Shawn Grell - On December 2, 1999, Grell took his 2-year old daughter, Kristen, to a remote area in Apache Junction, doused her with gasoline, and set her on fire. After Kristen was engulfed in flames, she managed to walk around and stomp her feet for up to 60 seconds before collapsing in the dirt. Kristen suffered excruciating pain as she incurred third- and fourth-degree burns over 98 percent of her body, and she died from a combination of the burns and smoke inhalation.

Arizona Dept. of Corrections

PHOENIX —The Arizona Supreme Court has concluded that a man was mentally disabled and cannot be executed for murdering his 2-year-old daughter by dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire.

The state Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling Wednesday overturns Shawn Ryan Grell’s death sentence by reducing it to natural life in prison.

Grell was convicted of the Dec 2, 1999 murder of the Kristen Grell in the desert near Mesa.

The court’s ruling say the killing was “horrific” and devastating to the family but that Grell’s sentence must be reduced.

The justices say that’s because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that it would be constitutionally prohibited cruel and unusual punishment to execute someone with mental retardation.

Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.