Arizona executes convicted child killer Donald Edward Beaty
An Arizona man, Donald Edward Beaty, was executed on Wednesday for the 1984 rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl, Christy Ann Fornoff. Last-minute court appeals failed to save his life and Beaty, 56, was put to death at 7:38 p.m. at the state prison Florence by a new drug that has never been used in the state of Arizona.
The state used a new execution drug as part of a three-drug method to replace the controversial drug thiopental with pentobarbital. Sodium thiopental is the drug in the three-drug “cocktail” that renders the prisoner unconscious. The drug has been questioned whether it’s an appropriate execution drug for years.
Christy Ann Fornoff was making collections on her newspaper route with her mother at a Tempe apartment complex where Beaty, a custodian, took her into his apartment and raped and suffocated her. Court records state that Beaty kept her body inside his apartment for two days, and she was later found wrapped in a sheet behind an apartment dumpster.
A jury deadlocked in Beaty’s first trial. He was convicted when a psychologist testified that he confessed to the crime in a group therapy session. Beaty was on death row for over two decades. This crime has been one of Arizona’s most sensational criminal cases ever.
Beaty is the second inmate to be executed in Arizona this year and the 26th since the death penalty was reinstated in Arizona in 1992. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, 19 people have been executed this year.