AZ Supreme Court orders execution of convicted killer - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

AZ Supreme Court orders execution of convicted killer

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Joseph Rudolph Wood III killed Debra and Eugene Dietz, his estranged girlfriend and her father, in Pima County in 1989. (Source: Arizona Department of Corrections) Joseph Rudolph Wood III killed Debra and Eugene Dietz, his estranged girlfriend and her father, in Pima County in 1989. (Source: Arizona Department of Corrections)
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PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -

The Arizona Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the execution of a man sentenced to death for killing his estranged girlfriend and her father in Pima County nearly a quarter-century ago.

In April, the Attorney General's Office asked for a warrant scheduling the execution of 55-year-old Joseph Rudolph Wood III for the 1989 killings of Debra and Eugene Dietz at a Tucson paint and auto body shop.

Appeals courts have upheld Wood's convictions and death sentence and the Attorney General's Office says Wood has exhausted his appeals and has no action pending in any court.

A defense lawyer for Wood, assistant public defender Dale Baich, said the Department of Corrections' recent decision to use a two-drug combination for executions is "novel and highly untested."

Prosecutors said Wood shot Eugene Dietz once in the chest and then smiled. Debra Dietz had apparently heard an employee shout that her father had been shot and was trying to telephone for help when Wood grabbed her around the neck from behind and placed his revolver directly against her chest.

Wood called her a derogatory name and shot her twice in the chest, prosecutors said.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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