Steven James - East Valley Tribune: Home

Steven James

(Sentenced to death: Nov. 23, 1982) On Nov. 16, 1981, Juan Maya picked up 14-year-old Marty Norton and made homosexual advances towards him. Norton rebuffed Maya, but suggested that he might find a more hospitable reception in a trailer belonging to Steven James. When Maya followed Norton into the trailer, James, Lawrence Libberton and Norton took turns beating him. The three then forced Maya into the back seat of his own car and drove toward Salome, where James’ parents owned some property with an abandoned mine shaft on it. En route, a police officer stopped them but Libberton threatened to kill Maya if he attempted to draw the officer’s attention. After arriving at the Salome property around dawn, James ordered Maya to step up to the mine shaft. As Maya pleaded for his life, James fired directly at him from a distance of less than 5 feet. Maya charged James and tried to get the gun, so Libberton and Norton began striking Maya with large rocks and a board. After Maya fell to the ground, they fired point blank at him three more times. Nothing came out of the pistol because the barrel was fouled with debris. They then dragged Maya to the mine shaft and threw him in, dropping rocks and railroad ties on top of him. Norton pled to several charges as a juvenile and testified against Libberton and James.

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