By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Ortloff did not testify.
Noel Levy claimed that the motive for murder was financial, as Ortloff stood to collect $125,000 in life insurance proceeds (he never did get the money). The prosecutor also noted that Kathleen Smith was about to have Ortloff busted for ripping off more than $7,000 from a joint business account they had taken out to open a Subway franchise in Mesa.
Patterson countered that his client "certainly had no reason to kill his childhood friend," something that Kathleen's brother Kevin agreed with after the verdict.
"Kathleen would have forgiven Robert for taking that money out of the account," Kevin Smith said. "I think he just overreacted to everything. What he did was so stupid and evil."
Smith expressed regret that his mother, Carol, a onetime Tempe city councilwoman wasn't in the courtroom for the trial and conviction. Mrs. Smith died last summer.
Ortloff will receive a life sentence when he returns to court May 23. Until his conviction, he'd been anticipating winning parole on the mail-bombing case in about six years.
Federal marshals returned Fred Tokars, after his crucial testimony, to an unspecified location inside the federal penal system, where he is serving five life sentences, including orchestrating his wife's 1992 murder in front of their two children.
The government snitch (prosecutors prefer the term "cooperating witness") is in the Witness Protection Program.
"I wanted to take a shower after watching Tokars for day after day on the stand," one juror told New Times after the verdict.
"But when you think about it, it isn't all that often, thank God, that you're in the same room with two psychopaths, one on the witness stand and the other sitting with his lawyers at the defense table."