Robert Glen Jones Jr. asks Supreme Court to block execution

PHOENIX - Robert Glen Jones Jr. is scheduled to be executed Wednesday for the deaths of six people in two armed robberies 14 days apart in Tucson in 1996.

Unless the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to rehear Jones' case or issue a stay by 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jones will become the 36th inmate executed by Arizona since 1992. He would be the second inmate put to death by the state in two weeks.

It's about time, says 90-year-old Donna Schoonbeck, who attended Jones' 1998 murder trial and is on the list of 22 victim witnesses allowed to watch him die by injection at the state prison in Florence.

Schoonbeck's 47-year-old son-in-law, Clarence Odell III, was one of two people fatally shot by Jones and an accomplice at the Moon Smoke Shop on May 30, 1996.

"He had just gone inside the door of the smoke shop when it happened. He didn't deserve that," Schoonbeck said of Odell, who left behind two children.

Prosecutors said Odell was shot in the back of the head by Jones, who was on parole at the time after serving prison time in Maricopa County for burglary and grand theft in 1988 and 1991.

Another employee, 26-year-old Thomas Hardman, was gunned down by accomplice Scott Nordstrom before the robbers took an undetermined amount from a cash register and fled in a pickup truck driven by Nordstrom's brother, according to court documents.

On June 13, 1996, prosecutors said Jones and Scott Nordstrom entered the Firefighters Union Hall social club and murdered all four people inside -- 50-year-old bartender Carol Lynn Noel and customers Maribeth Munn, 53; Arthur Bell, 54; and Bell's 46-year-old wife Judy.

Court documents state Jones had the three customers bend forward with their faces flat on the bar before shooting them each in the head.

Noel was taken to a back room and ordered to open a safe. She didn't know the combination and was fatally shot by Scott Nordstrom.

Investigators said about $1,300 was taken from an open cash register by the robbers, who again were aided by getaway driver David Nordstrom. He later contacted police and cut a deal with prosecutors by testifying against his brother and Jones.

David Nordstrom eventually pleaded guilty to armed robbery and served less than four years in prison. Like Jones, Scott Nordstrom was convicted on six counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. He remains on death row.

Federal public defenders have argued that Jones had ineffective counsel at his trial and a now-deceased Pima County prosecutor withheld evidence. They still question David Nordstrom's testimony.

On Oct. 9, the state executed 71-year-old Edward Schad, who was convicted of killing a Bisbee man in 1978.

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