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Convicted Arizona killer seeking stay of execution

Lawyers for a condemned convicted killer have filed a second motion with the Arizona Supreme Court seeking a stay from his scheduled March 29 execution.

In the motion filed late Friday, federal public defenders claimed improper evidence was used to convict Eric John King. They requested an oral argument in front of Arizona’s highest court.

They previously filed a motion seeking an execution stay on March 3, which was scheduled to reviewed Tuesday by the Arizona Supreme Court.

Michael L. Burke, an attorney for King, said Saturday that he hasn’t received word when the high court will consider the second motion but was hopeful it also would be considered Tuesday.

King, 47, was sentenced to death after being convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in a Phoenix convenience store robbery.

Prosecutors said King and Michael Page Jones robbed the store for $72 and fatally shot the store clerk and a security guard on Dec. 27, 1989. All charges were dropped against Jones after he testified against King.

Burke said the first motion to stay his client’s execution was based on a store surveillance videotape that was used at King’s trial.

The video wasn’t an original but a condensed copy, and it never should have been admissible, according to Burke. He said King likely would have been acquitted if not for the videotape, and that his client maintains his innocence, claiming another man helped Jones carry out the crime.

Burke also filed a petition for post-conviction relief late Friday with Maricopa County Superior Court based on a declaration in which Jones said he has “no memory of the crime” because he was in an intoxicated state.

Arizona’s last execution was on Oct. 26, when Jeffrey Landrigan died by injection at the state prison in Florence.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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