, Mrs. Williams’ wallet and college pin, a large black flashlight with Tilden’s prints on it, and the Davis bicycle with Runningeagle’s prints on the wheel rim. A Phoenix Police Department criminalist matched Runningeagle’s shoes with the bloody shoe prints found at the Williams house, and also found that an inked print of Tilden’s shoes made a pattern similar to other shoe prints at the house.
Runningeagle, Tilden, and Orva Antone were indicted on two counts of first degree murder, and one count each of first degree burglary of a residence, second degree burglary of a residence, third degree burglary of a car, theft of property valued between $500 and $1000, and theft of property valued between $250 and $500. Orva Antone pleaded guilty to burglary and testified for the state at the joint trial.