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May 3, 2013

Execution date set for rapist, murderer

McALESTER — An execution date has been set for an Oklahoma death row inmate convicted of raping and murdering his girlfriend’s mother.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals set an execution date of June 25 for Oklahoma State Penitentiary death row inmate Brian Darrell Davis.

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

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.

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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