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Thread: Wendell Arden Grissom - Oklahoma Death Row

  1. #1
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    Wendell Arden Grissom - Oklahoma Death Row


    Amber Matthews




    Summary of Offense:

    Convicted and sentenced to death in the November 2005 shooting death of Amber Matthews. Grissom and Jessie Floyd Johns forced their way into the home of Amber Kopf to rob her and they shot and killed Matthews. Kopf was shot three times but managed to escape and call police. Kopf's infant children were also in the home but were not injured.

    Grissom was sentenced to death on June 17, 2008.

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    June 18, 2008

    Arkansas man sentenced for fatal Blaine Co. shooting

    A Garfield County judge on Tuesday sentenced an Arkansas man to death for the fatal District Judge Ronald G. Franklin concurred with a jury's recommendation that Wendell Arden Grissom pay for killing Amber Matthews with his life.

    Grissom, 39, also received a life sentence for shooting with an intent to kill for wounding Drue Kopf, whose home is where the deadly robbery attempt occurred. That sentence and terms of 25 years for grand larceny and 40 years for possessing a firearm after a felony conviction will run consecutively, the judge ordered.

    On Nov. 3, 2005, Grissom entered Kopf's home, northeast of Watonga, and shot her several times as she struggled with him. Kopf managed to escape, but Matthews, of Kingfisher, could not.

    Grissom shot her twice in the head, once as she held Kopf's 5-week-old daughter and again after she fell on the floor of the children's room, court records show.

    A change of venue to Garfield County was granted for Grissom and his co-defendant, Jessie Floyd Johns, whose trial is scheduled to begin at the end of this month.

    Grissom's attorney, John W. Coyle, submitted a filing stating his client's intent to appeal his death sentence. Coyle said he and his son, Billy Coyle, would withdraw from the case to allow an Oklahoma Indigent Defense System attorney specializing in death penalty appeals to take over. Franklin appointed the new attorney during the sentencing.

    Before meting out punishment, Franklin asked prosecutors Mike Fields and Barry Retherford if there were any victim-impact statements the prosecution wished to introduce.

    Fields said the state declined to present any statements but referred the court to a letter written my Matthews' father, Derek, and statements Kopf made during her testimony in the trial.

    (Source: The Associated Press)

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    September 14, 2010

    Okla. court to hear death penalty appeal

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A man convicted of shooting a woman to death in Blaine County five years ago is asking an appellate court to set aside his death sentence.

    The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments Tuesday in the case of 41-year-old Wendell Arden Grissom. Grissom was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the Nov. 3, 2005, killing of 23-year-old Amber Matthews of Kingfisher.

    The victim was visiting the Watonga home of 23-year-old Lauren Dreu Kopf when she was shot twice in the head after Grissom and co-defendant Jessie Floyd Johns attempted to rob them. Kopf was shot several times but survived.

    Johns was also convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

    http://www.newson6.com/global/story.asp?s=13148691

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    Okla. court upholds death penalty in Watonga case

    The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the death sentence of a man convicted of first-degree murder for the 2005 shooting death of a 23-year-old woman in Blaine County.

    The court handed down its unanimous ruling Friday in the case of Wendell Arden Grissom. The 42-year-old Grissom was sentenced to die by lethal injection for the Nov. 3, 2005, shooting death of Amber Matthews of Kingfisher.

    Grissom conceded during his trial that he shot the woman twice in the head at the Watonga home of Matthews' friend, Lauren Dreu Kopf. The shooting happened after Grissom and co-defendant Jessie Floyd Johns forced their way in and attempted to rob them. Kopf was shot several times but survived.

    Johns was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

    http://www.newstimes.com/default/art...#ixzz1II0KCHgP

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    State court of appeals rejects killers attempt to get death sentence repealed

    The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has denied the claims of an Arkansas man convicted of murdering a Kingfisher woman in 2005 in Blaine County.

    The court denied both claims by Wendell Arden Grissom, who received a death sentence from a Garfield County jury following his trial in 2008. The higher court overruled Grissoms claims of error at trial and his request for repeal of his death sentence.

    District Attorney Mike Fields, who tried the case as an assistant district attorney, said the decision will help the victims and their families.

    Obviously, Im pleased with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals decision to deny Mr. Grissoms appeal, he said. This decision moves the victims and their families one step closer to justice.

    Grissom was convicted of shooting 23-year-old Amber Matthews to death Nov. 3, 2005, in what authorities said was a robbery attempt. Another woman, Drue Kopf, was wounded. A change of venue to Garfield County was granted for Grissom and his co-defendant, Jessie Floyd Johns, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

    The appeals court denied Grissoms request to overturn the death penalty April 1. A second motion for evidentiary hearing and request to conduct discovery was denied by the court Sept. 13.

    Fields said these rulings by the court likely make it the last appeal Grissom can file at the state level. Grissom can petition the federal appeals court and make a request to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. A petition to the high court would be due in October and the Supreme Court likely would make its decision early next year.

    Among the dozen reasons Grissom argued the court should set aside his conviction and death sentence, and order a new trial, was that jurors never were told they could find Grissom guilty of second-degree murder, which is not punishable by death.

    The court ruled the trial judge did not abuse his discretion by not instructing Grissoms jury that second-degree murder was a lesser but included offense to the first-degree murder charge.

    Looking at the evidence in this case, no rational jury would have acquitted appellant of first-degree murder in favor of a finding of guilt of second-degree murder, Judge Gary Lumpkin, of Madill, said in a concurring opinion.

    Grissom also maintained he was intoxicated at the time of the shooting after consuming alcohol and an antidepressant. But the court said the evidence does not show he was too intoxicated to form the specific intent to commit the crime.

    He attempted to murder the homeowner, and surely believing he had succeeded, he executed her friend with two shots to the head, said the decision written by Vice Presiding Judge David B. Lewis, of Lawton.

    Appellant gave a detailed confession within hours after the shootings. He was able to recount the details of his recent activities and his life history leading up to the crimes, the ruling said. He also effectively admitted his guilt of murder at trial, hoping to avoid the extreme punishment.

    Grissoms second appeal claimed his defense failed to properly investigate, develop and present mitigating evidence on his behalf. He also claimed testimony from an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper at trial was emotional and improper. The appeal also claimed Grissoms Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated. The court denied all claims.

    Grissoms appeals were handled by the Oklahoma Attorney Generals Office, which handles all appellate proceedings.

    Im grateful for the diligent work of the Attorney Generals Office to ensure the jurys decision is upheld and carried out, Fields said.

    http://enidnews.com/localnews/x55534...tence-repealed

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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Grissom's petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis was DENIED.

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    On December 12, 2011, Grissom filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/okl...cv01456/82545/

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    On August 3, 2016, Grissom's habeas petition was DENIED in Federal District Court.

    https://docs.justia.com/cases/federa...01456/82545/60

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    On September 13, 2016, Grissom filed an appeal before the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    https://dockets.justia.com/docket/ci...s/ca10/16-6271
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  10. #10
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    On July 19, 2018, oral argument will be heard in Grissom's appeal before the Tenth Circuit.

    https://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/sites/...18_OKC_Cal.pdf

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