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Man convicted in 1991 killings of 9 people, 6 of them Buddhist monks

Man convicted in 1991 killings of 9 people, 6 of them Buddhist monks
Defendant Johnathan Doody in court last summer in Phoenix. On Thursday, a jury convicted Doody in the 1991 killings of nine people, including six monks, at a suburban Phoenix Buddhist temple. (Michael Schennum / Arizona Republic)

A jury in Phoenix on Thursday convicted a man charged in the 1991 killings of nine people, including six Buddhist monks, bringing an end to a bizarre decades-long case that involved numerous trials and accusations of police misconduct.

Johnathan A. Doody sat impassively in court as a clerk read verdicts of a botched robbery gone bad nearly a quarter-century ago: nine counts of first-degree murder, nine counts of armed robbery and single counts of burglary and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

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Doody was just 17 on Aug. 10, 1991, when, just after midnight, he ordered six Buddhist monks, two young initiates and an elderly nun to kneel on the floor of the Phoenix-area Wat Promkunaram temple. One by one, he shot them during a heist that netted $2,600 and some cameras.

He was found guilty in 1993 and sentenced to 281 years in prison. But in 2011 an appeals court threw out his conviction after ruling that investigators improperly obtained his confession.

The appeals court ruled that Maricopa County sheriff's deputies distorted their reading of Doody's Miranda rights, telling him he was entitled to an attorney only if he had committed a crime.

Ending the third and final trial, which began last month, jurors on Thursday returned their verdict after five days of deliberations. Doody has maintained his innocence.

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Twitter: @jglionna

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