PHOENIX, AZ (August 28, 2012) – Arizona Department of Corrections inmate Marlon C. McCowan (D.O.B. 12/1/1977) faces a possible life sentence after being found guilty yesterday for the 2010 murder of prison inmate Albert Tsosie. McCowan’s accomplice, inmate Richard A. Johnson (D.O.B.7/30/1980), agreed to plead guilty to solicitation to commit second degree murder and will remain incarcerated for an additional five years following his current prison term. At the time of the murder, both defendants were inmates of the Lewis Prison Complex in Buckeye, Arizona.
On June 16, 2010, Marlon McCowan stabbed Albert Tsosie nine times with a metal “shank” while Tsosie was restrained by Richard Johnson. A Grand Jury indicted both McCowan and Johnson with one count of second degree murder and one count promoting prison contraband. At trial, McCowan unsuccessfully argued that he acted in self-defense. The State alleged, and McCowan admitted having, two prior violent felony convictions for aggravated assault, making him eligible to receive a life sentence for the murder pursuant to ARS § 13-706(B).
McCowan and Johnson are scheduled to be sentenced on September 27, 2012 before the Honorable M. Scott McCoy.