Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board denies clemency for death row inmate John Grant

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – On Tuesday morning, in a 3-2 vote, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board denied clemency for death row inmate John Grant, making him the first inmate to be executed since executions were put on hold in Oklahoma in 2015.

John Grant
John Grant

Grant will be executed on October 28 after the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-2 to deny him clemency on Tuesday morning.

It was the first clemency hearing in almost six years since executions were put on hold in Oklahoma.

“I do believe the sentence is just. He did kill her,” Pam Carter, Gay Carter’s daughter, said. “It’s just heinous. The crime was heinous.”

Grant was convicted of murdering Carter in 1998.

Carter was the kitchen supervisor at Dick Conner Correctional Center where Grant was serving time for several robbery convictions.

During Grant’s clemency hearing, Grant’s federal public defenders talked about his childhood, pointing to neglect he received at home and abuse he received while in state custody as a child. His attorneys claim he never received treatment for these traumas and they believe that information should have been presented during trial.

Photo goes with story
Gay Carter

“He was a young child that had to suffer, not only the difficulties of being raised in poverty and without any sort of father figure, and certainly a detached mother,” Sarah Jernigan, Grant’s federal public defender, said.

His attorneys also claim Grant was in a relationship with Carter, saying it was a crime of passion that unfolded after Carter ended the relationship. Grant’s attorney said the jury never heard about the relationship during trial.

“When that relationship came to a very abrupt end, that was too much for John to be able to cope and to manage,” Jernigan said.

The state claimed the alleged relationship between the two was “all in Grant’s head,” and they said he became obsessed with Carter.

“Grant, who was one of Ms. Carter’s former employees, I guess you could call it, came through the serving line in the dining hall. Ms. Carter gives Grant his tray, there were some words exchanged, and it ends with Grant saying to Ms. Carter, ‘I’ll get you B****,'” Joshua Lockett, an attorney with the AG’s office, said.

Lockett said Grant forced Carter into a broom closet, brutally murdered her and then tried to kill himself. They say he continued to be combative with the use of force team when they arrived.

“He did significant damage to Ms. Carter in the time he was over her. He stabbed her 16 times,” Lockett said. “A nurse testified that she was dead within minutes, if not seconds.”

“I believe he probably does regret murdering Ms. Carter, but the problem is that he acts impulsively and when he gets angry and when he gets stressed, he’s dangerous,” Jennifer Crabb, Lockett’s co-counsel, said.

Grant’s family is now making plans to say their final goodbyes on October 8th.

“It hasn’t sunk in quite yet,” O.C. Frazier, Grant’s brother, said. “I told him he wouldn’t have to die alone. I moved back from Oregon to Oklahoma so he wouldn’t, last thing he’ll see is my face.”

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