The push to save a triple killer’s life begins today. Attorneys for Steve Boggs, 26, of Mesa are expected to call a psychiatrist, a psychologist and his grandmother to speak about his mental problems and dysfunctional home life growing up, Maricopa County Superior Court records show.
Boggs was convicted last week of murdering Jack in the Box employees Fausto Jimenez, 31, Beatriz Alvarado, 31, and Kenneth Brown, 27. The three were lined up against a freezer wall and shot in the back May 19, 2002, at the Mesa fast-food restaurant, 2846 E. Main St.
The jury found Boggs eligible for the death penalty. The defense will now present evidence that calls for leniency.
According to a report by psychologist Richard Lanyon, Boggs said he was diagnosed with manicdepressive disorder and schizophrenia while locked up in juvenile prison.
At age 10, Boggs said, he tried to slit his wrists and was institutionalized.
"I had full intent; they just prevented it," Boggs said.
He spent time in about six psychiatric hospitals growing up because "it seems to have been my mom’s way of getting rid of me."
In high school, he stalked one or more girls, "had no control of impulses," a short attention span and a short temper, and was "always in a delusional state of mind."
According to police records, he was 12 when he molested a 4-year-old boy. In a 1995 incident when a school principal confronted Boggs about his following a group of girls around, he reacted by grabbing a baby sparrow, squeezing its head and throwing it across the street. Boggs took a swing at the principal, and it took two police officers and his grandfather to get him under control.
Shortly after he got out of the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, his mother died of cancer, his 17-year-old sister died after suffering seizures and his 12-year-old brother committed suicide. All three deaths were within a year. Afterward, Boggs said he heard voices that argued with each other to take over his personality.
If the jury decides Boggs shouldn’t be put to death, Judge John Foreman will be left to sentence him to either 25 years to life in prison or life without parole.