The victim, Vicki Lynn Hoskinson, was riding her bike after school when she was kidnapped and murdered by Atwood. After leaving her body in the desert, Atwood fled to Texas, where he was caught and extradited to Arizona. The victim's body was not discovered until April 1985.
Atwood went to trial on January 19, 1987, and was convicted by a jury of First Degree Murder and Kidnapping on March 26, 1987. Total trial length was 66 days. On May 8, 1987, he received a sentence of death for the First Degree Murder charge, and 25-To-Life for the Kidnapping charge.