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Death row inmate to ask Oklahoma parole board for clemency

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: February 28, 2014

An Oklahoma inmate slated to die next month for the killing of a woman who was shot and then buried alive was expected to plead his case for clemency Friday to the state’s parole board.

Clayton Lockett, 38, will appear before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board via video later Friday to ask for his death sentence to be commuted to life in prison. His execution is scheduled for March 20.

Lockett was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1999 slaying of Stephanie Nieman. He confessed to shooting her with a sawed-off shotgun, and two accomplices are serving life terms — one for burying the recent high school graduate in a shallow grave in Kay County.

“In my 28 years as a prosecutor, I never met or prosecuted anyone more filled with evil, and who thrived on being evil, than Clayton Lockett, including coming face-to-face with Tim McVeigh,” Mark L. Gibson, the retired district attorney who prosecuted the case, said in a letter to the parole board.

The attorney general’s office says Lockett has never shown remorse for killing Nieman and abducting two of her friends and a 9-month-old baby. On the contrary, it says Lockett has proudly taken credit for his crimes and lamented that “his big mistake was that he should have killed the other … victims as well.”

On the night of the killing, Lockett, a cousin and a friend entered Bobby Bornt’s home in Perry, seeking repayment of a $20 debt. The three men bound Bornt and beat him with a shotgun while his 9-month-old son slept in the next room. Nieman and a friend dropped by to invite Bornt to a party when Locket and the other two men attacked them, as well.

The two women were bound with duct tape. Nieman’s friend was beaten and raped by two of the men before the victims were loaded into two pickup trucks and driven to a rural dirt road. Lockett admitted in a videotaped confession that he originally intended to kill the three adults because he feared police would learn that he had violated terms of his probation from a previous felony.

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