Oklahoma judge stays Jan. 6 execution for competency hearing

Dec 6, 2021, 5:23 PM | Updated: 5:51 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A state court judge in Oklahoma granted a temporary stay of execution on Monday for a death row inmate convicted of killing a security guard during a 2004 bank robbery in Tulsa.

Pittsburg County Associate District Judge Tim Mills issued the stay so that a competency hearing can be held for 60-year-old Wade Lay. Lay and his son, Christopher, were convicted in the shooting death of bank guard Kenneth Anderson, 36.

Christopher Lay received a life-without-parole sentence, while Wade Lay was sentenced to die.

Lay was scheduled to be executed on Jan. 6, but after a hearing before Mills last week, the judge determined there was “good reason” to believe Lay is not competent to be executed. Lay’s attorney Sarah Jernigan has said Lay has a decadeslong history of severe mental illness, including schizophrenia and delusions.

“Wade Lay believes he is being executed as part of a vast government conspiracy aimed at silencing him,” Jernigan said in a statement. “The court correctly found sufficient concern about his competency to warrant a trial, and ensured that he will not be executed while incompetent by granting a stay until the trial can be conducted.”

Dr. Richart DeMier, a forensic psychologist who interviewed Lay in September, determined Lay lacks a rational understanding of the basis for his execution. DeMier reported that Lay’s delusions center on the idea that there is a conspiracy among the courts and his attorneys to silence him so that his ideas about the U.S. Constitution and the government won’t reach the public.

“In Mr. Lay’s mind, his knowledge coming to light would have an undeniably persuasive effect causing the existing order to topple, therefore, powerful and wealthy individuals, including judges, have good reason to ensure he is silenced and maintain the status quo favorable to them,” DeMier reported, according to a court brief.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General John O’Connor did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the stay. But attorneys for the state did not object to an order staying Lay’s execution, according to court filings last week.

In interviews with The Associated Press last month, Lay didn’t deny his involvement in the killing and said he’s a “rational person who has a good mind.”

But he also said he believes his attorneys, prison workers and a federal judge are conspiring against him and that he suspects the state’s executioners will try to intentionally torture him.

He also said he planned to use his opportunity to address the state’s Pardon and Parole Board during his upcoming clemency hearing to detail to them and the public about the conspiracy against him. The hearing was set for Dec. 15 but is expected to be rescheduled.

“I’m not going quietly, because I’m not mentally ill,” he said in a telephone interview.

Under Oklahoma law, a 12-person jury must decide if an inmate is competent to be executed, and the next Pittsburg County jury call is after Lay’s scheduled Jan. 6 execution.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

West Coast dockworkers still talking after contract expires

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A contract between shipping companies and 22,000 West Coast dockworkers expired over the weekend. But both sides continued to talk and said they want to avoid a strike that could savage an economy already stressed by soaring inflation and supply chain woes. The contract that expired last Friday covered workers at […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Bradford Freeman, last “Band of Brothers” survivor has died

CALEDONIA, Miss. (AP) — Bradford Freeman, the last survivor of the famed Army unit featured in the World War II oral history book and miniseries “Band of Brothers” has died at the age of 97. Freeman died Sunday at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, according to Lowndes Funeral Home in Columbus, Mississippi. Freeman was born in […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Officials: Nine fatal drug overdoses in rural Florida county

QUINCY, Fla. (AP) — Nine people died over the holiday weekend from likely drug overdoses in a rural Florida Panhandle county, officials said. After two women were found dead of an apparent overdose Friday, the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office put out an alert seeking the public’s help to warn others of the possibly polluted drug […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey gives his state of the state address at the Arizona Capit...
Associated Press

Feds sue over new Arizona citizenship proof law for voting

PHOENIX (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday sued Arizona over a new law requiring people who use a federal form to register to vote to provide additional proof of citizenship if they want to vote for president or using the state’s popular vote-by-mail system. The law signed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey […]
19 hours ago
FILE - A Spirit Airlines jet approaches Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Feb. 24...
Associated Press

Spirit wins takeoff and landing rights at key Newark airport

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spirit Airlines will get valuable takeoff and landing times that Southwest Airlines is abandoning at busy Newark-Liberty International Airport near New York City. The U.S. Transportation Department said Tuesday that Spirit “is most likely to provide the lowest fares to the most consumers” at the airport in Newark, New Jersey. JetBlue Airways […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Mother drowned children, then killed herself

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Three children whose bodies were found in a suburban Minneapolis lake over the holiday weekend died in drownings that were classified as homicides, and their mother died of a drowning that was suicide, authorities said Tuesday as they also identified the victims. Searchers recovered the bodies of Molly Cheng and […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Oklahoma judge stays Jan. 6 execution for competency hearing