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James McKinney

Arizona Death Row


James McKinney

James McKinney

Police Photo
On Match 10, 1991, McKinney and his half-brother, Chutes Michael Hedlund, brutally beat and shot 40-year-old Christine Mertens in her home, during the commission of a burglary. Mrs. Mertens' son found his mother dead, lying face down on the living room floor.

McKinney and Hedlund had ransacked Mrs. Mertens' bedroom and rifled through her purse.

On March 23, 1991, McKinney and Hedlund burglarized the home of 65-year-old James McClain and shot him in the head while he was asleep in his bed. McKinney and Hedlund ransacked Mr. McClain's home and stole personal property, including several guns.

McKinney was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the murders of Mrs. Mertens and Mr. McClain. In addition, McKinney was convicted of two counts of burglary in the first degree, and one count of theft.

Source: Arizona Department of Corrections

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