The Arizona Supreme Court has lifted a stay on the execution of kid-killing rapist Donald Beaty.
Beaty was scheduled to die at 10 a.m. today, but the court issued a last-minute stay of the execution last night as his attorneys objected to the substitution of the sedative pentobarbital in place of the commonly used sodium thiopental in the three-drug cocktail used to execute the convicted murderer.
The state now has until 10 a.m. tomorrow to off Beaty on the original death warrant, or the court will be forced to issue another one -- which means Beaty's time as a Death Row resident could be extended.
A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Corrections tells New Times that as far as he knows, the execution hasn't been rescheduled yet, but the DOC plans to kill Beaty before 10 a.m. tomorrow unless a court rules otherwise.
The switch in sedatives was made yesterday after federal officials said the state did not fill out a form needed to bring the new drug into the country. But that's only after anti-death-penalty groups whined that the sodium thiopental used for executions in Arizona wasn't approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is "outraged" by the delay of Beaty's execution.
"I am outraged that the Justice Department, having had the facts for many months, would wait literally until the day before a scheduled execution to file an objection over the proposed change in one of the drugs to be used to execute this killer," Horne says. "The use of pentobarbital instead of sodium thiopental has been approved by the courts, and there is no legal disagreement that the second drug is appropriate for this purpose."
Beaty was convicted of the 1984 rape and murder of 13-year-old Christy Ann Fornoff.
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On May 9, 1984, Fornoff, a newspaper carrier, was collecting money along her paper route at the Rockpoint Apartments in Tempe.
Beaty, a custodian at the apartment complex, abducted the young girl, raped her, and then suffocated her. He kept her dead body in his apartment for two days before leaving it behind a dumpster at the complex.
"There is no question that Donald Beaty raped and murdered then 13-year old newspaper delivery girl Christy Fornoff, and there is no reason to make the Fornoff family endure even one more minute of pain before they know the man who murdered their child has paid the price for his evil crime," Horne continues.