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Johnathan Doody sentenced to 249 years for 1991 temple slaying

PHOENIX (AP) - A man convicted of killing nine people, including six monks, during a robbery at a Buddhist temple in metro Phoenix was sentenced Friday to 249 years in prison, marking the end of one of the most notorious crimes committed in Arizona over the last 25 years.

Johnathan A. Doody was found guilty in January of first-degree murder in the deaths of six monks, one nun and two helpers who were shot in the back of the head and were placed face-down in a circle in August 1991 at the Wat Promkunaram temple west of Phoenix.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joseph Kreamer said it's difficult to fathom the murders. "These people were peace-loving," Kreamer said. "These people didn't seek violence."

Doody, who was 17 at the time of the crimes, was one of two men convicted in the killings.

Allesandro "Alex" Garcia, a high school friend of Doody's, pleaded guilty and was previously sentenced to life in prison in exchange for his testimony and a promise that prosecutors wouldn't seek the death penalty.

During the retrials, Garcia described for jurors how the crime was Doody's idea, aimed at stealing about $2,600 cash and valuables from the monks. Garcia said he tried to persuade Doody not to kill the victims after the robbery, but Doody was determined to leave behind no witnesses.

Police found the stolen items at Garcia's house, where Doody was staying at the time.

Doody's brother and mother were members of the temple, but neither were there the night of the shootings.

Doody, who maintains he is innocent of the crimes, declined to make comments to the judge before the sentence was handed down.

"We hope this sentence makes him suffer for the rest of his life," Barb Heller, who spoke on behalf of the temple, told the jury before the sentence was given.

Defense attorneys argued Garcia was lying and only implicated Doody to avoid a death sentence. Prosecutors said both men were equally culpable and that Garcia had no reason to fabricate his story.

Doody's attorneys plan to appeal their client's convictions.

Defense attorney Maria Schaffer told the judge that Doody has expressed remorse for what happened to the victims. "But he wants everybody to know that he did not do these crimes," Schaffer said.

Doody was spared the death penalty in his first trial.

Prosecutors couldn't seek the death penalty in his retrials because of a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision that prohibits authorities from pursuing that punishment against defendants who were younger than 18 years old when the crime occurred.

___

Associated Press writer Brian Skoloff contributed to this report.

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n3mpw March 15 2014 at 9:25 PM

you kill monks? You deserve what you got.

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1 reply
ShariLee n3mpw March 15 2014 at 9:36 PM

no they deserved alot more!!!
shame on the prosecutors for offering a pass card to Garcia if he talked! I am sure they had enough evidence to convict without cutting such a great deal to a sick person like garcia! I feel the justice system has let down the victims and thier families..once again!

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Rick March 15 2014 at 2:44 PM

The courts do along with the attorneys....duh........its the thing to do!

Thank attorneys who "Keep it goin"....scum bags!

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Rick March 15 2014 at 2:42 PM

Quit griping in here about "what happened"....ask instead "who" is responsibnle to allow this piece of **** to be behind bars so long"? Ask!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Attorneys are...its all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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1 reply
ghpianoman Rick March 15 2014 at 3:05 PM

I'm sure he'll be in a privately owned prison as well...

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theron March 15 2014 at 2:34 PM

He should get a vacation every summer and spend it in Phoenix in the tent city, with 110 degree weather..........

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rainspirited March 15 2014 at 2:28 PM

Well...IF there is a hell, he will surely make the cut!

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tropicalriderceo March 15 2014 at 2:26 PM

hold on....20 years ago? what the hell has been going on all this time? when was he caught? are you telling me it took 20 years to convict this guy?

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1 reply
jbraidedbeauty1 tropicalriderceo March 15 2014 at 2:47 PM

I agree, why did it take to catch this goofy looking idiot, oh i know they too busy trying to chase down blk criminals, i am so sick of reading about these non blk criminals that it took 10 20 30 years to catch.. even jeff dahmer committed a crime when he was younger and even that lunatic gary ridgeway that was known as the green river monster said himself he stabbed and almost, killed a boy when they where kids, he even took the cops and showed them where he killed and dumped most of those women! John gacy was known as the neighborhood clown and all those idiots in the neighborhood said ..oh he was such a nice person...and that maniac had 33 bodies burried and most under a crawl space at his house..smdh.. at these deluussinal people..stop looking for the blk man in the blk mask and look in your family and neighborhood!

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1 reply
abupaul jbraidedbeauty1 March 15 2014 at 3:35 PM

I don't think this is a racial issue, at least not in this case. It's not my call to say one way or the other as to whether or not race is the deciding factor in whether murderers are caught faster. But what I can say with certainty is that, while serial killers are certainly the worst of the lot and they're prolific, the vast majority of the people murdered in the US are not murdered by serial killers. Sure, we should look for the occassional monster like the ones you mentioned, but that's no reason to take your eye of the factors that are killing most murder victims.

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Imogene March 15 2014 at 2:24 PM

tragic

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aristars March 15 2014 at 2:17 PM

[Johnathan A. Doody was found guilty in January of first-degree murder in the deaths of six monks, one nun and two helpers who were shot in the back of the head and were placed face-down in a circle in August 1991 at the Wat Promkunaram temple west of Phoenix]
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1- why it took 23 years to convict him?
2- 9 people got murdered, and he lives as long as he hopes? this is really a mockery of justice. victims in this country have been stripped of their rights, while it has been working very well for murderers!!!!

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1 reply
BIG-TARGET aristars March 15 2014 at 2:39 PM

249 years means he'll be out in 10 years.

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Jeri-Anne March 15 2014 at 2:16 PM

"We hope this sentence makes him suffer for the rest of his life," Barb Heller, who spoke on behalf of the temple, told the jury before the sentence was given.

Interesting comment from the church.

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gudtip March 15 2014 at 2:16 PM

249 years, that is too good, if it was the average people he had killed I would suggest give him to the families of the people he murdered, but in this case it would not work, Monks are known to be very forgiving people, no hatreted no revenge, so he would not get what he's got it comming, what goes around, comes around, his day will come, he will meet another animal bigger and better.

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