PURCELL — A former aunt of Jamie Rose Bolin was relieved Thursday to see and hear a judge sentence Kevin Ray Underwood to death for her niece's murder in 2006. But Linda Chiles' satisfaction only went so far. "Nothing can fix what he did,” she said. "This will always be something that weighs on our minds and, of course, on his parents.'” Underwood, 28, was convicted Feb. 28 of killing his 10-year-old neighbor in his Purcell apartment. On Thursday, McClain County District Judge Candace Blalock sentenced Underwood to die by lethal injection on June 13, though an appeal is automatic and others are likely to follow. Blalock's pronouncement was largely a formality, since a jury recommended the death penalty last month after convicting Underwood in Jamie's death. Underwood declined the judge's offer to speak before she issued the sentence. During his 10-minute court appearance, Underwood asked to waive the 10-day waiting period to be transferred from jail to prison. He likely will be housed on the death row unit at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Girl's family finds justice in killer's death sentenceThe Cleveland County district attorney's office prosecuted the case; the state attorney general's office will take over for the appeals process. Chiles said Jamie's family is preparing for what could be years of legal appeals. "Getting to the main goal of putting him to death is going to be worth it in the end,” she said. At the courthouse Thursday, Chiles, who attended the sentencing with her younger sister, said emotions still ran high when seeing him in court. "I get very angry when I look at him; I can't really explain it,” she said. "At first, it was sorrow and shock; now it's anger.” Contributing: Staff Writer Tony Thornton
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The case at a glanceJamie Rose Bolin's body was found hidden in a plastic tub in Kevin Underwood's closet on April 14, 2006, two days after she disappeared from the apartment she shared with her father upstairs from Underwood's. Underwood consented to a search during an interview with the FBI. His taped confession, made hours later, was played for jurors during Underwood's trial. In the video, Underwood admitted fantasizing about kidnapping a young boy or girl and then engaging in torture, decapitation and molestation of the body. Jurors deliberated 25 minutes to convict him of murder on Feb. 28. It took them eight hours to choose his fate a week later.