Man convicted in slaying of reporter dies - East Valley Tribune: News

Man convicted in slaying of reporter dies

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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 2:40 pm | Updated: 12:47 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The man convicted in the 1976 car-bomb slaying of an Arizona Republic reporter has died in prison, authorities said Tuesday.

Max Dunlap, 81, was serving a life sentence for the killing of Don Bolles.

Arizona Department of Corrections officials said Dunlap was found unresponsive Tuesday morning at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Tucson. Prison staff performed CPR before declaring Dunlap dead of what appeared to be natural causes.

In 1993, Dunlap was convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder for arranging Bolles' killing.

Bolles' car exploded as he backed out of a parking lot at a Phoenix hotel where he had gone to meet a tipster. Authorities say a bomb made of dynamite had been planted under the car and was detonated by remote control.

Bolles died of his injuries 11 days later.

Prosecutors believed the reporter was targeted because he had written stories that upset a liquor wholesaler who was a mentor of Dunlap.

Bolles' daughter, Frances Bolles Haynes, felt neither comfort nor relief upon hearing of Dunlap's passing.

"I don't mean to sound callous but it just doesn't mean that much to me. I don't know what I'm supposed to feel," Haynes said. "It doesn't make me feel like there's 'closure.'"

She did, however, feel sorrow for Dunlap's children.

"They were victims of his life too," Haynes said.

Dunlap was one of three men convicted in Bolles' killing. John Adamson, who police said put the bomb on the car, was released from prison in 1996 after serving a 20-year sentence. He died in 2002. James Robison, who was accused of setting off the bomb, was convicted of murder and conspiracy, but his conviction was overturned.

A state board rejected a clemency request from Dunlap last year. Dunlap said his sentence should be commuted because he was incontinent from diabetes and could barely walk.

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