Friday, January 21, 2005
Man Convicted of 2 Murders; Farmington Store Site of Killings
The Associated Press
Robert Fry was found guilty Thursday of first-degree murder in the 1996 slaying of two men inside a counterculture store in downtown Farmington.
Jurors deliberated for 11 hours before reaching a verdict. Fry, who had been smiling earlier, put his hands on the table before him and hung his head after hearing the verdict.
Fry, 31, was charged in the Nov. 29, 1996 slayings of Matthew Trecker, 18, and Joseph Fleming, 25. They were stabbed and their throats slashed in the now-defunct Eclectic store.
Fry was also found guilty of larceny, tampering with evidence and intimidation of a witness.
He was immediately sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, 41/2 years for tampering with evidence and 6 years for intimidation.
"Matt and Joe are smiling today and I'm glad I was a part of it," Assistant District Attorney Mitch Burns said.
Defense Attorney Steve Aarons said he will appeal the convictions.
Fry already is facing the death penalty for the 2000 murder of a Shiprock woman and is serving a life sentence for the 1998 murder of an Arizona man.
In closing arguments Wednesday, prosecutors had asked the jury to piece together a puzzle of evidence linking Fry to the killings.
The puzzle pieces consisted of testimony from witnesses and statements made by Fry during an inconclusive polygraph test. During the interview, Fry gave his "theory" of how the killings occurred, and prosecutors said the details were too close to reality to be overlooked.
Fry had said that if he were the killer he would cut Fleming's throat and lay him down. This happened, according to testimony from a crime scene investigator.
"We have a braggart giving details," Assistant District Attorney Brent Capshaw said Wednesday. "In the process of bragging, he can't help disclosing facts only the killer would know."
But the defense argued that Fry was attempting to help solve the mystery of who killed the young men.