|18-24||CO||Nathan Dunlap – Stayed|
October 4, 2012
McALESTER — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed a request Monday with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set an execution date for George Ochoa, a 38-year-old Oklahoma State Penitentiary death row inmate.
“Ochoa was convicted and sentenced to death for the first-degree murders of Francisco Morales, 38, and wife, Maria Yanez, 35,” Pruitt states in a recent press release. “According to the report, Morales suffered 12 gunshot wounds and Yanez suffered 11 gunshot wounds while in their bedroom the morning of July 12, 1993. … The victim’s children were in the home at the time of the murders.”
According to court records, Morales and Yanez were shot and killed in their bedroom in the early morning hours of July 12, 1993. The sound of gunfire woke Yanez’s 14-year-old daughter, court records state, and she called 911 before looking out her bedroom door. “(She) saw two men,” court records state.
The young girl at first denied knowing the men, but eventually identified them as Ochoa and Osvaldo Torres, court records state. The young girl’s 11-year-old step brother saw one of the men shoot his father, court records state.
Ochoa and Torres were arrested “a short distance from the homicide,” court records state. “A short time before the shootings, Torres and Ochoa parked their car at a friend’s house,” court records state. “A witness observed one of the men take a gun from the trunk of the car and put the gun in his pants.”
Both Torres and Ochoa were tried and sentenced to death for the murders.
“However, in 2004, former Gov. Brad Henry commuted Torres’ sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole,” Pruitt states in a press release.
During his 2004 clemency hearing, Torres admitted that he had planned to burglarize Morales’ and Yanez’s home. “I never killed anyone. And I never knew George was going to kill anyone.”
Ochoa has been in custody at OSP since April 1, 1996, less than two weeks after he was convicted of first degree murder.
October 2, 2012
A Tulsa man sitting on death row for a brutal double murder is one step closer to execution.
The US Supreme Court says it will not hear the appeal of Raymond Eugene Johnson.
Because he is on Oklahoma’s death row, it will probably take another few years before Johnson exhausts all his appeals and is scheduled to be executed.
But for those who loved his victims — Brooke and Kya Whitaker — the court’s decision is major step toward justice.
Johnson was convicted in a brutal murder that shocked even the most seasoned homicide detectives. In June of 2007, Brooke Whitaker broke up with Johnson because he attacked her. She filed a protective order against him.
After two weeks of staying with family because of her fear of Johnson, Brooke returned to her home where he was waiting for her.
Brooke was beaten with a hammer dozens of times. After hours of torturing her, Johnson set Brooke and her 7-month-old daughter on fire.
Angie Short is Brooke’s aunt and Kya’s great aunt.
“He was just pure evil,” Short said of seeing Johnson in court. “He smiled at us in the courtroom during the trial. We had to listen to his 40 minute confession about how he did and why he did. Why she deserved it. He has no remorse.”
Johnson was sentenced to die for their murders. But that was only the beginning of a lengthy appeals process that all death row inmates are entitled too.
That process took a huge blow on Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Johnson’s appeal.
“It’s another step toward justice for Brooke and Kya,” Short said. “Maybe now it will be five years before he’s executed instead of 10 years. But they are still gone.”
Angie says justice won’t truly be served until Johnson pays with his life. Because right now, Angie says she and everyone who loved Brooke and Kya are serving a life sentence without them.
“We can’t talk to Brooke and Kya. We can’t see them or write them a letter,” Angie said. “I would love to hear their voices. But we can’t have that. And he can.”
Short says she and her family members plan to witness Johnson’s execution.
September 27, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt asked a state appeals court Thursday to set an execution date for a man convicted of fatally shooting his fiancée almost 26 years ago.
Pruitt filed the request with the Court of Criminal Appeals a day after a federal judge rejected Gary Thomas Allen‘s request for a hearing on his claim that he is mentally incompetent and ineligible for the death penalty.
U.S. District Judge David Russell ruled Wednesday that Allen, 56, had not shown that a jury impanelled in 2008 acted unreasonably when it found him sane enough to be executed. Russell also lifted a stay that postponed Allen’s most recent execution date.
Pruitt said Russell’s ruling concludes Allen’s court appeals. “After a thorough review of this case, my office has concluded that the execution should be carried out,” the attorney general said.
Allen’s attorney, Randy Bauman, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
Allen was convicted and sentenced to death for the November 1986 murder of Lawanna Gail Titsworth in the parking lot of an Oklahoma City day care. Titsworth, 24, had moved out of the home she shared with Allen and their two sons four days before her death.
Court documents indicate the two were arguing when Allen shot Titsworth twice in the chest. Titsworth ran with a center employee toward the building, but Allen pushed the worker away, shoved Titsworth down some steps and shot her twice in the back at close range, records show.
A police officer responding to a 911 call tussled with Allen before shooting him in the face, according to court documents. Allen was hospitalized for about two months for treatment of injuries to his face, left eye and brain.
Allen entered a blind plea of guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced by a judge to die. But Allen’s attorneys have argued he was not competent enough to enter the plea.
A district judge in Pittsburg County stayed Allen’s original May 19, 2005, execution date after a psychological examination at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary indicated Allen had developed mental problems. The U.S. Constitution forbids the execution of inmates who are insane or mentally incompetent.
Three years later, a 12-member jury rejected Allen’s argument that he should not be put to death. Last December, the Oklahoma Appeals court ruled that an appeal of that decision was not authorized by law. The court said there is no procedure in state law to appeal a finding that a person facing execution is sane.
The state Pardon and Parole Board had voted in April 2005 to recommend that Allen’s death sentence be commuted to life without parole. That clemency recommendation wasn’t acted on until this year, when Gov. Mary Fallin denied it.
Gary Allen execution stayed in april
May 10, 2012 Source :
In 2010, while making an episode of Fault Lines on the death penalty in the US, Josh Rushing interviewed death row inmate Michael Selsor. It was the only interview Selsor ever granted.
Two years later, Rushing returned to watch Selsor die.
In this special report, he takes an unflinching look at an American execution.
Read the full article and Selsor’s interview : click here
TULSA, Oklahoma april 24 source :
Watch the video news: click here
Clayton’s daughter and her mother
A Green Country family has waited nearly four decades for justice. Michael Selsor was given a death sentence for murdering Clayton Chandler in 1975. Selsor’s execution is next week.
Chandler’s family has been fighting for 37 years for this execution, waiting while Selsor had years of appeals and a second trial. Now that clemency has been denied, they’re finally allowed to tell their story.
On September 15th, 1975, Clayton Chandler was getting ready to close the U-Tote-M convenience store, along with worker Ina Morris, when Michael Selsor and Richard Dodson came in to rob it.
They later told police they agreed ahead of time: leave no witnesses.
“He had a choice,” daughter Debbie Huggins said. “He did not have to kill Dad; he did not have to pull the trigger.”
After getting around $500 from the register, Selsor shot Clayton six times; he died on the floor. Dodson shot Morris in the head, neck and shoulder, but she survived. The two men were later arrested in California.
At the first trial, a jury found Selsor guilty and sentenced him to die. But the next year, the Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional and seven years after that, Selsor was up for parole.
“We thought our nightmare in hell was losing Dad, little did we know what was in store for us,” Debbie said.
For the next 20 years, Debbie and her mother drove to the prison twice a year to oppose parole for both men.
“Every year you went before the parole board,” Debbie said. “It took you back to the night he died, gut wrenching, the fear, the trauma, the feelings, they all come forward.”
Selsor’s many appeals paid off and he was granted a new trial 20 years after his first, but that jury also found him guilty and sentenced him to death.
More Than 36 years after Clayton Chandler was gunned down, Selsor is scheduled to die.
“No remorse, no I’m sorry, nothing but hate,” Debbie said.
Debbie says she and her mother were not driven to fight all these years out of a sense of revenge, only by the desire to get justice for the man they loved and lost.
“My dad did not have a choice,” Debbie said. “He’s gone. Michael Selsor should pay the same price.”
Both Selsor and Dodson had records when arrested for murdering Clayton. Plus, Selsor told police they’d committed four robberies before the one they weren’t arrested for. In previous robberies, they stabbed the clerk and shot another with a shotgun.
Selsor’s execution is next Tuesday.
april 23, source :
OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal appeals court on Monday upheld an Oklahoma conviction and death sentence for a man who killed people in three different states, rejecting an argument that he suffers from bipolar disorder and lacked the mental capacity to waive his right to a jury trial.
Steven Ray Thacker, 41, asked the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver to grant him a new trial in the December 1999 stabbing death of Laci Dawn Hill, 25, of Bixby. Thacker pleaded guilty in state court to first-degree murder, kidnapping and first-degree rape. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Thacker to death for the murder conviction.
In its 62-page decision, the appeals court rejected Thacker’s arguments concerning competency and inadequate counsel. He claimed his defense attorney was ineffective in advising him to enter a blind guilty plea and not filing a motion to withdraw the guilty plea.
Thacker has also been convicted and sentenced to death in Tennessee for the Jan. 2, 2000, killing of a tow truck driver, Ray Patterson. He was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Forrest Boyd on Jan. 1., 2000, inside his home in Aldrich, Mo.
In the Bixby slaying, officials say Hill had advertised a pool table for sale at her Tulsa County home and Thacker answered the ad. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents said Thacker admitted to pulling a knife on Hill and demanding money. He also allegedly said he took a credit card from her, forced her into his car and drove her to a cabin in Chouteau, where he raped and strangled her.
Hill was stabbed twice in the chest, wounds that penetrated her left lung and caused her to bleed to death, according to the appellate court’s decision.
Thacker had called Patterson to tow his car after it broke down as he was driving from Missouri toward Dyersburg, Tenn. Patterson towed the car to a service station, and Thacker tried to pay him with a stolen credit card. When the card was rejected, Thacker stabbed Patterson because he knew Thacker was wanted in other states, authorities said.
Thacker is currently in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Corrections, according to Jerry Massie of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Online prison records indicate Thacker is confined at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville.
Thacker’s defense attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Randy Bauman, declined comment on the appellate court’s decision.
Source : Oklahoma Attorney general
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board today voted 4 to1 to deny clemency for Tulsa County death row inmate Michael Bascum Selsor, Attorney General Scott Pruitt said.
Michael Bascum Selsor, 57, is scheduled to be executed May 1, for the first-degree murder of Clayton Chandler, 55, on Sept. 15, 1975. The U.S. Supreme Court denied Selsor’s final appeal on Feb. 21.
According to the autopsy report, Chandler died after suffering six gunshot wounds. The victim was killed during a robbery of a Tulsa convenience store where he worked.
Selsor and his accomplice Eugene Dodson, 71, robbed the store and shot two employees. Chandler was killed, and the other employee, Ina Morris, 20, survived after being shot multiple times by Dodson.
In 1976, Selsor was tried by a jury and sentenced to death. He also received life imprisonment for shooting with the intent to kill Ina Morris. Later that year, Oklahoma’s death penalty was ruled unconstitutional by the U. S. Supreme Court, and the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals adjusted Selsor’s sentence to life imprisonment. In 1996, the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Selsor’s conviction. During a retrial in 1998, Selsor was again convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.
Dodson was acquitted for the murder of Chandler. However, he was convicted of robbery and shooting with intent to kill Morris after a former felony conviction. Dodson was sentenced to 50 years for armed robbery, and 199 years for shooting with intent to kill.
April 16, 2012, source :
— An Oklahoma death row inmate’s plea for clemency was rejected Monday by the state Pardon and Parole, which voted 4-1 against commuting the inmate’s death penalty to life in prison without parole.
Michael Bascum Selsor, 56, apologized to family members of 55-year-old Clayton Chandler, the Tulsa convenience store clerk he was twice convicted of killing during a robbery 37 years ago, and reminded board members he had confessed to the crime.
“I didn’t pass the blame, I shared the shame,” he said during a brief appearance before the board via teleconference from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
“Is it too late to say I’m sorry?” Selsor said. “I am truly sorry for the suffering and damage I have caused.”
Selsor said he knows he will die in prison and believes he could be a mentor and friend to young inmates facing lengthy sentences.
“I’ll try to be an example for the young guys,” Selsor said.
But Chandler’s daughters urged the board to not interfere with the death penalty a Tulsa County jury gave Selsor in 1998. He is scheduled to die by lethal injection on May 1.
“I think it’s time to put this to rest,” said Debbie Huggins, who fought back tears as she and her sister, Cathy Durham, remembered their father and asked board members to deny Selsor’s request for clemency.
“When we were growing up, our dad was our best friend,” Huggins said.
“I was his little girl,” Durham said. She said her father’s death had denied him an opportunity to walk her down the aisle at her wedding and get to know his grandchildren.
Huggins said Selsor made a conscious choice when he entered the convenience store where her father worked and repeatedly shot him with a .22-caliber pistol on Sept. 15, 1975. Prosecutors say Chandler suffered eight bullet wounds.
“My daddy had no choice,” Huggins said.
After the women’s presentation, board Vice-Chairperson Marc Dreyer said he was sorry for their loss. Chandler’s widow, Anne Chandler, attended the clemency hearing but did not address the board.
Selsor’s attorney, Robert Nance, invoked Christian religious beliefs and cited biblical scriptures as he urged board members to commute Selsor’s death penalty.
“God can use those who have done evil to accomplish good,” Nance said. “Grace as I understand it is an unmerited gift from God. God does that because he loves us.”
Assistant Attorney General Robert Whittaker reminded board members that while Oklahoma law allows them to extend mercy, it also requires them to uphold lawful convictions and court judgments.
“The Pardon and Parole Board is not church,” Whittaker said.
Selsor was originally sentenced to death following a 1976 trial, but the U.S. Supreme Court later invalidated Oklahoma’s death penalty statute. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals modified Selsor’s sentence to life in prison.
But Selsor initiated a new round of appeals challenging his conviction and in April 1996, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Selsor’s murder conviction as well as two other related convictions.
Selsor was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death a second time following a retrial. The same jury recommended Selsor serve a life term as an accessory to the shooting of Chandler’s co-worker, Ina Louise Morris, who survived multiple wounds inflicted by a co-defendant, Richard Eugene Dodson. In addition, the jury imposed a 20-year term for armed robbery.
Selsor and Dodson were arrested in Santa Barbara, Calif., a week after Chandler’s slaying. At the 1976 trial, a Santa Barbara police detective testified that Selsor admitted shooting Chandler during the robbery.
Dodson, now 71, was convicted of robbery and shooting with intent to kill and is serving a prison sentence of 50 to 199 years in prison.
Meeting Notice Confirmation
|Name:||Date:||Time:||Location:||City, State:||DOC #|
|Michael Bascum Selsor||04/16/2012||12:30pm||Hillside Community Corrections Center|
3300 Martin Luther King Ave.Oklahoma City, OK91854
read the case : click here
When the execution procedure began at 6:04 p.m., and the blinds covering the window between the execution chamber and the viewing area were raised, OSP Warden Randy Workman asked Stemple if he had a last statement. Stemple, with his eyes closed, simply nodded his head from left to right, indicating he would have no last words. At 6:05 p.m. Workman said, “Let the execution begin.”
† Stemple’s time of death was announced by an attending physician at 6:11 p.m. His execution was witnessed by seven members of the media; members from the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office; Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan; Sheriff Glands from Tulsa; OSP and Oklahoma Department of Corrections staff; Stemple’s mother and father, his two sisters and his daughter; and 12 members of the victim’s family. Other victim’s family members were present, however, they watched the execution via live video feed outside of the execution chamber.
Trisha Stemple’s sister, Deborah Ruddick-Bird, made a statement to the media following the execution. “Today is not about Shaun,” she said. “Today is about justice, finality and closure for my beautiful sister Trisha. … Today we say it is finished.”
A written statement was provided by Michael Steen on behalf of Trisha Stemple’s father, Morris Ruddick, who was unable to attend the execution as he is out of the country on a missionary assignment. “The media often speaks of closure during tragic events such as those witnessed today,” the statement reads. “I think it more appropriate to say we think of this as a foreclosure. The State has collected his body and his mind as compensation for his transgressions. Before the judgment seat of Christ, the Lord will determine the eternal outcome for his soul.”
update : 5.32 pm usa time.
McALESTER – The execution Thursday night of Tulsa County killer Timothy Shaun Stemple appears to be on schedule after Gov. Mary Fallin’s office confirmed earlier today that she will not issue a stay.
Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=12&articleid=20120315_12_0_McALES804866
update 10 min ago : source
Time running out for convicted killer
The Tulsa cop who helped convict him says he’s evil.
His family is still convinced he is innocent.
Either way, the clock is ticking down for Timothy Shaun Stemple, convicted of killing his wife with a baseball bat in 1996.
His brother-in-law, John Smucker, will be leading a rally outside the Governor’s Mansion in Oklahoma City right up until the last minute, hoping to convince Mary Fallin to issue a stay of execution.
“I voted for her, and I believe she is an agent of change and will honestly look at this,” Smucker said. “There’s still hope.”
Fallin however has already been quoted as saying that she will not intervene.
Smucker says his family has evidence that has not been considered by the courts, that shows Stemple is innocent.
He also says the Oklahoma City University chapter of the Innocence Project, a non-profit group dedicated to proving the innocence of people who are wrongly-convicted, is asking the Governor to stay the execution.
Prosecutors say Stemple and a teenaged accomplice beat Trisha Stemple with baseball bats along Highway 75 between 81st and 91st streets and also ran over her with a truck to make it look like a hit-and-run accident.
Smucker believes it was in fact a hit-and-run accident, and that the driver who hit Trisha Stemple is still out there somewhere.
He said if people want to contact the Governor’s office about the execution, they can call (405) 521-2342
The Office of Governor Mary Fallin
Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 212
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Local: (405) 521-2342
Fax: (405) 521-3353
Oklahoma is preparing to execute Timothy Stemple for the killing of his wife.
The 46-year-old Stemple is to die at 6 p.m. Thursday He was convicted of plotting with a relative of his mistress to kill 30-year-old Trisha Stemple and collect insurance money. She died Oct. 24, 1996, along U.S. Highway 75 in Tulsa. Prosecutors said she was beaten in the head with a bat and run over with a pickup truck.
Stemple’s family requested Gov. Mary Fallin stay the execution so medical testimony disputing his accomplice’s account of the crime could be heard in court. The Pardon and Parole board last month denied Stemple’s plea for clemency.
Stemple requested a last meal of a large stuffed crust pizza topped with half-pepperoni, half-Canadian bacon and extra cheese, and orange soda.
source : from usa today
Timothy Shaun Stemple Final Letter
This letter is written by Timothy Shaun Stemple as his final letter. We believe that this letter should be made available for anyone to read.
March 5, 2012
To whom it may concern,
When my wife and best friend Trisha Stemple was killed, it devastated me. I found some strength in our combined families, but I was still lost. When I was accused of her killing and learned that the police ignored (as I wrongly believed) the eyewitness’ testimony and the lies told by my accusers, I broke.
As I write this, I am certain that I will soon join Trisha & my son – our son – Shane. My two great hopes are that Trisha’s family learn that Trisha was killed almost instantly and that my family never did or would abandon Trisha – even in memory.
For either hope to be realized, it must become publicly acknowledged, that while no police officer or prosecutor set out to do wrong – a simple mistake, compounded by a flawed process has resulted in final injustice. The inevitable errors which occur when human beings must sift through lies & conflicting evidence are always denied by the State. While this is not important now for me at this moment, I and my family, as well as Trisha’s family, though they have yet to learn it – are the “collateral damage” in the war on crime.
To those who experience the State’s adamant refusal to acknowledge the in defendable – evil is done. The wrong done: Trisha’s death and mine – contains no confusing issues, no difficult forensic concepts – all anyone need do is look – the State now publicly admits that the actual murderer – who escaped the death penalty in exchange for these lies – could not truthfully include me in the crime – even to save his life. If the Attorney General knows this, why am I to die? Why then does the state continue to emotionally rape Trisha’s family by allowing them to continue believing Trisha was essentially tortured to death when they know she must have died instantly? The adversarial process demands its collateral damage, and perhaps those involved do all they can to limit such damage. But to those who experience it and will die in the name of “Public Confidence” – those who know best – and stand silently by in noble pose – Do True Evil. The powerless who do nothing are forgiven; the powerful who do nothing are condemned.
My death is a small thing, I go to God and my wife and son, and we will watch. I do hope that both our families find some peace, and that the great wrong done to us all can somehow be used to fix a thing so broken as to allow this.
Timothy Shaun Stemple
OKLAHOMA CITY – A spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin says the governor has decided to deny clemency for a man scheduled to die for the 1986 slaying of the mother of his two children.
Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Fallin has rejected a 2005 recommendation by the state Pardon and Parole Board to commute the sentence of Garry Thomas Allen to life in prison without parole.
Allen’s attorneys argued that he was mentally impaired when he killed 42-year-old Lawanna Gail Titsworth on Nov. 21, 1986, in Oklahoma City. They say he had been self-medicating for an underlying mental illness, and that his mental condition has worsened.
Oklahoma has four doses remaining of a drug used to execute inmates.
The execution date has been rescheduled for April 12.