Robert Towery Executed By Lethal Injection In Florence--Murdered Paradise Valley Philanthropist in '91

Categories: News
Robert Towery, a 47-year-old Mesa man who spent the last two decades of his life on death, was executed late this morning at the state prison in Florence.
Robert-Towery.jpg
The late Robert Towery
Towery's last-minute appeals didn't pass muster, and prison officials injected the inmate with the poisonous chemicals that killed him.

He was charged in the brutal 1991 killing of 69-year-old philanthropist Mark Jones, a Paradise Valley man known for providing dozens of University of Arizona students with scholarship funds.

Jones as we noted in a Valley Fever blog post yesterday, invited Towery--an acquaintance--and another man into his residence. The pair were there to rob Jones, and according to Towery's accomplice, Towery also had designs on killing him.

Jones died of manual strangulation with a plastic tie, and Towery's cohort, Randy Allen Barker, later told police (and a Maricopa County jury) that Towery had injected the victim with battery acid. Prosecutors never could definitively prove the latter, but they had more than enough evidence to win a conviction on first-degree murder and other charges.


In return for his testimony against Towery, prosecutors cut co-conspirator Barker a pretty sweet deal. Barker was released from prison in 2001 after serving about ten years.

As we wrote yesterday, Robert "Chewie" Towery, a violent criminal with a yen for meth, ad pulled himself together behind bars in recent years, and reconnected with family members, including his college-age son.

We corresponded with Towery in recent months, and he invited us to attend his execution, which he fully expected would occur as scheduled.

We declined, having no desire to watch the government stick a needle into a condemned man behind a glass retaining wall.

Our old colleague Mike Kiefer of the Arizona Republic reported that Towery's last meal consisted of a porterhouse steak, baked potato with sour cream, asparagus, mushrooms, milk, Pepsi and apple pie a la mode.

If we still have a death penalty in place at this late date, and it is supposed to be reserved for the worst of the worst, Robert Towery had it coming to him.

He may not have died as the worst person around, but the vile and violent acts he perpetrated upon Mr. Jones put him in that category when it counted--when he chose to murder.

But, just saying, locking Towery up, throwing away the key, and letting him exist in that netherworld known as the Arizona State Prison until he died would have been just fine with us.
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23 comments
guest
guest

as a proponent of the green agenda, I'm just glad another human has stopped using natural resources.

Kit Kat
Kit Kat

I do not think that people on death row should even get visitors. If they are proven beyond a shadow of doubt that they are guilty and put on death row to die. Why should they have any contact with anyone, letters maybe but, visitors, NO WAY! They are supposed to be on death row, we should pretend that they are already gone from this world. Just because the legal system chooses to feed & care for them at the taxpayer's expense for some 20+ years, doesn't mean that they should have any rights!! WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF ANY OF THIS????

Rvhobo1954
Rvhobo1954

I am against the death penalty but that being said, using my logic, religious views two categories of humans on this earth have a unique opportunity many of us might envy one day when we all do what happened to this fellow die, that is the terminally ill and condemned to death inmates know their time on earth is up, some like the inmates know the very moment of their demise, some terminally ill know generally the month if given a set term of months by their doctors and can make peace with god, repent of their sins and not back slide as they say into sin, now the sadists in our society are gloating at this fellows demise, finding joy in his demise, imagining him burning in that lake of fire for all eternity, the real irony they get no vote on his destination, he or she will decide their own destination and the real irony is death comes to many of us like a thief in the night without warning and some will be caught in their sin and end up where they eagerly imagine this fellow is! Only god knows if in his last moments he asked for salvation via Jesus!

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Personally, I hate the death penalty and wish it didn't have to exist. That said, there are times when it seems the most appropriate action to take. 

styx
styx

outstanding news!
now, some news please!

ET AL
ET AL

Potato Potato Potato were his last words, this is true. thats the sound of a Harley Davidson motor when it idles. dont believe me? ask any old school biker tramp about that.thats means he was ready to ride free again after he was dead.

C_mcclaine
C_mcclaine

Here we have another uneducated moron making ridiculous comments.  I'd say read up on things before you make comments but my guess is you can't read.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 yeah, why don't you tell that to abusers like the Octo Mom and other worthless people that contribute to overpopulation?

C_mcclaine
C_mcclaine

You need to get educated before you open your mouth and make ridiculous comments like this.  Your karma will get you...if not you...someone you know and love...count on it.  I'm guessing you're a know-it-all twenty something without an ounce of higher education.  It's your kind that are scary....

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 you are of course assuming that the people on death row are ACTUALLY guilty. The death penalty should be removed. I am curious how many innocent people have been executed in America.

Read "The Innocent Man" and The Chamber by John Grisham for some perspective on the death penalty. (and how innocent people can be sent to death row)

azlefty
azlefty

Well that pesky Constitution gets in the  way then you add in the  fact there there is always a distinct possibility that  they  are not guilty as charged- look at the  competence of Candy Andy and Lisa- And  in all honesty no one on death row has been convicted "beyond a shadow of a doubt,"  a reasonable doubt yes. 

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 that;s exactly why I am an atheist. BECAUSE ignorance does not equate to an afterlife. There is no such thing as god, nor is there an afterlife. Enjoy what time you have alive, because you don't get any extra time.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 in this case why was one man given a shorter term than life without parole when the other was given the death sentence? It makes no sense.
And also I am against the death penalty because it is akin to the state being a murderous asshole in the name of justice.

C_mcclaine
C_mcclaine

Murder can never justify commiting another murder.  It is morally and ethically wrong.  It's unfortunate that there are so many people ignorant to the barbaric aspect of this horrible sentence...for anyone...for anything.

C_mcclaine
C_mcclaine

You are exactly correct!  and to Paul Rubin "
But, just saying, locking Towery up, throwing away the key, and letting him exist in that netherworld known as the Arizona State Prison until he died would have been just fine with us."  a curse on you idiot. 

C_mcclaine
C_mcclaine

Paul - sorry - misinterpreted your meaning...I'm guessing you're against the death penalty.   

C_mcclaine
C_mcclaine

Nick - I am adamantly opposed to the death penalty..you should be too. It is wrong. It is murder.  Robert Towery was addicted to drugs..he needed help. He was not the worst of the worst (the foreman of the jury said she would not have voted for death) - and DID YOU KNOW IT HAS BEEN RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL BY THE SUPREME COURT FOR A JUDGE TO SENTENCE A MAN TO DEATH? AND THERE ARE 100 OR MORE ON AZ DEATH ROW SENTENCED BY A JUDGE!!  The constitution says a jury must cast a unanimous vote. The State of AZ "grandfathered" these men.  How is that possible?!  PTCGAZ - there is also the lady who drowned her 5 children who didn't get death.  Not to mention - Towery's partner in crime who held the gun on Mark Jones for 2 hours...could have freed him or could have shot Towery to stop him and didn't walked a free man after only 10 years because he snitched on Towery.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 yeah sure he's the worst of the worst. What about the lady that put her kid in the microwave? or the assholes that light all those houses on fire in Cali. Or what about the dumb bitch that started the second fire in the Rodeo-Chediski fire?

NickHentoff
NickHentoff

."I'm guessing you're against the death penalty."  

Doesn't sound like it to me:

"If we still have a death penalty in place at this late date, and it is
supposed to be reserved for the worst of the worst, Robert Towery had it
coming to him."

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