Arizona court lets stand man’s death sentences for 5 murders

FILE - Generic gavel on wooden table.

An Arizona Supreme Court decision has denied a request for a new sentencing for a death row inmate convicted of murdering five people, including two police informants and their relatives.

The ruling issued on May 4 acknowledged that the penalty phase of Robert Craig Miller’s trial included an incorrect but widely used jury instruction but said there was no reasonable probability that the jury otherwise would have sentenced Miller to life instead of death.

According to the ruling, the failure of the Scottsdale man’s lawyers to object to the jury instruction didn’t warrant conducting a new penalty phase and sentencing.

Those killed in a Mesa home on Sept. 22, 2011, included 30-year-old Steven Duffy and 32—year-old Tammy Lovell, former employees of Miller who were informants against him in an arson case.

Also killed were Duffy’s brother, 18-year-old Shane Duffy, and Lovell’s children — 15-year-old Cassandra and 10-year-old Jacob.

Prosecutors said elimination of witnesses was the motive for the killings.

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