Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: To avoid being denounced - Robbery
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: February 19, 1998
Date of arrest: January 18, 1999
Date of birth: June 14, 1973
Victims profile: Farrah Armstrong (his sister) and Frank Williams (her fiancé)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Pima County, Arizona, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on November 15, 2006

The Supreme Court of Arizona

opinion CR-00-0595-AP supplemental opinion

INMATE 155617

Armstrong, Shad, D.

In late August 1996, Shad Daniel Armstrong (“Armstrong”), his sister Farrah, and a friend burglarized a home in Texas. Over the next couple of years, Farrah’s relationship with Armstrong deteriorated.

In January 1998, Armstrong knew that Farrah was considering turning herself in for the 1996 burglary. At that time, Armstrong and another friend, Doogan, began to discuss how they would murder Farrah and her fiancé.

In early February, Armstrong and Doogan dug a grave on Doogan’s property. Armstrong then lured Farrah to Doogan’s residence, where he planned to shoot her with a shotgun, but he was unable to carry out the plan.

On February 18, 1998, Armstrong and Doogan made a plan to lure both Farrah and Frank to Doogan’s residence the next day to carry out the murders.

In preparing for the murders on February 19, 1998, Armstrong and Doogan hung sheets on the walls to capture any blood splatter and gathered plastic bags to cover the victims’ upper bodies after the shooting.

Farrah and Frank arrived at Doogan’s around dusk that day. The group congregated in the living room where Farrah, Frank, and Doogan sat down. Armstrong went down the hall to retrieve the shotgun.

He returned with the gun in hand, pointed it at Frank and shot him in the midsection. Farrah screamed and started to get up, but Armstrong turned and shot her first in the midsection, and then in the head. Armstrong then turned back to Frank and shot him in the head.

Armstrong and Doogan gathered the bodies, dumped them in the pre-dug grave, and covered them, after having stripped Farrah of her money and jewelry.

Armstrong was on the run until he was finally arrested in January 1999. He was charged with two counts of first degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.

His trial started January 24, 2000, and lasted 33 days, at which point he was convicted by a jury on all charges. At the aggravation/mitigation hearing in August 2000, the trial court found pecuniary gain and the double homicides were aggravating factors in the murders.

After considering the mitigating evidence, the trial court imposed the sentence of death for each homicide and 25 years to life for the conspiracy conviction.


Armstrong presents two issues on appeal:

1. Whether prosecutorial misconduct and erroneous rulings from the court combined to deprive Armstrong of his Constitutional right to a fair trial.

2. Whether the imposition of the death penalty was improper. This Summary was prepared by the Arizona Supreme Court Staff Attorney’s Office solely for educational purposes. It should not be considered official commentary by the court or any member thereof or part of any brief, memorandum or other pleading filed in this case.


Shad Daniel Armstrong



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