On March 10, 1991, Hedlund and his half-brother, James Erin McKinney, brutally beat and shot 40-year-old Christine Mertens in her home, during the commission of a burglary. Mrs. Mertens' son found his mother dead, lying face down on the living room floor. Hedlund and McKinney had ransacked Mrs. Mertens' bedroom and rifled through her purse.

On March 23, 1991, Hedlund and McKinney burglarized the home of 65-year-old James McClain and shot him in the head while he was asleep in his bed. Hedlund and McKinney ransacked Mr. McClain's home and stole personal property, including several guns. Hedlund was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Mr. McClain and was sentenced to death. He was convicted of second-degree murder for killing Mrs. Martens, two counts of burglary in the first degree, and one count of theft.


Presiding Judge: Hon. Steven D. Sheldon
Prosecutor: Louis Stalzer
Defense Counsel: Peter Leander and Thomas Phalen
Start of Trial: October 13, 1992
November 12, 1992
July 30, 1993

Aggravating Circumstances
Previously convicted of serious offense
Pecuniary gain

Hedlund v. Sheldon, 173 Ariz. 143, 840 P.2d 1008 (1992).
State v. Hedlund, 185 Ariz. 567, 917 P.2d 1214 (1996).