Richard Glossip, Oklahoma


Update: Monday, October 5, 2015 12:30 pm EDT

Richard Eugene Glossip was scheduled to be executed at 3 pm CDT, on Friday, November 6, 2015, at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma. Richard's execution has been stayed. Fifty-two-year-old Richard is convicted in the murder-for-hire plot of 54-year-old Barry Alan Van Treese in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on January 7, 1997. Richard has spent the last 17 years on Oklahoma’s death row.

The execution of Richard has been stayed following a request by Oklahoma's Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Thursday, October 1, 2015. Pruitt requested that all currently scheduled executions be stayed following a mix-up in lethal injection drugs, discovered hours before the execution of Richard on Wednesday, September 30, 2015. That execution was rescheduled for November 6, 2015, before being indefinitely stayed. Pruitt requested the indefinite stays of executions in order to allow "time to evaluate the events that transpired on September 30, 2015." The evaluation will include how drugs that were approved for use in executions were procured, and how it was not immediately noted that the drugs were incorrect. The executions have not yet been rescheduled.

Richard was the seventh of 16 children in his family. He left home at the age of 14 and married for the first time at the age of 16. He and his wife had two children, although the marriage eventually ended. He also had two children with his second wife before that marriage also ended. Richard had no history of aggression and did not have any significant drug or alcohol abuse history. Richard did not graduate from high school but received his GED. He had continuous, gainful employment since the age of 16 until his arrest.

In January of 1997, Richard Glossip was the manager of the Best Budget Inn in Oklahoma City, owned by Barry Van Treese, and lived on the premises. Justin Sneed was a maintenance worker at the hotel, in exchange for room and board. Barry also owned a Best Budget Inn in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and lived in Lawton, Oklahoma. Barry would occasionally visit each hotel. During the last six months of 1996, Barry and his family experienced several tragedies and he was not able to monitor the hotels as closely as he normally did. In the beginning of 1997, Barry chose to audit both hotels, as their were shortfalls. Barry’s wife noticed that there was over $6,000 in shortages from the hotel managed by Glossip, and testified that Barry intended to ask Glossip about the missing money.


On January 6, 1997, Barry left the Oklahoma City hotel and drove to the Tulsa motel. While there, Barry informed the manager that there were several discrepancies at the Oklahoma City hotel and that if Glossip was unable to provide the information, he would be fired. According to the Tulsa hotel manager, William Bender, Barry was extremely upset and planned to have William manage the Oklahoma City hotel if Glossip was fired. Barry returned to the Oklahoma City hotel very early in the morning of January 7.


Shortly after Barry’s return, Glossip approached Sneed and asked him to murder Barry. Gossip said he would pay him $10,000. According to Sneed, this was not the first time Glossip made the request, with an increase in payment amount each time.


Sneed entered the room where Barry was sleeping with a master key given to him by Glossip. Sneed beat Barry to death with a baseball. During the struggle a window was broken. Sneed reported back to Glossip that Barry was dead. Glossip told Sneed to move Barry’s car, pick up the glass on the sidewalk and put it inside the hotel room, and that if anyone asked about the window to tell them two drunks did it. Glossip also helped hide the body.


Later that day, police began looking for Barry after his car was found. Glossip gave conflicting statements to police, who eventually found Barry’s body in his room. Before his arrest, Glossip began selling his possessions in preparation for leaving. He was arrested before he could leave. Sneed, after his arrest, admitted to killing Barry and testified against Glossip in exchange for a life sentence.


Richard Glossip has always insisted upon his innocence. Richard had previously been scheduled to be executed last year, although his execution was stayed due to the Supreme Court of the United States agreeing to hear a case regarding the legality of the Oklahoma execution protocol, specifically the use of midazolam, which has been present in several controversial executions since January of 2014. The Supreme Court ultimately approved the use of midazolam, allowing Oklahoma to give Richard a new execution date.


Richard was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, September 16, 2015. His execution was stayed by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. Richard's execution was stayed to allow time for new evidence, which according to lawyers, can prove that Richard did not hire Justin Sneed to kill Barry Van Treese. Richard's execution was rescheduled for September 30, 2015. His September 30, 2015, execution was stayed by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. Governor Fallin issued the 37-day stay because the Oklahoma Department of Corrections received potassium acetate as the third drug, instead of potassium chloride, to be used in Richard's execution. The stay will allow time for the Department of Corrections to determine if "potassium acetate is compliant with the execution protocol and/or to obtain potassium chloride," according to a statement released by Governor Fallin's office.


Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Barry. Please pray for strength for the family of Richard Glossip. Please pray that if Richard is innocent or lacks the competency to be executed, evidence will be revealed before his execution. Please pray that Richard may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.



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