On May 19, 1989, the police stopped Christopher John Spreitz after observing
that his car was smoking and leaking oil. The officer had observed the same car
earlier that night also smoking and leaking oil. The officer noticed Spreitz had
blood and fecal matter on his hands, arms, and on the front of his clothing.
Spreitz said he had been in a fight. Police checked the location of the alleged
fight, and found no indication any fight had taken place. They photographed
Spreitz and his car, gave him a traffic citation, and then released him. Three
days later, a passing horseback rider discovered the body of Ruby Reid in the
desert. The body and surrounding area were covered in blood and fecal material.
Recalling the condition of Spreitz's clothing and person when they stopped him,
the police again questioned him about the purported fight, Spreitz admitted
picking up the victim at a convenience store, but claimed the victim went with
him voluntarily to the desert. Spreitz said they struggled in the desert, and
admitted striking her several times before raping her. He admitted crushing her
skull with a rock because she would not stop screaming, but said he was not sure
if she was dead when he left her. The victim's wounds included a broken jaw,
five broken ribs, numerous bruises on her arms, legs, and trunk. The fatal wound
was a skull fracture, consistent with being struck with a V-shaped rock. Spreitz
was convicted of first-degree murder (both premeditation and felony-murder),
sexual assault, and kidnapping.
Presiding Judge: Hon. William Sherrill
Prosecutor: Kathleen Mayer
Defense Counsel: Marshall Tandy
Start of Trial: August 9, 1994
Verdict: August 18, 1994
Sentencing: December 21, 1994
Especially heinous, cruel or depraved
State v. Spreitz, 190 Ariz. 129, 945 P.2d 1260 (1997).
State v. Spreitz, 202 Ariz. 1, 39 P.3d 525 (2002).