State v. Lee

Decision Date26 August 1997
Docket NumberNo. CR-94-0237-AP,CR-94-0237-AP
Citation189 Ariz. 590,944 P.2d 1204
Parties, 250 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 24 STATE of Arizona, Appellee. v. Chad Alan LEE, Appellant.
CourtArizona Supreme Court

JONES, Vice Chief Justice.

Chad Alan Lee (defendant) was convicted of kidnapping, sexual assault, armed robbery, theft, and two counts of first degree murder. He was sentenced to death for each of the murders and prison terms for the noncapital offenses. In separate proceedings, Lee was tried and convicted of a third murder; our disposition of that appeal is published separately. State v. Lee, --- Ariz. ----, 944 P.2d 1222 (1997) (hereafter Lee II ).

This is an automatic appeal of the convictions and sentences pursuant to Rules 26.15 and 31.2, Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. We have jurisdiction under article VI, section 5(3), of the Arizona Constitution and A.R.S. § 13-4031. We affirm the convictions and sentences.

Murder of Linda Reynolds

On April 6, 1992, defendant and David Hunt called Pizza Hut from a pay phone and placed an order to be delivered to a vacant house. When Linda Reynolds arrived with the pizza order, defendant and Hunt confronted her with a rifle, forced her to remove her shorts and shirt, and abducted her. Defendant drove his Pontiac LeMans into the desert with Reynolds, and Hunt drove Reynolds' car to meet them.

Defendant removed the stereo from Reynolds' car and then destroyed the car by smashing the windows and various parts with a bat, puncturing the tires, and disabling the engine by cutting hoses and spark plug wires. Reynolds watched as one of the two, either defendant or Hunt, shot a bullet through the hood of her car. Defendant testified he destroyed Reynolds' car so that she could not escape.

Reynolds was forced to remove her pantyhose, socks, and shoes and to walk barefoot with Hunt in the desert north of her car where he raped her. Hunt then walked Reynolds back toward her car, where defendant forced Reynolds to perform oral sex on him.

After finding Reynolds' bank card in her wallet, defendant drove her and Hunt to Reynolds' bank to withdraw money from an automated teller machine (ATM). Defendant gave Reynolds his flannel shirt to wear, walked her to the ATM, and forced her to withdraw twenty dollars. Defendant and Hunt then drove Reynolds back to the desert north of where they had destroyed her car. Reynolds momentarily escaped, but Hunt found her and forced her back to the car. When she returned, her face and lips were bloody.

Defendant claimed that he and Hunt argued in front of Reynolds about whether to release her. Defendant testified that Hunt was opposed to releasing her because she would be able to identify them. Defendant stated that as he was escorting Reynolds away from Hunt, defendant shot her in the head as she attempted to take the gun from him. Further, defendant testified that he ran back to the car, got a knife, went back to Reynolds, and stabbed her twice in the left side of her chest to stop her suffering. Defendant returned to his car and drove away with Hunt.

On April 7, 1992, defendant pawned Reynolds' wedding ring, gold ring, and car stereo for a total of $170. He filled out a sales slip and used his driver's license as identification.

Murder of David Lacey

Shortly after midnight on April 16, 1992, nine days after the Reynolds murder, defendant called for a cab from a pay telephone at a convenience store. David Lacey's cab was dispatched, and he picked up defendant. Hunt, who had waited near the convenience store, drove defendant's car to the location where he and defendant intended to rob Lacey. When Lacey stopped the cab and turned around to get paid, defendant pulled out his revolver and demanded money. Defendant claimed that Lacey turned around and attempted to grab the gun. Defendant then fired nine shots, four of which hit Lacey. Defendant removed forty dollars from Lacey's pockets and dumped his body by the side of the road. With Hunt following, defendant drove the cab to a dirt road where he shot the cab's windows and tires and rifled through its contents. Defendant's cigarette lighter and bloody fingerprint on a receipt were later found in the abandoned cab.

After hearing news reports that police had found distinctive shoeprints at the Reynolds and Lacey crime scenes, defendant drove to a forest north of Prescott and burned the shoes he had worn during both murders. At the same time, defendant burned and buried two .22 caliber rifles including one gun he used to shoot Reynolds. Defendant left the knife he used to stab Reynolds stuck into a tree at the same location.


Police began their investigation of Reynolds' disappearance the evening of April 6, 1992, at her last delivery site and found her body on April 7. They obtained videotape from the ATM that depicted a Pontiac LeMans with Reynolds sitting in the front passenger seat and also showed her at the ATM with defendant standing next to her.

A patrol officer who responded to two Lacey crime scenes noticed that the shoeprints found at both scenes matched a shoeprint he had seen on a flyer containing information about the Reynolds murder. Subsequently, the Phoenix Police Department, investigating the Reynolds murder, and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department, investigating the Lacey murder, began a joint investigation because of striking similarities between the two crimes.

Pizza Hut provided police with information about past orders that included Hawaiian pizza similar to the last order delivered by Reynolds. One such order had been placed from the home of Hunt's stepmother. On May 1, 1992, Hunt's stepmother told police that Hunt and defendant had ordered Hawaiian pizza in the past and that she had recognized defendant's photograph in the newspaper. She gave police Hunt's father's address where police found Hunt, his father, and defendant. Defendant and Hunt agreed to provide police a sample of their fingerprints and did so that day. A few hours later, defendant, Hunt, and their girlfriends left town in defendant's car.

On May 3, 1992, at 4:00 p.m., defendant, Hunt, and their girlfriends were stopped by police in Oak Creek Canyon in connection with an armed robbery in Flagstaff. Defendant was advised of his Miranda rights and transported to the Flagstaff Police Department. That evening defendant was advised of his Miranda rights again and signed a waiver form.

Later that day, a palm print found on Reynolds' car was identified as belonging to Hunt. While attempting to alert law enforcement officers to detain defendant's car, police learned that it had been impounded in Flagstaff. Detectives from the Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department drove to Flagstaff to interview defendant and Hunt. On the way, the detectives received information that the bloody fingerprint found on the receipt in Lacey's cab matched defendant's print.

The detectives interviewed the girlfriends, then Hunt, and then defendant. In defendant's interview, which began at 2:45 a.m., May 4, after he was again read his Miranda rights, he confessed to robbing and murdering Reynolds and Lacey and told the detectives how and where he had disposed of the weapons. He offered to assist police officers in locating the weapons he used to murder Reynolds.

On May 5, 1992, a Phoenix Police detective met with defendant at the Coconino County Jail and again advised him of his Miranda rights. Defendant agreed to talk and then accompanied the police officers, directing them to the campsite where he had hidden a single-shot, sawed-off .22 caliber rifle and a semi-automatic .22 caliber rifle and left the knife in a nearby tree. Defendant told officers that he used the knife to stab Reynolds and the single-action rifle to shoot her. Defendant further confessed in detail about his involvement in both murders to the Phoenix Police detective and later to two other officers during transport back to Coconino County Jail.

On May 6, 1992, a Maricopa County Sheriff's Department detective reinterviewed defendant about the Lacey murder and robbery because the tape recorder had not functioned properly during the prior interview. On tape, defendant waived his Miranda rights and retold how he planned the robbery and shot Lacey to death.

Finally, defendant testified at the trial and admitted that he made the pizza order, destroyed Reynolds' car, shot and stabbed Reynolds, and pawned her rings and stereo. Defendant also admitted that he called the cab and shot Lacey in the head. Further, defendant testified at trial that all statements he made to police officers were of his own free will, that he was advised of his Miranda rights, and that he told officers he understood his rights.


The Maricopa County Grand Jury charged defendant with the following offenses:

(1) as to Linda Reynolds, first degree murder, kidnapping, two counts of sexual assault (sexual intercourse and oral sexual contact), armed robbery, and theft;

(2) as to David Lacey, first degree murder and armed robbery; and

(3) as to Harold Drury (Lee II ), first degree murder and armed robbery. 1

Defendant filed multiple pretrial motions including motions to appoint second counsel and to close the court proceedings to the media, both of which were denied. The trial court granted defendant's motion to remand to the grand jury for redetermination of probable cause on the charge of sexual assault through sexual intercourse. Defendant was reindicted on sexual assault, alleging accomplice liability.

Defendant also filed a motion to suppress his statements, alleging that they were involuntary. Following a suppression hearing, the trial court denied defendant's motion,...

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