PHOENIX (AP) - A unanimous Arizona Supreme Court ruling Friday upholds a trial judge’s decision that a death row inmate convicted of killing a Tucson police officer in 2003 isn’t entitled to a resentencing.
John Montenegro Cruz was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Officer Patrick Hardesty. The 40-year-old officer was killed while pursuing Cruz during a hit-and-run investigation.
The state Supreme Court rejected Cruz’s argument that he should get a new sentencing because of a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a sentencing issue involving information given to jurors about possible parole eligibility.
Cruz’s lawyers argued that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling was a significant change in the law but the state high court disagreed.
The Arizona justices said the 2016 federal ruling "was based on precedent well established at the time" that Cruz was convicted and sentenced.
More Arizona news
- Agents rescue 26 migrants stranded in Arizona borderlands
- Highway closures in effect for Telegraph Fire burning near Superior
- At 91 years old, Scottsdale teacher still teaching students cursive
Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news: