On Wednesday, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office requested that the Arizona Supreme Court issue a warrant of execution for 51-year-old Aaron Gunches, who was originally sentenced to death in 2008. If granted, this would be the fourth execution warrant issued in Arizona this year.
“The rule of law is for all of our society to uphold, “ said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “We must never cease to pursue justice for victims, their families, and our communities.”
In 2002, Aaron Gunches shot and killed Ted Price, his girlfriend’s ex-husband. Price’s body was found in a desert area off the Beeline Highway in December 2002.
In early 2003, Gunches was pulled over by a DPS trooper near the California border. He shot Trooper Robert Flannery twice. Flannery survived, thanks to a bulletproof vest. Bullet casings from that crime scene matched the ones found near Price’s body.
Gunches later pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering Price and to the attempted murder of Trooper Flannery. He was sentenced to death in 2008. In 2010, the Arizona Supreme Court found an error in the sentencing proceeding and remanded the case for new sentencing. In 2013, Gunches was sentenced to death again.
Currently, there are 110 inmates on Arizona’s death row, and 21 have exhausted their appeals.