Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on May 28, 1998 · Page 15
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 15

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 28, 1998
Page 15
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A16 e The Arizona Republic Thurdy, May 28, 1998 Tovrea Idller sentenced to die His . TOVREA, fmm Page Al In a trembling voice, she thanked Phoenix police Detective Ed Reynolds and Deputy County Attorneys Paul Ahler and William Culbertson for their work on the case. "They've given me and my family our lives back," Luster said. She said she felt her mother as well as her grandmother were with her in spirit Wednesday. But Luster, who has expressed mixed feelings about the death penalty, said it was not a day for rejoicing. "You know, it's not a happy day," she said. "There's nothing good about this. I'm sorry my mom's life was taken. I'm sorry Harrod destroyed his life." . Since Harrod was found guilty last year, Luster said she has been able io sleep and walk without fear. " "It's- been amazing. Since the conviction, my life has changed," she said. "I really didn't know how afraid I was for so long." Tovrea was a former cocktail waitress who married former Arizona cattle baron Edward Tovrea Sr. After he died, she was preparing to remarry when she was found murdered in her bed in her Phoenix home April 1, 1988. She had been shot five times in the head. Some of the shots were fired through a pillow. Years passed without an arrest. Then in 1995 Harrod's ex-wife, Ann Costello, told police that her husband confessed to her that Jeanne's stepson, Edward "Hap" Tovrea Jr., hired Harrod to kill the wealthy widow. , Costello told police and prosecutors that Hap and his two sisters, Georgia and Priscilla, hated their stepmother and felt she was squandering the multimillion-dollar inheritance they could not receive until she died. On Wednesday, Reinstein said Harrod deserved the death penalty because the murder was solely for financial gain. Costello testified during the trial that Harrod told her Hap Tovrea had promised him $100,000 to kill Jeanne. Harrod also complained about not receiving the full amount. She testified that Harrod told her he hired two men, "Michael and Tommy," to do the actual killing and met with them shortly afterward to pay them. Harrod received several Federal Express packages from Hap Tovrea ana the Meca Corp., a corporation set up by Hap Tovrea, she testified. At the trial, prosecutors presented documentation of wire transfers and ' v ., 4 v ..." r 1 S , a. r - 1 -- 1 j Todd LillardAhwatukee Foothills News Convicted killer James "Butch" Harrod leaves the courtroom Wednesday after being handed a death sentence in the Jeanne Tovrea slaying. ONLINE: For more on the trial of James Harrod, see this story at on Arizona Central. checks from the two totaling about $35,000 deposited into Harrod's account. "The defendant has attempted to discredit Ms. Costello's testimony," Reinstein said. "But one thing is clear to the court: There is no way that Ms. Costello could have known the defendant's 18 fingerprints would be found at the victim's home when she provided the information to police." Harrod's attorneys, Michael Ber-nays and Tonya McMath, have argued that Harrod was, at most, a middleman in the killing and therefore did not deserve death. But Reinstein said Wednesday that Harrod's role was much more. He pointed to Luster's testimony that Harrod, posing as writer "Gordon Phillips," spent months pursu ing Jeanne Tovrea for interviews about her dead husband. In reality, he was plotting the murder, the judge said. Also, his fingerprints were found on the kitchen window pane, window molding and the kitchen counter top just inside the window, where the killer or killers entered Tovrea 's home. Jeanne Tovrea 's stepchildren have not been charged in the case. Their attorney, Tom Henze, declined to comment Wednesday. Meanwhile, Harrod has vowed to find Tovrea's killers and clear his name. Family members say he is innocent. They believe the fingerprints found at Tovrea's home were planted. As Wollitz left the courthouse, she shouted, "He's innocent! We'll be back!" Victoria Harker can be reached at '444-8058 or at via e-mail. AiV..U.U.U , A oL ifnus DC? WD SIZES AVAILABLE Waist 32 33 34 35 36 38 40 42 Regular X XXXXXXX (cP uifn) h ff?n ifiii ZD LJ I I I 1 ecfed Women is Ob i andSummer oirio: IFD fLi y 1 $49 $39 e li pi Save on discontinued styles for men and women. Ci $59 Men's Athletic Shoes. orig.$65-$9o & $49 Women's Athletic Shoes. ong .$49 -$75 E 25 Children's Athletic Shoes Not available at Dillard's Chris-Town Clearance Center. Selection varies by store. Limited to stock on hand. Basic, non-seasonal merchandise is not included. Sorry, wejeannot accept phone or mail orders on clearance merchandise. Shop Monday-Saturday 10-9 and Sunday 12-6 in Phoenix at Arrowhead, Metrocenter, Paradise Valley, Fiesta Mall, Scottsdale, Desert Sky Mall and Superstition Springs. Shop Monday-Saturday 10-7 and) Sunday 12-6 at Chris-Town. - - - - - We welcome your Dillard's Credit Card, The American Express Card, Diners Club International, MastercarVisa and The Discover Card. 1

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