***Copied from The Ahwatukee Foothills News***
"Harrod Professes Innocence in Interview"
by Guinda Reeves
January 31, 1998
James Cornel "Butch" Harrod, 44, inches closer to aprobable death penalty in connection with the killing of Phoenix solialite Jeanne Tovrea, while still professing his innocence. The former Ahwatukee Foothills resident, convicted of first-degree murder by a jury in November, is due for sentencing in early April.
January 26 with The Ahwatukee Foothills News. "I didn't have any part in it,"
Harrod said that, despite "a lot of injustice," he still believes in the American justice system. "I'me in here with some (prisoners) who shall never be on the street," he said. "I'm still very conservative."
"People forget about the ral victim. Forget about what I've been through; forget what my family's been through. The real victim here is that lady who was killed, Jeanne Tovrea. She deserves justice."
Harrod said he has no ill feelings toward the jurors that cinvicted him.. "I probably would've done the same thing if I had been on the jury," he said. "They based theor decision on what (information) was allowed in the trial."
However Harrod said, "There was a lot that wasn't allowed to be heard at the trial. Am I guilty of murder? No. Am I guilty of b.s.-ing? Yes,I'm the world's biggest b.s.-er, and I admitted that in court, but that doesn't make me a killer."
Harrod also said he's not bitter toward his ex-wife, Anne Costello, who was a star prosecution witness during his trial. "She'll have to live with herself for whatever reasons she did it," he said.
Harrod, in the Madison Street Jail since his arrest on September 14, said he "really misses" Ahwatukee Foothills. He and Costello had lived in the area since shortly after their marriage in 1985. Harrod continued to live in the house in the 4800 block of E. Capistrano Avenue after the couple divorced in early 1994, until his arrest.
"It's a great place to live," Harrod said. "I loved living there."
The interview occurred Monday, after a status conference on mitigation and sentencing before Judge Ronald S. Reinstein in Maricopa County Superior Court.
The judge, who had presided over the month-long trial, scheduled Harrod's mitigation and sentencing hearing for 9 a.m. April 6. Concurrent memorandums to Reinstein from prosecutors and defense attorneys, outlining what they plan to present at the hearing, are due by March 17.
Defense co-counsel Michael Bernays said a litigation expert had been hired, and the defense is "pursuing the finding of witnesses."
Chief deputy prosecutor Paul Ahler told Reinstein he and Deputy Prosecutor Bill Culbertson would rely on existing testimony, and probably would have no additional witnesses at the hearing.
Harrod waived his right to be present in the courtroom.
Prosecutors have said Harrod was involved in a murder-for-hire scheme, but no other arrests have been made.
Immediately following the November verdict, Maricopa County Attorney Richard Romley said, "We're going to stay on the case until we catch the other killers."
Three jurors who spoke with media after the verdict said they didn't think Harrod was the "trigger man"-the person who shot the 55-year-old woman to death in her Lincoln Hills Estates home in the early hours of April 1, 1988. However, the jurors said they thought he was an accomplice.
The Tovrea Homepage
The Jeanne Tovrea Murder Listing
29. (page 106) Death Wish