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Oklahoma woman wants to witness inmate's execution, but Corrections Department won't let her

The stepmother of the two children murdered by Oklahoma death row inmate Michael Hooper will not get to see the condemned killer's execution.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: August 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm •  Published: August 10, 2012

The stepmother of two children murdered in 1993 by Oklahoma death row inmate Michael Hooper will not get to witness the condemned killer's execution.

Hooper, whose bid to delay his execution was denied by a federal judge last week, is scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday.

The inmate was convicted of killing Cynthia Jarman, 23, and her two young children, Tonya and Timmy Jarman, in Canadian County nearly 20 years ago. The victims' bodies were found Dec. 10, 1993, after days of searching.

Alicia Jarman, who had recently married the children's father at the time of the murders, wants to watch Hooper die when he is executed by the state of Oklahoma. She believes doing so will bring her a sense of closure and could possibly improve her overall mental health.

Justin Jones, director of the state Corrections Department, sent a letter to Jarman's attorney in early July. The short letter indicates that Jarman would be allowed to attend Hooper's execution.

“Your request for Ms. Alicia Jarman, stepmother of the Jarman children, to attend the execution of Michael Hooper will be approved,” Jones wrote.

Lesley Smith March, director of the state attorney general's victim services unit, said the Corrections Department decided not to allow Jarman to attend the execution after speaking with her ex-husband, James Jarman.

Smith March said James Jarman “strenuously” objected to his ex-wife's attending the execution. She said the Corrections Department decided that because Jarman wasn't related by blood or marriage to any of the victims, she couldn't attend.

“Normally, we meet with the family during the clemency hearing,” Smith March said. “And that may have caused some of the problems in this case, because Hooper waived his clemency hearing.”

Close to children

Jarman had known the children for two years before marrying their father, James Jarman. Cynthia Jarman and the children were murdered while Alicia Jarman and her new husband were on their honeymoon in Colorado.

“When we got back from our honeymoon, we were going to go after custody of the children,” she said. “When we told Tonya we were getting married, on Thanksgiving, she was … very happy.”

Jarman, who was 19 at the time of the murders, said she has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since the violent deaths of Tonya and Timmy Jarman, who were 5 and 3 respectively.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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