The Arizona Supreme Court has spared the life of a 62-year-old Tucson man, James Granvil Wallace. The Court ruled on Tuesday that Wallace could not be executed for the 1984 bludgeoning murders of his girlfriend, Susan Insalco, and her children, 16-year-old Anna Monzon, and 12-year-old Gabriel Monzon, at Susan’s mobile home near Marana, Arizona.
The Court’s unanimous decision pointed out that current state law allows someone to be executed when there are “aggravating circumstances” that make the murder different than in other cases. The prosecutors alleged that the crimes were particularly heinous or depraved. It is important to recognize that the crime happened in 1984 and the decision the Court rendered had to be based on the law that controlled the case in 1984. Justice Pelander stated that under today’s Arizona laws that James Granvil Wallace would be eligible for the death sentence.
Justice John Pelander, writing for the court, called the case “atrocious. ‘He said the murders were senseless and the unsuspecting, defenseless victims were helpless.’ But Pelander, writing for the court, said prosecutors never established beyond a reasonable doubt that Wallace inflicted “gratuitous violence” on the children, something that was necessary according to state law at that time of the 1984 murders to sentence someone to death. Justice Pelander said it is irrelevant that Wallace would face the death penalty under current laws.
The facts of the case are straight forward. James came home late, drunk one night and Susan ordered him to move out of her home. The
next day Susan went to work and Anna and Gabriel went to school. James hid until 16-year-old Anna came home from school, striking her with a baseball bat behind the head as she entered her home. The blow knocked her down but did not kill her. James struck Anna 10 more times with the bat. The bat broke and Anna was still alive. James took Anna to the bathroom where he drove the broken bat into her throat. James retrieved an 18-inch pipe wrench to kill Gabriel because he did not want Gabriel to suffer like his sister. James waited for 12-year-old Gabriel to come home from school. Hiding behind the same door, he struck Gabriel in the head with an 18-inch pipe wrench ten times, crushing his skull. A couple hours later Susan returned home from work and was killed by the same pipe wrench that was used to kill Gabriel.
The following morning James reported the crimes to the police, confessing in detail to the murders but was unable to explain why he committed them. James pled guilty and was sentenced to death.
This Arizona Supreme Court was forced to deal with an incredibly tough case based on the facts. If you reside in Arizona, regardless of whether you believe James Granvil Wallace should be executed or not, you should be extremely proud of your Supreme Court. They recognized that they have limits to the power, that you, the people of Arizona have given them, and rather than create a legal fiction to execute James Wallace, they applied the law to the facts of the case and concluded that the courts of Arizona could do no more to punish James Wallace than prescribe consecutive life sentences and then carried out the penalty.
Please pray for Monzon and Insalco families. Pray that the Lord grant them peace.
The Forgiveness Foundation has not heard from James Granvil Wallace so we don’t know if he has a relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please pray for salvation if unsaved and or peace if saved.