OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. – With only 7 days left until Richard Glossip‘s rescheduled execution, his attorneys are scrambling daily to find new information to prove his innocence.
Late Wednesday afternoon, attorney Mark Henricksen filed a notice, letting the courts know they think the state is intimidating their witnesses that could prove Glossip’s innocence.
Glossip is sentenced to death for the 1997 murder of motel owner, Barry Van Treese.
Glossip has been on death row since 1998 and, to this day, maintains his innocence.
His execution has now been stayed three times.
Tuesday, Glossip’s attorneys questioned the validity of the two-week stay saying, by law, an execution date cannot be scheduled until the stay is dissolved.
That date should have been either 30 or 60 days after the stay is dissolved, not the 14 days that was ordered.
They continue to fight for their client’s innocence, calling into the question the credibility of Justin Sneed.
Sneed is serving a life sentence after admitting to the actual killing of Van Treese but testified Glossip ordered him to carry out the crime.
Glossip’s attorneys are now alleging Oklahoma county district attorney David Prater is bullying witnesses.
Glossips attorney said he’s been in the business for 30 years, has never had to file paperwork like he did today and it’s unusual.
Our cameras were rolling as Henricksen walked into the court of criminal appeals.
“This is a very difficult case, a very stressful time,” Henricksen said. “We’re working on a short fuse, based on the court’s current deadline. We’re filling something it feels like a couple of times a day.”
Wednesday’s filling was an action to help stop Prater from allegedly intimidating witnesses.
“This is very damaging to that outreach, if people are concerned they are going to be hassled by the prosecution,” Henricksen said.
Glossip’s attorneys said Michael Scott, a former cellmate of Sneed, who “overheard Justin Sneed laughing about framing Mr. Glossip … felt intimidated and coerced.”
Scott was issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday for an unpaid $200 fine and not completing community service.
Scott was arrested in Roger’s County by “police officers with their service weapons drawn and pointed at him.”
Documents show, while still in handcuffs, Scott “was placed in a chair in the interrogation room” and, moments later, “David Prater and an investigator with the last name of Eastbrook, then, entered the room and began interrogating Mr. Scott.”
Documents show they allegedly asked Scott about an affidavit he signed regarding Glossip’s case.
“To use the warrant process to conduct an interview seems intimidating, coercive and inappropriate, and so we’ve come to the court to complain about it,” Henricksen said.
According to documents, Prater specifically told Scott he ordered the arrest warrant “so that Scott would be forced to talk with Prater and his investigator.”
“We hope it stops,” Henricksen said. “We hope people will still come forward with any information about the credibility or the lack of credibility of Justin Sneed.”
Another witness, Joseph Tapley, also reportedly has a new arrest warrant out of Oklahoma county.
The district attorney simply stated this:
As part of the investigation into new evidence in the Glossip case, our office has been trying to talk with any new witnesses who have come forward. They are in violation of their probation.