June 14, 2013
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has chosen not to follow the recommendation of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. The Board recommended that death row inmate Brian Davis have his sentence commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Governor Fallin has decided that the execution will proceed as scheduled.
June 7, 2013
The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 to recommend that death row inmate Brian Davis have his sentence commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Board’s recommendation now goes to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin for approval or rejection. Governor Fallin can also grant up to two, 30-day temporary stay of executions in order to review the case before making her final decision.
May 7, 2013
Brian Darrell Davis is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on June 25, 2013, at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma. Thirty-nine-year-old Brian is convicted of raping and killing 52-year-old Josephine “Jody” Sanford on November 4, 2001, at his Ponca City, Oklahoma, apartment. Brian has spent the past ten years living on Oklahoma’s death row.
Brian Davis returned home from a night out with friends at a local club in the early hours of November 4, 2001. Davis discovered that his girlfriend, Stacey Sanford, and their three-year-old daughter were missing. Davis, concerned, called Stacey’s mother, Jody Sanford, to see if she knew where they were. Jody told Davis that she did not know. Ten to fifteen minutes later, Davis called Jody again, asking if she would go find them. When Jody was unable to locate them, she went to Davis’s apartment.
The next morning, shortly after 9 am, Stacey returned to the apartment and found her mother dead. Stacey immediately called the police who began investigating. Meanwhile, Davis, while driving Jody’s van, was involved in a single car accident and seriously injured when he was ejected through the front windshield. Davis was arrested and his blood alcohol level was determined to be .09 percent. Davis was transferred to a Wichita hospital for treatment.
What happened from the time Jody arrived to the time that Stacey found her is unclear, as Davis made several conflicting statements of the events that transpired. In his initial statement, given the day of the accident, Davis remembered Jody arriving at the apartment, but nothing after that until he woke up after the accident. Two days later, Davis was again interviewed by the police. Davis initially repeated that he did not remember, however, during questioning, his memory seemed to improve.
Davis said that Jody came over and the two began to talk about religion and his relationship with Stacey. Davis, angry, informed Jody that he was not committed to Stacey. The two began to argue. According to Davis, Jody stood up and continued to “lecture” him. Davis got angrier, accused her of being “in his face” and told her to “back up,” pushing her backwards. Jody then grabbed a knife and cut Davis’s thumb. Davis hit her on chin, likely causing a fracture to her jawbone, and grabbed at the knife. During the struggle for the knife, Davis was cut. Davis eventually got possession of the knife and told Jody to get back, stabbing her in the stomach. Davis and Jody wrestled down the hallway, resulting in Jody being stabbed in the leg.
The two ended up in the bedroom, where Davis told Jody to stop and put the knife down. Jody agreed, if Davis would let her go. When Davis let her go, she ran towards the knife, but Davis grabbed it first, stabbing her in the left side. Jody then told Davis she could not breathe. Davis instructed her to lie down and wrapped her up in a blanket, saying it was to keep her from bleeding to death. Davis said he heard her stop breathing, but then fell asleep. When Davis woke up, he claims he panicked and fled in Jody’s van so he could figure out what to do.
One of the detectives interviewing Davis, showed him evidence that Jody had been chocked and/or strangled. Davis admitted it may have happened while they were wrestling. Davis adamantly denied having sex with her.
In the months that followed, Davis told three different stories to Stacey. First, he claimed he thought Jody was an intruder. Later, he told her a story similar to the one he told the detectives. After DNA testing showed that Davis had sexual intercourse with Jody, Davis told Stacey, that Jody came over and was upset about her husband’s infidelity. Davis claims he tried to comfort her and the two ended up having sexual intercourse. After the encounter, Davis claims he was struck on the back of the head by Jody and events unfolded from there.
A trial, Davis told yet another version, similar to the last story he had told Stacey, but with more details. Davis also maintained that he did not intend to kill Jody; he was just trying to defend himself.
This was not Davis’s first encounter with the police. In 1995, Davis was twice convicted of rape. Also in 1995, he was convicted of unlawful possession of cocaine. He was released after serving two years.
Please pray for peace for the family of Jody Sanford. Please pray for strength for the family of Brian Davis. Please pray that Brian may come to have peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.