Trial and Heir

In the trial of the decade, Butch Harrod is found guilty of the 1988 murder of wealthy Phoenix widow Jeanne Tovrea

"Why spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars creating what the state would have you believe is a ruse on the China trip," Bernays asks, "and not spend a $1.39 on a pair of gloves?"

One juror tries to answer that after the trial.
"Butch wasn't a professional killer," said the juror, a Chandler man in his 30s. "He wasn't a professional anything from what we heard. It didn't really surprise us he forgot to put on his gloves, or maybe even to buy them."

Bernays next tries an argument that jurors thought laughable.
"What actual evidence is there that the [kitchen] window came from that window frame?" he asks. "Or could that pane of glass have been imported by the same people who killed Jeanne Tovrea?"

The last word goes to Bill Culbertson, who jumps all over Bernays' belated second pane-of-glass theory:

"Oh, yeah. And maybe little green men in aluminum suits with New Mexico plates from Roswell arrived and toted it in."

The prosecutor recalls something Harrod testified to about truth starting at his front door.

"Maybe the truth starts at Jeanne Tovrea's kitchen window . . ." Culbertson says.

"Don't you be conned. After this murder, the defendant was flush with money. He went to the Caribbean and he partied and enjoyed the fruits of that blood money, and he enjoyed the party.

"The party's now over."

After only about four hours of deliberation, the jury returns with its guilty verdict on November 18.

Butch Harrod's demeanor is consistent to the end. He shrugs slightly, then turns to let a deputy handcuff him.

Debbie Luster sobs uncontrollably in the second row, engulfed by her husband and supporters. Harrod's arrest and, now, his conviction, in Debbie's words, "have given me my life back," even if others who have been involved evade justice.

On the other side of the courtroom, Butch Harrod's sister, June Barney, scribbles something in a notebook. Harrod's mother tries to catch his eye, but doesn't.

Someone wishes Harrod luck as he is whisked away to his jail cell.
"My luck just went away," he replies.

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