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Arizona to execute man convicted of killing six people in 1996

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - An Arizona death row inmate convicted of murdering six people during two robberies in Tucson, Arizona, in a two-week rampage in 1996 was set to be executed on Wednesday, a state official said.

Robert Glen Jones Jr., 43, will become the second person to die by lethal injection in Arizona this year when he is put to death at 10 a.m. local time (1700 GMT). Arizona has executed 36 people since the state reinstituted the death penalty in 1992.

Jones was sent to death row in 1998 for a spree of murders along with an accomplice, Scott Nordstrom. Nordstrom remains on Arizona's death row.

Last-minute appeals based on his lawyer's claims that the original prosecutor withheld evidence during Jones' trial were rejected by the courts.

Court records show that Jones entered a smoke shop with Nordstrom on May 30, 1996, and killed his first victim with a handgun shot 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 proceeded to kill each one with a bullet to the back of 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.

Thirty-one people have been executed in the United States this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center

(Editing by Tim Gaynor and Lisa Shumaker)

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