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Supreme Court denies stay of Bible's execution
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday rejected convicted murderer Richard Lynn Bible's request to delay his Thursday execution for the 1988 murder of a 9-year-old girl in Flagstaff.
It was the latest in a string of last-minute rejections in the case: The Arizona clemency board voted 5-0 Monday against Bible and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied his appeal late Tuesday.
Bible is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Thursday in the state prison complex in Florence. He would become the 27th inmate executed in Arizona since 1992, according to the Department of Corrections.
The state's last execution, of convicted murderer Donald Beaty, occurred May 25.
Bible was convicted in 1990 of the June 6, 1988, kidnapping, molestation and murder of Jennifer Wilson. The 9-year-old girl was last seen by her parents riding her bike to a ranch where the family was staying in Flagstaff. Her parents drove past her on the way, but Jennifer never arrived.
Jennifer's mother told police that she saw a man driving a “Blazer-type vehicle” in the area where her daughter disappeared. That same day, Bible's brother reported to police that Bible was in a similar car.
Bible was arrested that evening in a stolen GMC and confessed to car theft.
Jennifer's naked body was found three weeks later on top of Sheep Hill — near where Bible's brother lived — hidden under branches and debris near a tree. Her hands were tied behind her back with a shoelace and she had suffered multiple blows to the head that caused her death.
Also at the scene, police found rubber bands, small vodka bottles, hot-chocolate packets and cigars that matched items in the GMC, and a piece of metal that matched a piece missing from the car's steering column.
They found hair, later determined to be Jennifer's, that had been cut in a pattern that police were able to duplicate using knives found in Bible's possession, court documents said. Blood and hair on his clothes and in the car matched hers, and hair on the sheet used to wrap her body matched his.
Bible was convicted on April 12, 1990, after a six-week trial, of kidnapping, child molestation and first-degree murder.
In his latest appeals, Bible has argued for DNA testing of hairs found at the scene, saying it would prove that “hairs taken from his clothes and car are not the victim's, and that the hairs found on or near the victim are not his,” court documents said.
Bible also argued that DNA results may point to another suspect, a known sex offender, at the crime scene.
The federal appeals court rejected the claim, noting the “overwhelming evidence” against Bible could not be overcome by any DNA evidence the hair would provide. It also rejected his claims that he had inadequate counsel.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Wednesday rejected Bible's request for a stay of execution. Bible's attorney said later Wednesday that the condemned man appears to have run out of legal options.
“There are no other matters pending,” said Dale Baich, the assistant federal public defender representing Bible.