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Arizona executes man convicted of killing six in 1996

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - An Arizona inmate convicted of murdering six people during two robberies in Tucson in 1996 was executed by lethal injection on Wednesday, the state attorney general said.

Robert Glen Jones Jr., 43, was pronounced dead at 10:52 a.m. (1752 GMT) inside the state prison in Florence about 60 miles southeast of Phoenix, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said. It was the second execution in Arizona this month.

"(I) love and respect my friends and family, and hope my friends are never here," Jones said immediately before he was put to death, according to Doug Nick, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Corrections. Jones had declined any special last meal.

More than a dozen relatives of the victims but no member of Jones's family witnessed the execution, Nick said.

Jones was convicted in 1998 for the murders committed with accomplice Scott Nordstrom, who remains on Arizona's death row.

Court records show that Jones entered a smoke shop with Nordstrom on May 30, 1996, and killed his first victim with a gunshot to the head and wounded another man. Nordstrom killed another victim who tried to flee the business.

The two men grabbed money from a cash register and fled, jumping into a waiting pickup truck that was parked behind the shop with David Nordstrom, Scott's brother, behind the wheel.

In the second incident on June 13, Jones and Nordstrom burst into a firefighters' union hall. Jones had three customers bend forward with their faces flat on the bar and killed each with a bullet to the head, prosecutors said.

Nordstrom killed the female bartender after she was unable to open a safe.

The cases were solved when David Nordstrom contacted authorities. Jones was convicted in June 1998 of six counts of murder and attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery and burglary.

Arizona has executed 36 people since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1992. Two weeks ago, Edward Harold Schad, 71, was put to death for strangling a 74-year-old man to death and fleeing in the victim's new Cadillac more than three decades ago.

Thirty-two people have been put to death in the United States this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Writing by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Bob Burgdorfer and Eric Beech)

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