Man Found Guilty of All Charges in 1991 Arizona Buddhist Temple Massacre

Jonathan Doody (Photo: Michael Schennum, The Arizona Republic)
Jonathan Doody (Photo: Michael Schennum, The Arizona Republic)

One of two young men charged in the 1991 murders at a Buddhist temple was found guilty on all counts Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Johnathan Doody, 39, sat impassively as the court clerk read the verdicts: nine counts of first-degree murder, nine counts of armed robbery and single counts of burglary and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

The jury began deliberations Jan. 13. After announcing the verdict, the jury began deliberating aggravating factors in the case immediately.

On Aug. 10, 1991, nine bodies were found face-down on the floor of the Wat Promkunaram Buddhist temple in Waddell, Ariz., west of Glendale, Ariz., near Luke Air Force Base.

All the victims — six monks, two acolytes and a nun — were Thais or of Thai descent, as is Doody.

Doody has been in custody since his 1991 arrest when he was 17 years old.

The shocking story went international, and in their haste and desire to solve the case, Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies rounded up four men from Tucson and extracted false confessions from them.

Then, by accident, they stumbled upon one of Doody’s friends, specifically the one from whom Doody and his best friend, Alessandro “Alex” Garcia, had borrowed the murder weapon, a .22 caliber rifle. The gun was in the friend’s car.

Doody and Garcia, were taken to a hotel, and interrogated and they confessed. Garcia, was so worn down by the deputies that he told them what they wanted to hear: he had committed the murders with the so-called Tucson Four.

But the Tucson men were cleared in the case, and three of them won lawsuits against the county. The story narrowed down to Doody and Garcia.

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SOURCE: Michael Kiefer
The Arizona Republic