CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Utah death row inmate says he will choose death by firing squad

Jan 17, 2024, 6:00 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2024, 4:47 pm

Ralph Menzies...

FILE: Death row inmate Ralph Menzies attends 3rd District Court in West Jordan on Wednesday, Oct. 3. 2007. The state of Utah has canceled a hearing on the application for an execution warrant scheduled for Feb. 23, 2024, so that independent psychological testing can be conducted on Menzies. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune)

SALT LAKE CITY — The path has been cleared for Utah to execute a death row inmate, who has said he will choose death by firing squad.

After 35 years of attempted appeals, the state has filed a death warrant for Ralph Menzies.

Menzies was convicted in the 1986 murder of Maurine Hunsaker. According to court documents, he kidnapped Hunsaker from her job at a Kearns convenience store in February 1986. Then, he took her to Big Cottonwood Canyon and killed her, leaving her body tied to a tree.

Menzies is one of a handful of inmates who can opt for the firing squad. This is because he was convicted in 2004 before that method was outlawed in Utah.

The last firing squad execution in Utah drew massive media attention back in 2010 when Ronnie Lee Gardner was put to death.

 At this time, Menzies’ execution date is not known.

Related: Utah asks for independent report on Menzies’ mental state, temporarily halting further execution proceedings

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Utah death row inmate says he will choose death by firing squad