Death Row Diaries: 5 years after a drug murder, woman moves to Washington and turns in ex-boyfriend

Posted at 5:42 AM, Oct 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-23 01:55:37-04

Arizona’s most notorious death row inmates past and present have incredible stories, including this one where a woman breaks up with her boyfriend moves to Washington State and turns him in.

Date of Birth: April 26, 1961

Sentenced: February 1, 1995

The Crime:

Eric Owen Mann and his girlfriend were living in Tucson in 1989 selling cocaine, marijuana, and guns. In November of that year, he told her about his plan to steal from another cocaine dealer, Richard Alberts. 

Mann set up a plan to sell a kilogram of cocaine to Alberts for $20,000, intending to kill Alberts and take the money. 

When it came time to make the exchange, Alberts showed up with another man, Ramon Bazurto. They entered the house and went to the back bedroom. 

As Alberts opened the box, Mann fired

Mann's girlfriend was also in the home standing in the doorway. After taking the drugs, Mann handed Alberts a shoebox filled with newspaper, instead of money. As Alberts opened the box, Mann fired, shooting both of them instantaneously. 

Alberts was shot in the heart and died instantly, but Bazurto was shot in the lung and reached into his waistband for a gun that he had. However, Mann stepped on his hand preventing him from getting the gun. Bazurto died about four minutes later. 

The Cover-up:

Mann got another friend to help him dump the bodies in the area of the Fort Grant Prison near Safford, Arizona.

The next day, Mann and his girlfriend did a clean up job on the home, scrubbing the floors and walls and patching any holes in the walls. They also repainted the room where the killing took place.

Mann gave away Albert's car to someone whom he owed money. He took apart the gun, located the recovered bullets, and dumped them in a lake.

Five years later:

Mann's girlfriend left him, moving to Washington State

There was no movement on the case for five years, when in January 1994, Mann's girlfriend left him, moving to Washington State to flee domestic violence. 

When safely there, she contacted local law enforcement and told them of the murders of Alberts and Buzurto. Police tracked down the friend who helped Mann dispose of the bodies, and he corroborated the girlfriend's story.

Mann was arrested and charged with both murder's while his friend and girlfriend were not charged for their part in the killings and the cover-up. 

They testified against Mann who was convicted in November 1994 and sentenced to death the following February.

Mann remains on death row and has not yet completed the appeals process.