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Conviction, death sentence upheld in massage parlor killing

Gavel shot
Posted at 7:02 PM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-13 22:02:42-04

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld the convictions and death sentence of a man convicted of murder in the 2010 stabbing death of the owner of a massage parlor in Mesa.

The state's highest court on Tuesday rejected James Clayton Johnson's argument that the state of Arizona didn't sufficiently narrow the class of first-degree murders that are eligible for the death penalty.

Johnson was convicted in the stabbing death of Xiaohung Fu.

Authorities say Johnson fled the scene in a pickup truck and was arrested three days later in a robbery of a Christmas tree lot.

They say Johnson was linked to the killing through DNA collected at the massage parlor and through cellphone tower data.