FARMINGTON — The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the conviction of serial killer Robert Fry in the 15-year-old double murders of Matthew Trecker and Joseph Fleming.

Fry, in an appeal to the high court, attempted to challenge his convictions in the 1996 Thanksgiving stabbing deaths of the two men at the Eclectic, a head shop in Farmington that sold pipes, black light posters, knives and swords.

Named the Eclectic murders, Fry is serving two life sentences for killing Trecker, 18, and Fleming, 25. Both died in the store after their bodies were slashed and their throats were slit. Fry also is on death row for the 2000 murder of Betty Lee.

Both Fry and a friend of Fry's, Harold Pollock, told police they were in the store on the night of the murders but denied involvement in the killings. Pollock later said Fry alone killed the men.

The appeal centered on whether the preliminary hearing testimony of Pollock, who refused to testify at the trial, should have been admitted. Fry argued that by reading the preliminary hearing testimony at the trial, it violated his constitutional right to confront his accuser because they could not cross examine Pollock.

Additionally, Fry claimed that the attorney who negotiated a deal for Pollock's involvement in the murders also was representing Fry in an unrelated matter. This, Fry contends, presented a conflict of interest that required overturning his conviction.

Finally Fry argued that the evidence at trial was insufficient to support the conviction.


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In the appellate brief, attorneys representing Fry argued that following motions made to disqualify the district attorney's staff and to suppress Pollock's statement should have been granted by the trial judge.

The state Supreme Court, however, in an opinion drafted by Chief Justice Charles Daniel, ruled Thursday that there was "no reversible error."

"The evidence was sufficient as a matter of law to support all of Defendant's convictions, and the trial court committed no error," Daniels wrote. "We therefore affirm Defendant's judgment, conviction and sentence."

Thursday's ruling will not affect Fry's status as a condemned man for the murder of Lee, who he struck with a sledgehammer and stabbed. The state Supreme Court, in 2005, upheld Fry's conviction for her murder.

"Although it was the first murder committed of the four murders Bobby was ultimately convicted of, it went to trial last most likely because it was the most difficult case to prosecute," said Deputy District Attorney Brent Capshaw, who prosecuted Fry in the Eclectic murders.

Fry also was convicted of using a shovel to kill Donald Tsosie, 40, in 1998. Fry, in that murder, gouged Tsosie's eyes with a stick then pushed his body off a cliff near Farmington.

The Eclectic murder case was the last of the four to go to trial. The case was passed from prosecutor to prosecutor before it was handed to Capshaw.

Police initially ruled out Fry as a suspect in the Eclectic murders after he passed a polygraph test, despite Fry's confessions to at least four other people that he had in fact killed both men, according to court records.

"As a prosecutor, I thought it was a long shot even when we went to trial," he said.

Despite physical evidence tying Fry to the double murder, which included shoe prints that matched the type and size of Fry's shoes at the time of the murder, none of the evidence was a slam dunk, he said.

"On a personal level, as of today, that was the most important case I've done," Capshaw said. "It was more important of a case than I would have ever expected to have done in my career as a prosecutor. It's the one as of right now that I'm most proud of the conviction. I can't tell you how happy and relieved I am on behalf of the victims and the families that the Supreme Court decided I did it right."