OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The evidence implicating an Oklahoma death row inmate whose case has attracted national attention is overwhelming and his request for switching is filled with “demonstrable lies,” the chief county prosecutor wrote. Oklahoma in a letter this week to State Pardon. and the Parole Board.
The murder conviction of Julius Jones, 40, for the 1999 shooting death of businessman Edmond Paul Howell in front of Howell’s two young daughters has caught the attention of reality TV star Kim Kardashian West and athletes with ties to Oklahoma, including NBA stars Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin and Trae Young, who urged Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt to commute the death sentence for Jones and him save life.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater detailed the evidence against Jones in a 15-page letter Monday to the state’s Pardons and Parole Board in which he urged the panel to dismiss the request of Jones for a switching hearing.
“To date, Jones has not expressed an ounce of remorse for his ruthless actions,” Prater wrote. “Instead, he continues to victimize the Howell family by fueling a media circus with outright lies and making a prank of this leniency process.”
Jones is due to hold a phase one commutation hearing next week before the five-member parole board. If approved, the case would go to a more thorough hearing which could ultimately lead to a recommendation to switch to the governor, who has the final say.
This week, Jones’ legal team released a video and letter from a man who served his sentence in an Arkansas jail with a man who was with Jones when Howell was killed, testified against him and served 10 years in prison. This man, Christopher Jordan, has since been released. In the video, Arkansas inmate Roderick Wesley claims Jordan confessed to killing Howell and setting up Jones.
Prater’s letter did not specifically address this most recent allegation, but noted that the appellate courts dismissed allegations that Jones’ lawyers were ineffective for failing to call two other inmates who said Jordan confessed to killing Howell.
“Questions about the innocence allegations made by the murderer, his lawyer or his supporters are dealt with on the record,” Prater said in an email to The Associated Press when asked about Wesley’s latest allegation. will not receive a response. “
Prater’s letter also responds to many other allegations raised by Jones’ defense team, including that a juror in his trial alleged 15 years later that another juror used a racial epithet to describe Jones, which is black. Prater said the claim was also dismissed by the Criminal Appeal Court, which ruled it “highly unlikely”. The United States Supreme Court also rejected this claim.
Although Jones has exhausted all of his appeals, a date for his execution has not been set as Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocols are challenged in federal court.