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Efren Medina - Arizona Death Row
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Thread: Efren Medina - Arizona Death Row

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Efren Medina - Arizona Death Row

    Summary of Offense:

    A Valley man has been again sentenced to death for the 1993 killing of a former Arizona Republic reporter during a car-theft bid.

    Jurors on Tuesday returned a death-penalty sentence for Efren Medina, 34. Medina was 18 in 1993 when he beat and stomped 71-year-old Carle Hodge, then dragged him into the street and ran over him. Hodge was a former Republic science reporter.

    Another man, Ernest Aro, 19 at the time of the crime, was also found guilty in the murder and sentenced in a separate trial to life in prison. Medina was convicted and sentenced to death in 1996 but the Maricopa County Superior Court judge who gave the death penalty in 2003 ordered Medina be resentenced after evidence was presented about a delusional disorder the defendant may have been suffering from at the time of the killing.

    Medina was re-sentenced to death on January 12, 2010.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    January 13, 2010

    Death sentence in slaying of former Republic reporter

    A man who killed a former Arizona Republic reporter was sentenced to death Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court, nearly 15 years after he was found guilty of the crime.

    In 1995, a jury convicted Efren Medina, 35, of first-degree murder in the death of Carle Otis Hodge, a former science writer for The Republic.

    Hodge, 71, tried to stop Medina, then 18, and another man, Ernest Aro, from stealing his car in west Phoenix. Medina pulled Hodge from his car, beat and stomped on him, then dragged him into the street and ran over him twice.

    Both men were found guilty of murder in 1995 and during the next year, Aro was sentenced to life in prison and Medina to death. The Arizona Supreme Court upheld Medina's conviction and death sentence in 1999.

    But during the ensuing appeals process, the judge who had sentenced Medina to death decided to send the case back to court for resentencing because Medina's mental health issues had not been fully taken into account during his trial.

    A second trial to sentence him ended in mistrial in October 2008. The case went back to trial a third time in December 2009, and on Tuesday, a jury imposed the death penalty again.


  3. #3
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    In today's Arizona Supreme Court opinions, Medina's convictions and death sentence were AFFIRMED on direct appeal.
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  4. #4
    Administrator Jan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Medina's petition for rehearing was DENIED.

  5. #5
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Arizona Supreme Court decision upheld in 1993 Phoenix murder case

    By Mauro Whiteman
    Cronkite News

    WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court turned down an appeal Monday of an Arizona death-penalty case in which an autopsy report was entered as evidence without the medical examiner who wrote it.

    Attorneys for Efren Medina argued that the inability to cross-examine the medical examiner violated his Sixth Amendment right to confront his accusers in the 1993 murder of a Phoenix man.

    The high court’s refusal to hear the appeal lets stand an Arizona Supreme Court ruling that upheld Medina’s conviction and death sentence, the latest legal turn in his two-decade-old case.

    But attorneys involved in the case predicted it will not be the last legal turn. They said they believe Medina “has other avenues that he’ll pursue” to appeal his death sentence.

    According to court documents, Medina and a friend, Ernest Aro, were “high on paint fumes” on Sept. 30, 1993, when they “set out in Phoenix, Arizona, to steal a car.”

    Medina, who was 18 at the time, pulled Carle Otis Hodge from his car, beat the 71-year-old man in the street and tried to take his car, but was unable to start it. Medina then tried to steal the car’s radio before leaving the scene in a second car.

    Hodge was left lying in the street, where Medina and Aro returned shortly and ran over him with their car, killing him, according to court documents.

    At trial, witnesses gave different testimony on the number of times Hodge was run over, with one eyewitness saying it was only once and another witness testifying that Medina said he ran over the body three times. The autopsy said Hodge’s body showed signs of being run over more than once, which was repeated by a medical examiner during trial.

    But that was not the same medical examiner who prepared the autopsy, which violated Medina’s “right to confront witnesses against them,” said Jeffrey Fisher, co-director of Stanford Law School’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic and a co-counsel for Medina.

    The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in August that the autopsy was non-testimony evidence, and therefore it did not violate the confrontation clause.

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the appeal is the first of “several layers of review” for Medina’s case, Fisher said.

    “Death penalty cases have several layers of review given their incredible importance,” he said. “Even though this case has been around for a while, this is really the end of only the first round.”

    Fisher said he believes future appeals will be based on the same arguments raised to the U.S. Supreme Court, “because, as we’ve said, we think the Arizona Supreme Court decision is flatly inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent in this area, so he’d have a strong federal claim if he needs to make it down the line.”

    Elizabeth B. Wydra, chief counsel with the Constitutional Accountability Center, agreed that Medina’s case will likely have more appeals in the future.

    “Obviously, we’re disappointed that the court decided not to hear the case, which we see as a clear violation of the Constitution’s confrontation clause,” said Wydra, adding that she thinks Medina will eventually end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

    But John Pressley Todd, special assistant attorney general for the Arizona Attorney General’s Capital Litigation Section, said in an email that there is “no compelling reason” for the U.S. Supreme Court to second-guess the Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling on the 20-year-old “brutal murder.”



    • 1993: Efren Medina and Ernest Aro attempted to steal a car from Carle Otis Hodge, 71. Medina pulled Hodge from his car, beat him and later ran him over, killing him.

    • 1995: Medina was convicted of first-degree murder, third-degree burglary and aggravated robbery. He was sentenced to death for the murder and prison time on the other crimes.

    • 1999: The Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the sentencing on appeal.

    • 2003: The trial court granted Medina post-conviction relief and vacated his death sentence.

    • 2008: At a resentencing trial, jurors could not agree on a sentence and the judge declared a mistrial.

    • 2009: At a second resentencing trial, the jury gave Medina the death sentence.

    • 2013: The Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the ruling.

    • Monday: The U.S. Supreme Court refused, without comment, to hear Medina's appeal, but experts say appeals will likely continue in state and federal courts.

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