Eric King Executed For 2 Arizona Murders

Eric King was executed by the State of Arizona for a double murder committed during a robbery

According to court documents Eric King would rob a convenience market in Phoenix where he would shoot clerk Ron Barman and security guard Richard Butts

Eric King was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Eric King would be executed by lethal injection on March 29 2011

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When Was Eric King Executed

Eric King was executed on March 29 2011

Eric King Case

Eric John King, convicted of killing two people in a 1989 Phoenix convenience store robbery, was executed Tuesday despite last-minute arguments by his attorneys, who raised questions over one of the lethal injection drugs and said they had raised “substantial doubt” about his guilt.

King’s death at the state prison in Florence, Ariz. was the first execution in the state since October and one of the last expected to use a three-drug lethal injection cocktail.

As the death chamber’s curtains opened, King smiled broadly at someone he knew and waved with a hand covered by a sheet. When asked if he had any last words, the 47-year-old calmly and firmly said, “No.” He then looked around at the estimated 30 witnesses in the room, at times smiling.

As he was sedated, King breathed heavily for several seconds then appeared to go to sleep.

Corrections Director Charles Ryan announced that King was declared dead at 10:22 a.m.

King had maintained his innocence since his arrest, and his lawyers fought until the last minute to get his sentence reversed or delayed.

The Arizona Supreme Court declined to stay King’s execution Monday after the defense argued that the state should wait until it enacts its new lethal injection protocol. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene.

Ryan announced Friday that Arizona would switch to using just one drug, but only after the scheduled executions of King and Daniel Wayne Cook on April 5.

The defense also was unable to successfully argue that King be granted clemency at a hearing Thursday. They argued that the two key witnesses who testified against King at his trial have changed their stories, that no physical evidence exists and surveillance video used at trial was of extremely poor quality.

King was convicted of fatally shooting security guard Richard Butts and clerk Ron Barman at a Phoenix convenience store two days after Christmas in 1989 in a robbery that netted $72.

Shortly before the killing, King had been released from a seven-year prison term on kidnapping and sexual assault charges.

“This morning the state of Arizona fulfilled it most somber obligation to protect public safety by executing convicted murder Eric King by lethal injection,” Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said in a news release. Horne said he witnessed the execution, reports CBS affiliate KPHO.

“Convenience store managers and clerks work hard to support themselves and their families, and they are not doing any harm to anyone,” he said. “This execution is a message to criminals that if you kill innocent hard-working people, you might well receive the death penalty.”

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