Death row inmate Edward Harold Schad is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 9, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. Schad, 71, was denied a request for a rehearing by the United States Supreme Court on Friday.
Despite a lack of substantial physical evidence tying him to the 1978 murder of Bisbee resident Lorimar Leroy Grove, Schad was convicted of first-degree murder in two trials. He was sentenced to death 33 years ago.
Grove disappeared that year during a trip to Washington where he was supposed to visit his sister. Police discovered his body along a stretch of U.S. 89 south of Prescott on Aug. 8, 1978, with the piece of rope that had presumably been used to strangle him still attached to his body.
Schad was arrested more than a month later after he was pulled over for speeding in Grove’s stolen Cadillac; the officer initially let Schad off after he alleged that he had gotten the car from a French couple who knew it was stolen. He was finally arrested after a man in Utah he had bragged to about the stolen vehicle notified police, who then found Grove’s credit card inside his wallet, USA Today reported.
Prior to that arrest, Schad served time in a Utah prison for a second-degree felony murder because a fellow AWOL soldier with whom he had been engaged in sex with in 1968 died of autoerotic asphyxiation during the act. After the soldier’s death, Schad used his credit card to purchase a plane ticket back to Germany, where police arrested him upon his arrival.
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According to The Arizona Republic, Schad is the second Arizona death row inmate in a week to have an execution scheduled. The Arizona Supreme Court also scheduled Robert Jones, who was sentenced to death for a string of six murders and two robberies in Tuscon in 1996, to be executed on Oct. 23.
According to the Arizona Daily Sun, Schad was previously set to be executed in March and given a choice between gassing or lethal injection. That execution was postponed, however, when the U.S. Supreme Court granted a last-minute stay, which was lifted in June.