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Victim’s son: Execute killer soon

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

PHOENIX – Rick Schoville says his mother’s killer should have been executed years ago. Now that Jose Roberto Villafuerte’s execution date is a few days away, Schoville wants it to happen.

”I can’t wait till they execute him,” he said yesterday. ”I’m very bitter about it. He’s actually lived 15 years too long. My mom hasn’t gotten to live these 15 years.”

Amelia Schoville spent her last moments bound on a bed, half-naked and gagging on a bed sheet stuffed down her throat. Her hands were tied to one ankle behind her back, her thumbs strung together with shoe laces, her head wrapped in bloody bedding and thermal underwear.

More than 15 years later, Villafuerte is scheduled to die by injection April 22.

Villafuerte, now 45, admitted to hitting Amelia Schoville, 47, who he said was his girlfriend, after they had a fight, said Galen Wilkes, an assistant attorney general.

He also admitted to tying her up, but claims he sent two friends to untie Schoville.

Villafuerte was found sleeping near Ash Fork alongside Amelia Schoville’s car Feb. 22, 1983 – the day after he said they had fought at his trailer in Phoenix. When police went back to his trailer, they found Schoville dead.

Wilkes said Schoville died of asphyxiation because of the cloth ball lodged in her throat. Lab tests turned up seminal fluid in her vagina, but it was not tested to determine whose it was.

Villafuerte’s attorney, Daniel Maynard, said his client instructed two of his friends to release Schoville after he had driven away.

Maynard said he would file a petition today with the Arizona Supreme Court seeking a stay of execution. Villafuerte already has lost numerous appeals in state and federal court, although the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco did overturn his murder and kidnapping sentence in 1996 – a decision the same court later reversed.

Maynard said the Arizona Supreme Court appeal has on two bases. He said prosecutors are legally bound to notify foreign embassies if their citizens are on trial. Maynard said that was never done for Villafuerte, a citizen of Honduras.

The petition also alleges that Villafuerte, who is Hispanic and black, was discriminated against by a Superior Court judge who denied his petition for relief 10 years ago, Maynard said.

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