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Arizona Judicial Branch

MUTILATION

MUTILATION FINDING UPHELD

State v. Vickers (Vickers I (Ponciano murder))
, 129 Ariz. 506, 633 P.2d 315 (1981)
PRE-GRETZLER CASE
The victim died from strangulation, was also stabbed ten to twelve times, and had the word "Bonzai" carved into his back. The Court found that the facts here reflected a mental state "marked by debasement."

State v. Harding (Wise, Concannon murders)
, 137 Ariz. 278, 670 P.2d 383 (1983)
Deceased victim beaten with lamp base; debasement of corpse bordered on mutilation.

State v. Summerlin, 138 Ariz. 426, 675 P.2d 686 (1983)
Court provided no explanation of facts supporting this finding.

State v. McCall (McCall I)
, 139 Ariz. 147, 677 P.2d 920 (1983)
Court appears to have made an alternative finding of mutilation or gratuitous violence; however, Court used mutilation language and stated that throat cutting at, near, or shortly after death was intended as warning to others.

State v. Bracy, 145 Ariz. 520, 751 P.2d 464 (1985)
see State v. McCall.
Court found infliction of gratuitous violence or mutilation because victim shot twice in head then had throat slashed at or shortly after time of death; throat slashing intended as message to warn others.

State v. Hooper, 145 Ariz. 538, 751 P.2d 482 (1985)
see State v. McCall.

State v. Walter LaGrand, 153 Ariz. 21, 734 P.2d 563 (1987)
Stabbing bound bank manager twenty-four times constituted mutilation as well as gratuitous violence.

State v. McCall (McCall II)
, 160 Ariz. 119, 770 P.2d 1165 (1989)
see State v. McCall.

State v. Jiménez, 165 Ariz. 444, 799 P.2d 785 (1990)
Victim suffered numerous postmortem stab wounds.

State v. Spencer, 176 Ariz. 36, 859 P.2d 146 (1993)
Raped and stabbed victim; doused victim with accelerant; set her on fire; this factor alone enough to support finding of heinous or depraved.

State v. Maturana, 180 Ariz. 126, 882 P.2d 933 (1994)
Court found gratuitous violence and mutilation, commingling the factors; victim shot at least twelve times in head and chest; some bullets caused multiple entrance wounds; defendant watched codefendant hack body with machete; victim's jugular nearly severed; defendant attempted to sever victim's head; body dumped in a well.

State v. Stokley, 182 Ariz. 505, 898 P.2d 454 (1995)
Stabbing eyes of the victims, stomping on their bodies could not have been thought to cause death and, therefore, constitute mutilation as well as gratuitous violence.

State v. Tankersley, 191 Ariz. 359, 956 P.2d 486 (1998)
Court found both mutilation and gratuitous violence but did not distinguish which facts supported each finding individually; victim was strangled by her own oxygen tubes, physically and sexually assaulted while alive or at point of death; defendant caused feces to be smeared on victim's body and chewed off parts of victim's flesh while she was still alive.

State v. Doerr, 193 Ariz. 56, 969 P.2d 1168 (1998)
The victim's left nipple was cut off and marks above the right nipple suggested an attempt to amputate it as well.

State v. Pandeli, 200 Ariz. 365, 26 P.3d 1136 (2001)
The severing of both of the victim’s breasts after her death established mutilation.

State v. (Michael Joe) Murdaugh
, 209 Ariz. 19, 97 P.3d 844 (2004) (Ring)
After killing the victim, Murdaugh severed the hands and head from the torso, extracted teeth and cut off finger pads, disposing of all parts separately to avoid detection and/or identification of the body by the authorities.  This showed that Murdaugh acted in a depraved manner.

State v. (Darrel) Pandeli (Pandeli IV), 215 Ariz. 514, 161 P.3d 557 ( 2007) (Ring)
Pandeli mutilated Iler’s body and relished the murder by taking souvenirs.

State v. (Patrick Wade) Bearup, 221 Ariz. 163, 211 P.3d 684 (2009)
Bearup cut off the victim’s finger to retrieve a ring.  Although it was not clear when the victim died, if Bearup cut off his finger when the victim was alive, he inflicted gratuitous violence; if he did so after the victim’s death, he mutilated a corpse.


 

MUTILATION FINDING REVERSED

State v. Richmond (Richmond II)
, 136 Ariz. 312, 666 P.2d 57 (1983)
Three justice plurality commingled gratuitous violence and mutilation, finding factors were not proved beyond a reasonable doubt where victim was killed by being run over twice by automobile; no evidence established that defendant knew victim was dead after first pass of car.

State v. Bernard Smith, 146 Ariz. 491, 707 P.2d 289 (1985)
Without further elaboration, Court stated defendant did not mutilate victim.

State v. Richmond (Richmond III), 180 Ariz. 573, 886 P.2d 1329 (1994)
see State v. Richmond II.

State v. Medina, 193 Ariz. 504, 975 P.2d 94 (1999)
The trial court found mutilation by the defendant running over the victim. This is the same conduct that caused the murder. The Court did not find a separate purpose to mutilate distinct from the killing itself.

State v. Bocharski, 218 Ariz. 476, 189 P.3d 403, (2008)
The victim was stabbed twenty-four times on the face and neck in less than one minute. None of the wounds occurred post-mortem. The state argued that because some of the wounds were of a slashing or slicing nature, as opposed to deep penetrating stab wounds, and because the victim did not struggle during the attack, the defendant intended to mutilate the victim’s face. The Court found the evidence simply did not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed any separate and distinct acts with the intent to mutilate the victim’s body.

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