Thomas Riley was sentenced to death by the State of Arizona for a prison murder. According to court documents Thomas Riley would murder another inmate in order to enter the Aryan Brotherhood. According to prison officials the victim was killed because he refused an order from the Aryan Brotherhood to commit an act of violence. Thomas Riley was convicted and sentenced to death.
Thomas Riley 2021 Information
ASPC Eyman, Browning Unit
PO Box 3400
THOMAS M. RILEY 135692
Florence, AZ 85132
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In June 2008, Riley and the victim Sean Kelly were inmates at the prison complex in Buckeye.
The prison unit in which they were housed is divided into four pods. Inmates are not permitted to
enter a pod in which they do not live. Riley was housed in Pod A, and Kelly was housed in Pod
C. On the evening of June 29, Riley and his cellmate entered Pod C and attacked Kelly in his cell,
stabbing him 114 times with prison-made shanks. After the attack, Riley changed clothes in
Kelly’s cell, leaving behind a bloody pair of pants with his inmate card inside its pocket and a
bloody shirt imprinted with his inmate number.
The corrections officer in the Pod C control room observed Riley and his cellmate standing at the
outer doors of Pod C and directed them to leave the pod. She testified at trial that Riley looked
happy and had his hand on his cellmate’s shoulder in a congratulatory manner. Shortly thereafter,
corrections officers discovered Kelly’s body and quickly identified Riley and his cellmate as
suspects. When the officers arrived at Riley’s cell, they found blood on both Riley and his
cellmate, a pair of socks with blood and Riley’s inmate number on them, and more blood on the
sink, toilet, and the inmates’ personal items. Later DNA testing confirmed the blood was Kelly’s.
Nearly two years after Kelly’s murder, another inmate gave investigators a letter he had received
from Riley. A document examiner confirmed through handwriting analysis that Riley had written
the letter, and a fingerprint examiner found Riley’s fingerprints on it. In the letter, Riley chronicled
his journey to full Aryan Brotherhood membership and his involvement in Kelly’s murder,
including numerous graphic details of the crime.