Arizona

Aug 8, 2012 2:18 PM

Arizona executes inmate for 2 murders in 1987

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona has executed a death-row inmate for two gruesome murders he and another man committed 25 years ago.

Daniel Wayne Cook was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the 1987 strangulation murders in Lake Havasu City of 26-year-old Carlos Cruz-Ramos and 16-year-old Kevin Swaney.

The 51-year-old inmate spent nearly half his life on death row at a state prison in Florence.

His execution by lethal injection Wednesday was Arizona's fifth this year, and more could be scheduled. The most executions Arizona has conducted in one year was seven in 1999.

John Matzke pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the case and testified in Cook's 1988 trial. He was released from prison in 2007 after serving a 20-year sentence.

Cook and Matzke had worked at the same restaurant with both victims, and Cruz-Ramos shared an apartment with Cook and Matzke.

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