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State v. Adamson

665 P.2d 972 (1983)

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State v. Adamson

Arizona Supreme Court

665 P.2d 972 (1983)

Facts

John Harvey Adamson (defendant) was charged with murder for the bombing death of investigative newspaper reporter Donald Bolles. Adamson arranged to meet Bolles at a hotel for an interview about a purported news story. Adamson called Bolles to move the meeting while Bolles was waiting at the hotel. A bomb attached to Bolles’s car exploded as he backed out of the hotel parking space. Bolles suffered serious injuries but was able to speak at the scene. He said he was investigating “a mafia called Emprise” and that “the mafia was responsible.” Bolles said “Adamson did it” and “Adamson [set or sent] me.” Bolles told first responders, “You better hurry up, boys, I feel like I’m going.” After needing a leg amputated, Bolles lay in grave condition in intensive care but used finger and hand signals to tell police he had met and arranged to interview Adamson and identified his photograph. Bolles died 10 days later after needing further amputations. At trial, ample evidence showed Adamson was paid to kill Bolles, purchased bomb-building materials, and told someone he was bombing a car because “this guy was stepping on people’s toes.” Adamson also made several incriminating statements to others after the bombing. Adamson was convicted of murder and appealed, arguing the statements Bolles made were inadmissible hearsay.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gordon, J.)

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