On March 14, Johnathan A. Doody, now 39, was sentenced in an Ariz. courtroom to 249 years in prison for the 1991 execution-style murders of six monks, one nun and two helpers at the Wat Promkunaram temple outside of Phoenix. Doody’s sentencing is the culmination of what’s being referred to as one of the most “notorious criminal cases in Ariz. over the past 25 years.”
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." ~ Yahoo! News
In August 1991, the Thai-born Doody was 17-years-old when he and an accomplice, following their robbery of the temple, arranged their victims face down in a circle on the floor of the temple, and shot each of them in the back in the head.
After an earlier conviction on those murders resulted in a mistrial, Doody was once again found guilty in January of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of those nine victims.
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.
Doody’s accomplice testified against his partner in crime during Doody’s recent retrial, and said that the temple slaying which started out as a robbery scheme was all Doody’s idea. Their goal was to steal $2,600 in available cash and other valuables from the monks that Doody knew was kept at the temple.
Garcia testified that he tried talking Doody out of killing the victims after the robbery; “but Doody was determined to leave behind no witnesses.”
Doody's brother and mother were members of the temple, but neither were there the night of the shootings.
During the initial police investigation into the temple slayings, police discovered the stolen temple items at Garcia’s home. Doody was living at the Garcia home at the time.
"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.
Doody did not make any statements at his Friday sentencing.
Because Doody was only 17 at the time of the murders, prosecutors couldn’t seek the death penalty according to Ariz. law.
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