McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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April 23, 2013

Okla. AG requests execution date for death row inmate

McALESTER — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt requested that the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals set an execution date for Oklahoma State Penitentiary death row inmate Brian Darrell Davis.

On April 15, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Davis’s final appeal. Pruitt asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set an execution date 60 days after April 15, “or the earliest date the court deems fit.”

The 38-year-old death row inmate was convicted of the Nov. 4, 2001, rape and murder of 52-year-old Josephine “Jody” Sanford.

“In January 2003, Davis was found guilty by a jury for the November 2001 first-degree murder and rape of his girlfriend’s mother, Jody Sanford, 52, of Ponca City,” Pruitt said in a press release. “He was sentenced to death for the murder and 100 years for rape.”

According to court records, Davis returned home in the early morning hours of Nov. 4, 2001, after socializing with friends at a local club. When he arrived home, he found that his girlfriend, Stacey Sanford, and their 3-year-old daughter were missing.

Davis called Jody Sanford, Stacey Sanford’s mother, to ask if she knew were his girlfriend and daughter were, court records state. “When Jody could not locate her daughter and granddaughter, she went to Stacey’s and Davis’s apartment.”

Davis made several conflicting statements regarding what happened while Jody Sanford was in his home. According to court records, he changed his story multiple times and told different stories to his girlfriend, to police and to the jury at his trial. Court records indicate that Davis did admit to having sex with and stabbing Jody Sanford.

When Stacey Sanford arrived home shortly after 9 a.m., she found her mother’s body. “Stacey (Sanford) immediately called 911 and local police arrived to investigate,” court records state. “Meanwhile, Davis had been involved in a single-car accident while driving Jody’s van near the Salt Fork River Bridge. Davis was seriously injured after he was ejected from the van through the front windshield. Davis was transported to a local hospital for treatment.”

Because Davis had a blood alcohol level of .09 percent, he was placed under arrest for driving under the influence and was later transferred to a regional hospital in Wichita, Kan., for treatment for injuries he sustained in the car accident.

According to Pruitt, Jody Sanford had been beaten and stabbed six times and DNA evidence showed Davis had raped her.

Davis has been in custody with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections since March 17, 2003.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

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