Category Archives: Oklahoma

Christopher Charles Forbit

Christopher Charles Forbit was 25 on July 10, 2010. He spent the afternoon in Archer Park in Tulsa, OK with some acquaintances, drinking beer and talking, letting his daughter play in the water. He went home, where he took a phone call from me around 5:15pm. He was still drinking, as was normal for him, and had several people in the house, his minor cousin, Stacy Turner, his 4 year old daughter, and 2 homeless men, the victim, Kenneth Allen Barrett, and one known only as “Hillbilly.” During the course of the evening, as intoxicated people are prone to do, Barrett passed out. After passing out, the other three decided it would be funny to shave his head. Around 9pm, after several times on and off the phone, Chris remembered that his girlfriend would be home from work soon and that he needed to get the homeless guys out of their house so that she wouldn’t be upset (understandably). He placed the phone, with me on the line, down on a hard surface (I heard the thump of the phone), woke Barrett up, and proceeded to tell them they had to go. Barrett got belligerent when he realized they had shaved his head, and Chris and Stacy pushed him to the door, hitting him in the arms and chest a few times each. Let me stop the story here to say that I was on the phone the whole time, and this was not a huge squabble with a lot of yelling and cussing and screaming or noise. It was quite literally a minute and a half, with a few words said and then the door slamming. Chris was back on the phone, laughing a little because Barrett was so angry. Shortly after, Stacy told Chris that he was going to walk to Quick Trip down the street to get something to drink. Not long after he left, we disconnected our call as Chris was falling asleep. His girlfriend returned home around 1030pm, and everything was fine inside and outside the house. The next morning, they awoke around 9am, and found Barrett deceased, with his pants down, in their daughter’s playhouse in the yard. Tulsa police were called and they took statements from Chris, his girlfriend (who later testified against him, and was friends on Facebook with at least one of the jurors), and his cousin, Stacy. They took x-rays of Chris’s hands, checking for broken bones, photographs for any bruising (there were no broken bones and no bruising). They took video statements from his girlfriend (this statement was later lost and she had to give another, over a year later). The initial medical examiners report was “lost” as well. Barrett’s blood alcohol level at the time of his death was well over the legal limit, and dangerously close to the lethal limit. There was no physical evidence to show that Chris was responsible for Barrett’s death.

Shortly after Barrett’s death, Chris realized that he needed to make some changes in his life. Never having been in any real trouble before, he realized how his life choices were affecting others and went, on his own, to the HOW foundation. A six month rehab program that focuses on staying sober and working to support your family. During that time, he was sober for the first time since he was 15 and made the decision to stay that way. He has not drank since he left rehab. After returning home, his girlfriend refused to stop smoking marijuana and drinking, and he realized he could not live in a household where that was a factor any longer, so he left. She was angry and hurt, and did everything she could to hurt him in return. Including testifying against him in court, and keeping his daughter from him. Chris got married, was given visitation with his daughter, and it seemed that things were moving on when he found out he had a warrant out for his arrest for murder. Knowing he was innocent, he got a bail bondsman, turned himself in, bonded out, and hired an attorney, prepared to go to trial. He was offered 5 years in prison and 5 on probation (which we now know he should have taken). He declined the offer and went to trial.

The lawyer that he retained was not the lawyer that went with him to trial. His trial lawyer was a junior associate who had never been to trial before in his career. Chris found out later that the lawyer that went to trial with him used to work with the team of lawyers that prosecuted him. He was a researcher for that exact same prosecution team. He was told that there was no need for my phone records or for me to testify because it was an open and shut case. His cousin, Stacy, testified that he didn’t know anything and did little more than cry and blubber on the stand (we later found out that he was on methamphetamine). His ex girlfriend, who he was in the middle of a hate filled, heated child custody battle with, also testified. During the trial, the judge was made aware that she was friends with at least one (believed to be 3, but we could not prove this) of the jurors. He refused to dismiss the juror and continued on with the trial. Chris was convicted and sentenced to 15 years. Oklahoma’s truth in sentencing is 85%, so he will serve 12.5 years before he is eligible for release.

After his conviction, his cousin Stacy, has bragged to several people that he is the one responsible for Barrett’s death. His version of the story to others, is that he left to walk to Quick Trip to get a drink, and ran into Barrett and “Hillbilly” on his way. Barrett called him several names referring to his sexuality and it made him angry so he beat him up. He has threatened others, including his nephew (now 17) by saying, “if you tell anyone what I did, I will beat you to death. And you know I will get away with it. I’ve already gotten away with killing one man.” He said this to his nephew to keep him quiet about the fact he had been sexually assaulting him for 3 years. He also threatened his sister, brother in law, and several friends with the same threat.

Chris’s time in prison has been spent bettering himself. He graduated from the Faith and Character Program December of 2016. It is a faith based program that teaches life skills, anger management, sober living, and taking responsibility. He is a facilitator and teacher of the faith and character program this year, and runs a workout program for several other inmates who are trying to get clean and stay off drugs. We have letters from the program administrator, his case manager, the warden’s office, and other prison personnel recommending his release, and have been told by several that they don’t understand why he is even there. That they can’t imagine him hurting anyone.

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Don Roberts and Glynn Simmons

On December 30, 1974, two men held-up the Edmond Liquor Store and and in the process shot clerk, Carolyn Sue Rogers, who was killed, and a customer, Belinda Brown, who was wounded but survived.

Don Roberts and Glynn Simmons were subsequently convicted of the murder. There was no physical evidence to link them to the crime, only a questionable eyewitness identification by Belinda, and a juvenile who identified Don in a lineup.

Don and Glynn were strangers the day of the murder, they had only met once at a party, weeks after the murder. Police say their alibis didn’t check out.

Police reports indicate detectives recovered at least one usable finger print, and a bullet, but police said in court there were no fingerprints lifted from the scene of the murder.

Carolyn’s sister, Janice Smith, later wrote a letter to Glynn, and became convinced of his innocence.

Source : http://kfor.com/2014/05/15/prosecutor-family-believe-convicted-murder-could-be-innocent/

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Amber Hilberling

high-rise-deathAmber Hilberling admitted to pushing her husband, an Air Force veteran, out of their 17th-floor apartment in Tulsa during an argument in June 2011.

But she claimed in court she did not intend to kill him, and blamed his fatal fall on “dangerously unsafe” window glass that was too weak to stop his plunge.

Amber, who was seven months pregnant when her husband died, cited self-defense and even rejected a plea deal that would have given her only five years behind bars.

But a jury convicted her of second-degree murder in 2013, after only three hours of deliberation. A judge sentenced her to 25 years in prison.

Amber still stuck by her self-defense claim, repeating it in a televised prison interview with Dr. Phil.

“There was an altercation in which I defended myself,” she told Dr. Phil, adding that her husband flew into a rage after she called him a coward.

She also claimed in the interview that her husband abused her through their 11-month marriage, and she always kept quiet about it.

“I was really good at lying,” Hilberling said.

“That was our relationship: Josh getting in trouble over and over again and me saying, ‘Oh, no, it’s not his fault. That’s my fault. I did that.’

In October 2016, Amber committed suicide in her prison cell.

Sources:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/okla-woman-convicted-killing-husband-found-dead-cell-article-1.2844093

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2016/10/25/woman-who-pushed-husband-to-his-death-from-a-25th-floor-window-found-dead-in-prison-cell/

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Kenneth Lee Hopkins

In January 2017, Kenneth Lee Hopkins, 27, was found guilty by a jury in the murder of 19-year-old Marshay Wesson and her unborn son. Wesson was found shot multiple times in her car while waiting on Hopkins near East 28th Street North and North Wheeling Ave in June 2012. She was eight-and-a-half months pregnant.

Prosecutors closed with arguments that Wesson was calling Hopkins right up until the moments before she was shot multiple times.

Hopkins’ attorneys said their client didn’t kill anyone and said the murder weapon was found in another man’s car.

Discussion

Daniel Holtzclaw

Daniel Holtzclaw was convicted in December 2015 of 18 of 36 counts of sexual  assault, and was sentenced to 263 years in prison.

Daniel maintains his innocence, and has several credible supporters with detailed knowledge of the case. They point out that many of the allegations were disproven, and none of the allegations were corroborated by independent evidence.

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Oran Jones

[ Case description to come ]

News report from October 1992:

A former death row inmate may soon be free, thanks to the efforts of Oklahoma’s NAACP director.

The state Pardon and Parole Board recommended a parole to Colorado for Oran Jones, who at one time faced the electric chair for the 1974 robbery-slaying of an Oklahoma City motel owner.

Parole board members were set to deny clemency for Jones until the Rev. Wade Watts of McAlester testified on his behalf Thursday.

Before hearing Watts’ remarks, one board member even interrupted an Oklahoma County prosecutor’s objection of Jones’ clemency bid, saying the protest wasn’t necessary.

“I had him marked ‘no’ originally,” said Carl Hamm, the board’s vice chairman. “Reverend Watts was what influenced me. ” Watts said Monday, “I have kept up with this boy for several years. All the guards have spoken very highly of him. They say not only has he never caused any problems, he’s actually kept trouble down. ” Jones, 41, is part of a prison group that speaks to youth groups and tries to steer them away from lives of crime, said Watts, who is the state’s executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Watts said he has spoken before the parole board on behalf of “a dozen or more” inmates, “and only one has turned out bad. ” He also said he had doubts about Jones’ conviction for the slaying of Ealam Stanley at a motel in the 2100 block of NE 23.

The court transcript showed that Jones accepted an immunity offer to testify against another suspect, then was charged with first-degree murder anyway, Watts said.

“I think he was there (at the motel), but I don’t think he was the triggerman,” Watts said. “If I thought deep down that he was guilty, I wouldn’t have gone to bat for him. ” Jones was among several Oklahoma inmates whose sentences were modified to life a year after the U.S. Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional.

A parole board official said it was the first time in several years that clemency had been recommended for a former death row inmate.

The board voted 3-1 Friday to approve a parole only to Colorado after a family member from the Denver area said Jones could live with her.

Colorado officials have not said whether they will accept Jones’ plan, said Jerry Massie, Oklahoma corrections department spokesman.

Discussion here

OranJonesAffidavit

Donald Tolliver

Updated case description ( July 2016 ) :

Don Tolliver accused of shooting a girlfriend in 2011 while his children slept upstairs. Family and friends hope to present evidence not shown in court,and clarify why he testified “I was afraid of her” at the 2014 trial. Don, a single father, no domestic violence in his background, worked sixty to seventy hours a week to ensure his four children had a good home. The hardworking dad had a steady job of twelve years, twice divorced granted custody of his children after each one. He lived with this woman three months, charged with attempted murder and shooting with intent to kill.

On December 27th, 2011 Don, shaken at the police station denied shooting her after his arrest. Hospitalized, the “victim” released with non life-threatening injuries walking out with a band-aid , confirmed what he said was true. Promising to tell the District Attorney after she admitted it happened, fearing Don was leaving her. Confiding to our mother, she had no place to go or car to drive, Don’s vehicle, trailer and everything he owned, loaned to her. Mad because we started asking for the car back months later, screaming you shot me after waiting 45 minutes to see Don at the Delaware County jail. The car sold with a forged signature, trailer walls, kicked in, nothing inside. Don spent everyday with his children, bail money not raised. A mental health specialist found Don incompetent. A judge examined the evidence and suggested sending him home after treating him for depression.

The public defender revealed at the trial the “victims” ever changing affidavits, prosecutor found putting false information in the case file, confident Don was going home encouraging him to agree, act remorseful minutes before the trial started. During the trial jurors heard rehearsed state’s witnesses, family of the victim,  (examples) Don stole her money planning to flee the country. A loaded gun kept in a kitchen drawer with his two young boys in the house. The District Attorney the only reason why the case went as far as it did, concluded he shot her, ran downstairs, laid the gloves he was wearing side by side neatly on the bed and left. Don argued and said it did not happen that way, the public defender raised few objections, sat there doodling 90% of the time. Calling no one in Don’s defense, closing statement, ” Do the right thing.” Don found guilty, sentence 35 years. Don deserves a fair trial. Our requests for the OSBI to investigate misconduct in the Delaware County Sheriffs office, that did everything in their power to violate Don’s civil rights turned down by the District Attorney.

Original case description:

Don was a single parent of 5 children. He had been married twice before the 1st for 5 years 2nd 8 years. One of these was not his biological but he took her, her mother was doing drugs. Don left his first wife for this. He worked sometimes 6 or 7 days a week. He was a maintenance supervisor. He worked there 12 years.

He started seeing this girl. His home was not big enough so he rented a home for all his children and her and her daughter who was pregnant. Within a few weeks two of his children moved in with our parents because she was pushed off her dad’s lap. The other one had heard this woman making a drug deal in the bathroom of this house. Don started distancing his self from our family. When he would come around my mother would start asking questions about his girlfriend. He told my mom he was going to marry her. We could not believe it. She was twice his size and didn’t like his children.

On December 28th, 2011, Don watched this woman make a drug deal in their front yard. I believe somewhere in the newspapers he said “rat pusher” in court this is the reasoning for that. My brother hates drugs. It ruined his first marriage. After he saw her do this he went downstairs to their bedroom and was getting some clothes out. He was gonna get his children up and bring them to my mom. This happened at 6:30 in the morning. There was a fight. My brother does not fight. He is one of those people that just don’t say anything he will just leave. This women got his gun out of a locked box downstairs and told him “if you leave I will kill myself” there was no clip in the gun but there was a single bullet in it. He didn’t know that. He kept his guns downstairs because he didn’t trust his boys around them.He tried to grab it out her hand. Why? He said she hit him on the top of the head with it. The bullet went through the skin on the back of her neck.

It scared him when she was shot. He left and drove his car a couple of miles and parked trying to think about what he should do. He said he was not thinking clearly. Don had been in bad car wreck a couple of years before this and was life lighted in critical condition because of head trauma we almost lost him. He had a goose egg on the top of his head where she hit him. At this point he couldn’t see really straight so he got a ride into town and tried to get into the courthouse but it was closed for the holidays. He was walking down to my parents home where he was arrested.

The day of the trial she turned it all around. He tied her up. He got the gun out of a kitchen drawer and shot her. He stole all her money. His public defender told Don you will probably be going home the first day of the trial. She changed her affidavits so many times. Everything that came out of the DA’s mouth was a lie. The assistant DA wanted the DA job the position was up for election. Don was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison.

My brother worked long hours. He made over 20 dollars and hour. I have the rent receipt where he paid the rent and the engagement rings he bought her still. She said he was so jealous he synced their phones. She did this because her daughter was going to have a baby and Don owned the only car that was running, her car was broken down in the yard. We have since learned this girl has had her arm broken and police called to her home before because she was fighting with who ever she was living with at the time, she is a serial abuser. Don did not have one person there for his defence. Not one. The whole trial was awful. We thought he would come home. We also think she got caught with drugs on her and testified against Don because she was gonna get in trouble for the drugs. Our family is sick over this. I have a list of everything that DA lied about. There is not just a few. There are many. Don is in granite prison his job is a teachers assistant. He helps inmates get their GED’s.

Case description supplied by Malissa Orns, Don’s sister.

News report

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Quincy Foster

Quincy Foster was wrongfully convicted.

Quincy grew up in Chickasaw Oklahoma, then as a young child left for California as a teen and came back to Chickasaw as a adult to visit family.

Debra Dennis was murdered 4/14/1993.

Quincy’s cousin Freddie Johnson and another man Siebert Jones were involved in robbing and murdering Debra Dennis.

Quincy Foster had nothing to do with it.

Video from the loves store show the 2 men there that night.

The gas station clerk even told police Quincy wasn’t there when police caught the 2 responsible that should have been the end of it but they took a plea 20 years for robbery and only did 10 and are both currently out of prison they blamed the shooting on Quincy Foster.

The police in Chickasaw then we’re crooked they put these 2 men in a holding cell and told them to come up with who was responsible or they were both going down there was a witness the victim’s mother she identified several black men before the DA at the time convinced her Quincy was the one she had them draw a sketch that looks nothing like Quincy but does look like his cousin the description of his cousin.

They had no DNA evidence, no weapon, no evidence except for the word of someone with reason to lie to save themselves and a old white lady who I assume must think all blacks look alike cause she identified the wrong man anyway they tried Quincy 3 times before convicting him.

Quincy was strong and refused a deal cause he wasn’t going to admit to something he didn’t do they gave Mr Foster life with parole he has went up for parole twice and his 3rd time will be in 2015 the last time the parole board voted 3-2 in favor of parole but in the state of Oklahoma the governor Mary Fallin makes the final decision and because of the families of the victim’s outrage she denied him.

I have never seen anything like this before in my life there are so many thing that just don’t add up and anyone with any legal knowledge would look into this case they would see this man is innocent.

He’s been locked up 20 yrs of his life Jason Hicks is the DA pushing this case and he wasn’t even around when this crime happened and the girl Teresa Rudd Dennis who is responsible for the keep Quincy Foster in prison fb pages wasn’t either she is the sons wife of Debra Dennis.

Please give me some advice on how to help him alot of people believe he’s guilty when there is evidence that he is innocent Quincy has been waiting 20 yrs to tell his story and how he got into this situation he is currently in Stringtown prison and can be found on Oklahoma DOC web site if contacted he would talk to anyone willing to help him regain his freedom can you help us thank you for your time.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/QuincyFoster/

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Willard O’Neal

Willard O’Neal, 48, was convicted in 2004 of one count of first-degree murder and one count of shooting with intent to kill and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Bruce Chamberlain was killed on December 23, 2001 outside his bar, the Trapeze Lounge and Gildardo Rueda was injured.

The Oklahoma Innocence Project says the state’s case against O’Neal “rested on witnesses who gave false testimony and a ballistics expert who improperly testified regarding a gun that was mishandled by two law enforcement agencies.”

“My client had an alibi at the exact time the crime was taking place and the DNA evidence at the scene was not attributable to Mr. O’Neal,” said Christina Green, O’Neal’s attorney and interim legal director at the Oklahoma Innocence Project.

“To make matters worse, the state withheld DNA and other evidence from my client’s original trial attorney, in violation of his 14th amendment right to due process. As a result, he was ultimately convicted. The fact that the state failed to disclose all of their evidence, as requested by Mr. O’Neal’s original defense attorney, is a miscarriage of justice that should be rectified.”

Source

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Malcolm Scott and De’Marchoe Carpenter

Almost 20 years ago, a jury found Malcolm Scott and De’Marchoe Carpenter guilty of first-degree murder and related counts in a drive-by shooting that killed 19-year-old Karen Summers in 1994. Scott and Carpenter, who were 17 at the time of the crime, were sentenced to life plus 170 years in prison.

A witness who testified against the two in exchange for a deal from prosecutors, Michael Lee Wilson, was convicted of a different murder and executed in January 2014.

Shortly before his execution, Wilson released a videotaped confession discussing his deal with the state and a written affidavit saying that he had killed Summers during a gang-related drive-by shooting.

Christina Green with the Oklahoma Innocence Project and Josh Lee with Ward Lee & Coats are representing Scott in post-conviction relief proceedings.

News Article July 20, 2015

Innocence Project Post July 20, 2015

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News

22 Years Later, Oklahoma Innocence Project Could Free Two Convicted Murderers Jan 26, 2016

Death Row Inmates Claim They Committed Tulsa Murders Others Were Convicted For Jan 30, 2016 ( report on evidentiary hearing on Friday Jan 29, has videos ).

A killer’s word: Should Michael Lee Wilson’s confession free two men? Jan 31, 2016 readfrontier.com

A judge declared both De’Marchoe Carpenter and Malcolm Scott innocent Monday afternoon. May 9, 2016

Malcolm Scott and De’Marchoe Carpenter freed after 20 years in prison, declared innocent May 9, 2016

 

Richard Glossip

Featured case #45

Richard Glossip was wrongly convicted of paying for his boss to be murdered, and sentenced to death. There is no reliable evidence that Richard entered into a conspiracy with the killer, the conviction was based only on the word of the meth addict killer, who was threatened with the death penalty if he did not accuse Richard. The motive suggested by the killer was not credible.

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Execution set for September 16.

Article in “The Intercept” July 9, 2015.

http://www.sisterhelen.org/richard/

Appeal Ruling April 13, 2007

Various documents

Death row prisoner Richard Glossip facing execution in days for murder he insists he did not commit Daily Mirror, August 31, 2015

When Eight is Enough How many “true” stories does it take to execute an innocent man? Transcript summary and commentary written by Mr. Glossip’s Innocence Legal Defense Team.

Article in “The Intercept” September 4, 2015

Article Richard Glossip – what really happened September 7, 2015

Fox 25 Investigation: Evidence destroyed in Glossip case before any appeal was decided September 15, 2015

Appeal September 16, 2015 via Huffington Post Article.

Two week stay granted September 16, 2015

StateResponse16Sep2015

DestructionOfEvidenceMotion21Sep2015

MotionreDissolutionOfStay22Sept2015

ReplyToStatesResponse22Sept2015

StateIntimidation23Sep2015

StatesResponse24Sept2015

OrderAllowingOutOfState24Sept2015

Wikipedia Article

Evidentiary hearing denied September 28

SCOTUS Appeal 29 Sept 2015

Don Knight Discusses case at reddit.com October 2015

Debra Dewberry

Featured Case #29

Debra was convicted of the murder of her baby during childbirth in 1994, she plead not guilty, but was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

The conviction was highly questionable, and her legal representation has been poor.

The prosecution case was that Debra dangled the baby in the toilet after giving birth, which seems quite improbable.

The jury didn’t believe that and thought her baby fell into the toilet and drowned, but convicted her anyway.

There was no evidence of drowning. The suggested motive (she thought the father might be someone other than her husband) is not at all credible, and the medical testimony was not consistent.

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