Donald Delahanty, who senselessly ended veteran Phoenix police officer David Uribe's life in May 2005, will continue residing on death row after the Arizona Supreme Court today upheld his conviction.
We know this case well, as we were hanging with Phoenix homicide detectives when word of the tragic shooting came in, and tracked every move during the dramatic investigation.
Delahanty, who was in the front passenger seat of a car driven by cohort Chris Wilson, shot Officer Uribe three times after the routine stop on West Cactus Road and 35th Avenue.
None -- Delahanty was methamphetamine-fueled with a loaded gun at his beck and call and a hankering to kill a cop.
A jury convicted Delahanty of first-degree murder, attempted arson (of the car he was riding in), conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and solicitation to commit murder. The latter charge came while Delahanty was in jail awaiting trial -- he sent letters to a girlfriend seeking to have Chris Wilson (who had plea bargained and was about to testify against his ex-buddy) and Wilson's mother killed.
Delahanty's appellate attorney didn't raise many compelling issues, and Justice Andrew Hurwitz disposed of all of them in a 19-page opinion -- short for death-penalty rulings.
The defense contended that trial Judge Warren Granville should have allowed the jurors to consider less-serious murder offenses, specifically second-degree and manslaughter, instead of just first-degree murder.
Not so, Justice Hurwitz concluded, and his four colleagues on the bench agreed.
"The evidence does not support Delahanty's contentions," he wrote. "Delahanty shot Officer Uribe three times at close range in the face and neck during a routine traffic stop, actions almost certain to bring about death.
"Officer Uribe was in full uniform and driving a marked police cruiser with its lights engaged. Delahanty undoubtedly knew he was shooting a police officer. Moreover, Delahanty shot Officer Uribe after telling [another passenger in the car] that if he was ever pulled over by an officer, `I would shoot him, I would kill him,' and after telling another friend that he would `shoot to kill when he got pulled over.'"
Delahanty's statements "did not suggest anything other than intent to kill. There was no evidence that Delahanty acted in a simply reckless manner."
What a waste of a good man's life. Dave Uribe's, of course.