OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – High-profile death row inmate, Richard Glossip has been granted yet another stay of execution in order to give the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals more time to complete its review of a petition for a new hearing.
Sneed confessed to brutally beating Van Treese to death with a bat, but then pointed the finger at Glossip, claiming Glossip hired him to do so.
“How do you tell your kids they’re never going to see their dad again?” Donna Van Treese told KFOR back in 2017.
In exchange for Sneed’s testimony, he was given life in prison.
Meanwhile, the state sentenced Glossip to death after two juries found him guilty.
However, after an independent investigation spearheaded by a group of lawyers and Oklahoma lawmakers, a report was released detailing their findings. The conclusion of the deep dive into the case is that “no reasonable jury would have convicted Richard Glossip.”
Investigators pointed to flawed interrogations, lack of crime scene logs, and missing evidence.
Officials said they have a handwritten statement from Sneed from 2007, implying that his testimony implicating Glossip “was a mistake” and he wanted to “recant” his testimony.
Also, they uncovered a letter to Sneed from an Oklahoma public defender who suggested that if he recanted his story, he would face the death penalty.
Glossip has now escaped death six times with his most recent being Wednesday morning.
Governor Kevin Stitt issued an executive order saying, “This stay is granted to allow time for the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to address pending legal proceedings.”
“It really takes a lot of effort to to have the courts and and the state come around to doing the right thing this far down the road,” stated Glossip’s attorney, Don Knight. “I think the governor was very wise to go ahead and say, let’s just alleviate all of this and give this the court time and take care of these problems. So we’re very grateful to the governor for doing what he did.”
Knight said there are currently two petitions that are pending on Glossip’s innocence and prosecutorial misconduct.
Knight added the stay of execution gives the court enough time to make a decision, but if more time is needed, then the court can issue a stay of execution themselves.
Knight has spoken with Glossip since the Governor’s decision and said, “He’s obviously thrilled that he’s, you know, this is the sixth time that Rich Glossip has had an execution date. He’s been fortunate enough to get to avoid all of them. We’re hoping that the next date that’s set will be struck and then there will be no more dates for Richard Glossip.”
State Representative, Kevin McDugle has been preaching Glossip’s innocence for the last four years and he’s hopeful for the same outcome.
“There’s more than enough evidence that Oklahoma did the wrong thing years ago, and now we need to do the right thing. I’m just hopeful and so thankful to the governor for doing it [granting a stay of execution] once again,” explained McDugle.
He told KFOR he’s frustrated with the state, saying they made a mistake and should own up to it.
News 4 reached out to Governor Stitt’s office for more information, but they declined to comment outside of the executive order.
Meanwhile, State Attorney General’s John O’Connor said he supports the Governor’s decision.
“The Oklahoma Attorney General respects the statutory authority of the Governor to make this decision. The Court of Criminal Appeals will thoroughly review Glossip’s supplemental application and the State’s responses. We are confident that the Court of Criminal Appeals will do the right thing. After 25 years, justice is still on hold for Barry Van Treese and his family. Mr. Van Treese was in a room of the motel he owned when he was brutally murdered with a baseball bat by Justin Sneed, an individual Richard Glossip hired to work at the motel and later enlisted to commit the murder. Two different juries found Glossip guilty of murder for hire. A thorough review of the evidence confirms Glossip’s guilt in this case. We will continue to work for justice and for the safety of all Oklahomans, including families like Mr. Van Treese’s. They are the ones who have been tormented by the loss of their loved one, endured years of trials and appeals, and waited decades for finality. We recognize that the pain of losing a loved one never ends, and our hearts and prayers are with the Van Treese family.”Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor
McDugle said he will continue fighting for the innocence of Glossip.
Knight said they have worked their “tail off” to get to this point, adding there’s a large group of lawyers working around the clock on this case.
“We’re going to continue with our nose to the grindstone and get this thing done,” stated Knight.
This will mark Glossip’s sixth stay of execution and his second one under Governor Stitt.