June 17, 2012 Source : http://mcalesternews.com
McALESTER — An execution date has been set for a death row inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.
Michael Edward Hooper, 39, is set to be executed Aug. 14 for the 1993 shooting murders of his ex-girlfriend, Cynthia Lynn Jarman, age 23, and her two children, Tanya Kay Jarman, age 5, and Timmy Glen Jarman, age 3.
“Hooper shot each victim in the head twice and buried their bodies in a shallow grave in a secluded field,” stated Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt in a press release. “The victims had been missing for several days before being discovered.
“The truck that Cynthia had been driving also was found abandoned and burned. Police records, including domestic violence reports, show that Hooper and Jarman had previously been in a physically violent relationship.”
According to court records, Hooper was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder for the Dec. 7, 1993, shootings and was sentenced to death on each count.
Hooper met Cynthia Jarman in early 1992 and the pair dated through the summer of 1993, according to court records. The nature of their relationship was a physically violent one and Hooper threatened to kill his girlfriend on numerous occasions, court records state.
In July of 1993, Cynthia Jarman began dating Hooper’s friend, Bill Stremlow, and in November of 1993, she moved in with her new boyfriend. “Before moving in with Stremlow, (Cynthia) Jarman confided in a friend that (Hooper) had previously threatened to kill her if she ever lived with another man,” court documents state.
On Dec. 6, 1993, Cynthia Jarman told a friend that she wanted to see Hooper one last time. The next day, she dropped Stremlow off at work and borrowed his truck for the rest of the day, according to court records.
“Jarman picked up her daughter, Tonya, at school that afternoon,” court records state. “At that time, Tonya’s teacher saw Tonya get into Stremlow’s truck next to a white man who was not Stremlow. Jarman failed to pick up Stremlow from work that evening as planned. Later that night, Stremlow’s truck was found burning in a field. The truck’s windows were broken out. An accelerant had been used to set the truck on fire.
“On December 10, a farmer and police officers discovered the bodies of Jarman and her two children buried in a shallow grave in another field. … Each victim had suffered two gunshot wounds to the face or head.”
Police arrested Hooper and collected evidence from his parent’s home, including a gun, that matched the evidence at the crime scene.
Before Hooper was found guilty by jury of these three murders and then sentenced to death, the prosecutor said the following in a portion of his closing statement at trial:
“At some point, Tonya managed to get away and flee into the woods. The moment Tonya stepped from that truck and headed for the woods, everyone’s worst nightmare came true for her. If you think back, many of us children had the nightmare that I’m referring to, the nightmare of running from something that you cannot get away from. As children, many of us in those dreams in those nightmares were being chased by an evil monster. Tonya Jarman, on that night, had this nightmare become a reality for her. She was being chased through the woods by an evil monster bent on killing her, which he did, this Defendant did. I want you to imagine with me for a moment what that little girl went through as she moved from the car and ran through the woods with the Defendant after her. It was obvious from the evidence that she did not get very far before, at some point, she was fired at, and that bullet went whizzing through her coat, through the hood of her coat and into a tree branch. Now, we don’t know how long a time passed between the time she was shot and the time she was caught, but it must have seemed like a terribly, terribly, terribly long time. Imagine the horror that Tonya felt when, as she ran from the Defendant, she was caught and turned around and he once again looked that little girl in the face and shot her just below her left eye. After that, he then executes her as well with the second shot and then left that little girl to die alone in the woods with her blood spilling onto the ground.”