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Clemency hearing canceled for death-row inmate

FLORENCE, Ariz. -- An Arizona death-row inmate's hearing before the state's clemency board has been canceled.

Edward Harold Schad's hearing was scheduled for Wednesday morning at the state prison in Florence. The reason for the cancellation wasn't immediately clear.

Schad, 70, is scheduled to be executed March 6 for killing 74-year-old Lorimer ``Leroy'' Grove, of Bisbee, in August 1978.

Jon Anderson, a lawyer for the attorney general's office who represents the state in Schad's case, said Schad's attorney sent an email saying she wasn't going to appear at the hearing.

Calls to Schad's attorney, Denise Young, weren't immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.

A ruling Tuesday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a federal judge to reconsider Schad's claim that he had ineffective lawyers. Anderson said state authorities will ask the appeals court for another hearing on the issue.

Schad's execution would be Arizona's 34th since 1992. Most recently, Richard Dale Stokley, convicted of murdering two 13-year-old girls in Cochise County in 1991, was put to death by lethal injection Dec. 5.

Grove was last seen leaving Bisbee in a Cadillac that was pulling a trailer on his way to visit his sister in Washington state. Eight days later, his body was found south of Prescott in underbrush off the shoulder of U.S. 89. A sash-like cord that had been used to strangle Grove was still knotted around his neck when the body was discovered.

Authorities say Schad drove Grove's car across the country for a month, used Grove's credit cards and forged a check from the victim's bank account.

About a month after the killing, Schad was arrested in Salt Lake City after his girlfriend's roommate told police that the Cadillac was stolen. Schad told police that he had gotten the car four weeks before in Virginia from a man who wanted to temporarily trade vehicles.

Nearly a week before Grove's body was found, authorities had found a car that Schad had rented. Inside the car, authorities found a special mirror device invented by Grove to connect his trailer to his Cadillac.

Schad was convicted in October 1979 of first-degree murder and sentenced to death, but the conviction was overturned on the grounds that the trial judge improperly instructed the jury. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in a 1985 retrial.

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