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State v. Bocharski

Supreme Court of Arizona
22 P.3d 43 (2001)


In December 1994, Phillip Alan Bocharski (defendant) moved to a campground outside Congress, Arizona. At the campground also lived an 84-year-old woman named Freeda Brown. On May 13, 1995, Brown’s body was discovered in her trailer. An autopsy revealed that she had been killed by sixteen stab wounds to the head, and that she had been dead for several days. Police suspected that Bocharski had used a Kabar knife–known to be a favorite possession of his and which had not been seen since three months before the killing–but neither it nor any other murder weapon was found. At his trial, the prosecution had admitted several photographs which showed Brown’s body after the murder in graphic detail. Exhibits 42-45 showed Brown’s body after the murder. Exhibits 46-47 showed Brown’s head with her skull opened. Bocharski was convicted of first-degree felony murder and first-degree burglary and sentenced to death. He appealed directly to the Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Zlacket, C.J.)

Concurrence (Martone, J.)

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