PHOENIX (AP) — A unanimous Arizona Supreme Court ruling Friday upholds a trial judge's decision that a death row inmate convicted of killing a Tucson police officer in 2003 isn't entitled to a resentencing.

John Montenegro Cruz was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Officer Patrick Hardesty. The 40-year-old officer was killed while pursuing Cruz during a hit-and-run investigation.

The state Supreme Court rejected Cruz's argument that he should get a new sentencing because of a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a sentencing issue involving information given to jurors about possible parole eligibility.

Cruz's lawyers argued that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling was a significant change in the law but the state high court disagreed.

The Arizona justices said the 2016 federal ruling “was based on precedent well established at the time" that Cruz was convicted and sentenced.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.