NewsArizona News


Death sentence reinstated for George Kayer, Arizona man convicted of murder in 1994

Posted at 9:37 AM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 11:37:25-05

A death sentence has been reinstated for an Arizona man convicted of murder following a period of relief due to an alleged sentencing error.

According to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, the decision against inmate George Kayer was made by the Supreme Court of the United States Monday.

In 1994, Kayer reportedly murdered Delbert Haas, a friend, during a robbery along Interstate 17 in Yavapai County, the AG's office says.

Following denials by the state, the Ninth Circuit granted habeas relief to Kayer, saying he was entitled to a new sentencing trial. Kayer had claimed attorneys made errors by not presenting evidence during his sentencing.


"In reversing this ruling, SCOTUS found that the Ninth Circuit had 'resolved this case in a manner fundamentally inconsistent' with the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), which requires federal courts to defer to state-court decisions," a press release states. "Under an appropriately deferential review, the Arizona courts had reasonably rejected Kayer’s challenge to his death sentence, and he was not entitled to a new sentencing trial."

Officials say Kayer has exhausted all of his appeals.