McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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June 25, 2013

OSP death row inmate to be executed tonight

McALESTER — A death row inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary is set to be executed at 6 p.m. today in the prison’s death chamber.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 to recommend granting clemency to Brian Darrell Davis, 38, after his clemency hearing earlier this month.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt released a statement on June 7 in which he denounced the board’s clemency vote and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin denied the recommendation, saying that Davis is to be executed as scheduled.

“This convicted murderer lured his estranged girlfriend’s mother to his apartment and then brutally raped her, broke her jaw, stabbed her six times, puncturing her abdomen, and left her for dead while he drove around in her van,” Pruitt said. “He does not deserve our pity or clemency, and it is incomprehensible that four members of the pardon and parole board would usurp the judgment of a jury and deny this family justice.”

Of the last 11 death row inmates set for execution in Oklahoma, the board voted to recommend clemency only one other time, for Garry Thomas Allen. As with Davis, Fallin did not approve the board’s recommendation and Allen was executed Nov. 6, 2012.

Davis is the second death row inmate set for execution this month. James Lewis DeRosa, 36, was put to death via lethal injection on June 18. The board did not recommend clemency for DeRosa.

Both DeRosa and Davis opted to make no last meal requests.

In fact, both offenders have made no requests at all, said OSP Warden’s Assistant Terry Crenshaw. This includes last meal requests as well as requests for visitors on execution day. Crenshaw said the fact that the two inmates have chosen to make no last meal requests is quite out of the ordinary. Davis and DeRosa were cell mates, Crenshaw said.

On April 15, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Davis’s final appeal and Pruitt requested an execution date be set.

Davis 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.

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.

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