OKLAHOMA CITY – A convicted killer will be put to death next week in McAlester, unless his attorney finds new evidence in the 18-year-old murder case that could convince a judge to stop it.
Richard Glossip is on death row for the 1997 murder of an Oklahoma City motel manager.
“Once I got going on this matter it occurred to me that there was a great injustice that’s about to occur,” attorney Don Knight said.
Don Knight has been Glossip’s attorney since earlier this year.
Glossip was convicted in the murder of Barry Van Treese after another man, Justin Sneed, testified Glossip paid him to commit the crime.
The problem is, Knights says, Sneed changed his story a number of times, and in his opinion, Glossip’s trial attorneys didn’t do their job.
“For instance, in trial number one, he never said anything about stabbing Mr. Van Treese. That’s what he said in trial number two. I would’ve said, ‘Mr. Sneed let’s talk about that. That’s a pretty significant event isn’t it?’” Knight said.
The case hinged on Sneed’s testimony.
Knight says Sneed told police at least 7 different versions of what happened.
Prosecutors had no forensic evidence linking Glossip to the murder.
The 52-year-old has always maintained his innocence.
Knight argues, even if you think Glossip is guilty, his case doesn’t add up to death.
“Why would we think this man should deserve death when Terry Nichols was tried in Oklahoma, was convicted of 161 state charges, a man who took part in blowing up the Murrah federal building, and the jurors could not find that he should be given the death penalty?” Knight said.
Van Treese’s family does want the death penalty.
Justin Sneed is serving life in prison.
Knight is talking to witnesses this week to try to find information to take to a judge.
Governor Fallin has said she will not grant a temporary stay for Glossip.