McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

May 21, 2013

Execution date requested for killer whose crime went unsolved for 20 years

McALESTER — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt requested Monday that an execution date be set for a death row inmate whose crime went unsolved for two decades.

On May 20, the last appeal filed by Anthony Rozelle Banks, 60, was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court. “The defendant has exhausted all state and federal appeals,” Pruitt stated in his execution date request to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. “Therefore, the state respectfully requests this court set an execution date 60 days from May 20, 2013, or the earliest date this Court deems fit.”

Banks was convicted in 1999 of the murder of Sun I. Kim Travis in Tulsa. Travis was kidnapped from her Tulsa apartment in June 1979. She was raped, beaten and shot in the face. Her body was dumped in a ditch. Prior to her death, Travis, a Korean national, met her husband when he was serving in the American military on deployment in Korea. “The two married and moved to Tulsa, where it appears they lived happily,” court records state.

“At first, the police knew very little. Mrs.’ Travis’s husband was at home preparing dinner when he looked out the window and saw his wife’s car pull into the apartment complex’s parking lot, apparently followed by another vehicle.

“After several minutes passed and she didn’t come inside, he went out to check on her. She was nowhere to be seen. Mr. Travis sensed something was amiss because the car was parked at an odd angle with the headlights still on and the driver’s door open. The pillow that Mrs. Travis kept on the driver’s seat was lying in the street.”

Court records indicate that the next morning, a man on a tractor discovered her body in a roadside ditch. “She had suffered a gunshot would to the head, and her face bore recent bruises,” court records state. “Her blouse was missing and her panties were ripped and lying by her feet.” The medical examiner found semen on her clothes and in her body.

The murder case of Travis had gone unsolved until Tulsa police used DNA evidence to link Banks and Allen Wayne Nelson, 53, to the woman’s rape and murder. Tulsa police used DNA testing from two different analysts on sperm from the slain woman’s body and clothes to link Banks and Nelson to the crime. DNA testing indicated that both men had raped her, court records state.

“One of the analysts said the likelihood of a random African American individual matching the DNA sequence attributed to Mr. Banks was on the order of 1 in 300 billion,” court records state.

In 1997, Banks and Nelson were charged with her murder. Nelson was sentenced to life in prison and in October 1999, Banks was convicted and sentenced to death.

When convicted, Banks was already serving a life sentence for killing a convenience store clerk, David Fremin, in 1978. In a court hearing, Banks admitted to shooting Fremin in the head during a holdup.

Two other death row inmates are set for execution in June at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. James L. DeRosa is set to be put to death by lethal injection on June 18 and Brian Darrell Davis is set for a June 25 execution. Both men are to be put to death in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smart phone.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • 4 20 HolyWeekSun 1.jpg Edwards: Spread the Good News on Easter — and every day

    It starts with us.
    McAlester Attorney Tony Edwards, of Lakewood Christian Church, delivered that message to well over 100 men and boys who attended the last of the Men’s Holy Week Breakfasts served Saturday morning at the First Baptist Church in McAlester.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Rogers, Webber, ready for hearing on Webber's candidacy for District 1

    Former District 1 Pittsburg County Commissioner Bill Webber says he plans to be at the Pittsburg County Courthouse this week for a hearing to decide if he can run again for his former post.

    April 19, 2014

  • Council to consider city water plant's future: Karr to take Ward 4 seat

    City councilors are set to again consider letting a privately-owned company take over the operations of the McAlester Water Treatment Plant.
    It’s among the items on the agenda when the city council meets in regular session at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at City Hall.

    April 19, 2014

  • Powers: Good Friday, then and now

    Chris Powers, of First United Methodist Church, spoke Friday about the meaning of Good Friday —what it meant to the people of Jesus’ day, and what it means to believers today.

    April 19, 2014

  • mc-safety2.jpg OHP slates free motorcycle safety course

    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol will be back in McAlester to give a free motorcycle safety course on April 26.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • equality-mcdaniel.jpg Couple seeks to help homosexual community in McAlester

    A McAlester woman says she and her spouse are working to bring equality to McAlester.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Look what's going on downtown McAlester tonight

    Tonight, area residents are invited to join other community members in front of the old Hunts building at the northwest corner of Choctaw Avenue and Second Street in downtown McAlester to listen and to play music in an open street jam, karaoke, cruise-in and to enjoy one of McAlester's two downtown districts. Set-up starts at 6 p.m., jam will be underway by 7 p.m. and at approximately 8 p.m. karaoke all the while cars cruise in. Everyone should feel free to bring lawn chairs and grills, instruments and music equipment, or classic, modified, modern -- all -- show cars. There are no contests or prizes planned, just community fellowship. 

    April 18, 2014

  • Police Badge MCC.jpg Detective's Dispatch: Buckle up

    It only takes a few seconds to put your seat belt on. These few seconds could change the rest of your life!

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • KTC Proclamation McAlester KTC students compete in state FCCLA contest

    Kiamichi Technology Center, McAlester Campus, recently participated in the 2014 Oklahoma State Students Taking Action with Recognition Events for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18-BREAKFAST1.jpg Lackey: Challenge of today's church is to empower Christ

    Christians everywhere make up the Body of Christ.
    Tom Lackey, of the First Presbyterian Church, delivered that message to the fourth gathering of those participating in the Men’s Holy Week Breakfasts.
    Lackey spoke to a group estimated at more than 100 men and boys at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in McAlester on Thursday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.