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Thread: Billy Lee Oatney, Jr. - Oregon Death Row

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Billy Lee Oatney, Jr. - Oregon Death Row

    Facts of the Crime:

    Sentenced to death for the August 27, 1996 abduction and murder of Susi Larsen, 34, a Tualatin graphic artist. Willford Johnston III and Oatney tied up the victim and took her to a bedroom. They cut off her clothes with scissors and both of them raped and sodomized her. After forcing her to give them the personal identification number to her bank card, Oatney sent Johnston out to get some money from an ATM using the victim's card. When Johnston returned, he saw that the victim had blood on her face and was not moving. Johnston testified that defendant had told him that defendant had hit and choked the victim because she "just wouldn't [have sex with] me." Defendant said that he had tried to kill her, but "the [victim] just won't die." Defendant and Johnston then held a plastic bag over the victim's head until she stopped breathing.

    Johnston was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

  2. #2
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    No. 03-7370 *** CAPITAL CASE ***
    Billy Lee Oatney, Jr., Petitioner
    Docketed: November 13, 2003
    Lower Ct: Supreme Court of Oregon
    Case Nos.: (SC S45850)
    Decision Date: August 19, 2003

    ~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings and Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nov 6 2003 Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed. (Response due December 15, 2003)
    Dec 15 2003 Brief of respondent Oregon in opposition filed.
    Dec 31 2003 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of January 16, 2004.
    Jan 20 2004 Petition DENIED.


  3. #3
    Moderator Ryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Newport, United Kingdom
    Busted immunity deal means Oregon death row inmate should have sentence overturned, court says

    By Everton Bailey Jr.
    Oregon Live

    The Oregon Court of Appeals threw out the sentence of Oregon death row inmate Billy Lee Oatney, saying he didn't get adequate representation during a 1998 trial in the rape and suffocation of a woman who asked him to make jewelry for her wedding.

    Billy Lee Oatney, 53, challenged his death sentence claiming his attorneys didn't move to suppress statements and testimony from his co-defendant, Willard Johnston. Johnston's testimony was the centerpiece of the state's case against Oatney and the only direct evidence against him, the appeals court said.

    Johnston implicated Oatney only after Oatney talked about the killing under an immunity deal offered by the Washington County district attorney, the appeals court said. Authorities used Oatney's statements to prompt Johnston to cooperate and then used the information to convict Oatney -- breaking the promise of immunity, the appeals court said.

    Susi Larsen, 34, disappeared in August 1996 after telling friends she was going to see Oatney, an acquaintance, about making jewelry for her wedding. Her body was found two weeks later in a wooded area of Champoeg State Park in Marion County. Her funeral was held on what would have been her wedding day.

    Johnston testified during the 1998 trial that both he and Oatney tied up Larsen and raped her in Oatney's Tigard apartment. He claimed Oatney then held a plastic bag over her head until she stopped breathing. Oatney pinned the crimes solely on Johnston in his trial testimony.

    Oatney was convicted of aggravated murder in 1998 and sentenced to death that same year. The Oregon Supreme Court upheld the sentence in 2003 after a review. Oatney filed an appeal a year later.

    Johnston pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in 1998 and was sentenced to life in prison. He agreed to testify against Oatney in exchange for an agreement that prosecutors wouldn't seek a death sentence in his case.

    Oatney's case now goes back to Washington County Circuit Court for reconsideration.

    Oatney is the second convicted murderer on death row in Oregon whose sentence was overturned in recent weeks. Issac Agee, 38, was ordered last week to get a new hearing by the Oregon Supreme Court to consider if he has a mental disability. The designation could disqualify him for the death penalty.

    Agee and another man were convicted of killing 36-year-old Antonio Barrantes-Vasquez while all three men were inmates at the Oregon State Penitentiary in 2008.

    Last edited by Ryan; 12-12-2015 at 07:51 AM.

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