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Stay Denied for Oklahoma Child-Killer

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The US Supreme Court today denied a stay and a writ of certiorari for Michael Hooper, who murdered Cindy Jarman and her two children, five-year-old Tonya and three-year-old Timmy, in 1993.  The facts of the case, from the initial appeal to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (947 P.2d 1090), follow the jump.

Hooper's latest gambit was to attack the lack of backup dose of pentobarbital, the recently acquired stocks of pentobarbital, and Oklahoma's continued use of the three-drug method after other states have gone to one drug.  The Tenth Circuit rejected these claims last Friday.

Update:  Tim Talley of AP has this story on the victims' family.

Update 2:  Talley has this post-execution story for AP.
From the OCCA opinion:

¶2 Hooper was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend Cynthia Jarman [Cindy] and her two children, five-year-old Tonya and three-year-old Timmy. Hooper and Cindy met in 1992 and dated through the summer of 1993. On more than one occasion the couple fought and Cindy called police. At one point each had a victim's protective order against the other. Several times Hooper threatened to kill Cindy. In October or November, 1993, Cindy and her children moved in with Bill Stremlow. He told Cindy that Hooper was not welcome in their home. On December 6, 1993, Cindy told a friend she wanted to be with Hooper one last time and then stop seeing him.

¶3 Hooper bought a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol on July 15, 1993. During a traffic stop the next day the Oklahoma City Police Department [OCPD] confiscated the gun. The OCPD returned the gun on October 23, 1993, but kept the ammunition. Hooper went target shooting with friends in fields northwest of Oklahoma City the day he bought the gun and after it was returned. He took the gun when he worked out-of-state in late October and November and refused a co-worker's offer to buy it. On December 6 or 7, 1993, Hooper showed a 9mm pistol to a neighbor.

¶4 On December 7, 1993, Cindy and her children drove Stremlow to work and borrowed his truck. Tonya got out of school at 3:30 p.m. Cindy was about fifteen minutes late to pick up Tonya; Tonya's teacher saw her get in Stremlow's truck next to a white male who was not Stremlow. Cindy failed to pick up Stremlow after work and he never saw her again; Cindy had Stremlow's only house key and he had to borrow his landlord's key to get in his house that night. Stremlow's truck was found burning in a field in northwest Oklahoma City the night of December 7. He recovered it the next day. Accelerant, probably gasoline, had been used to set the truck on fire and the windows were broken out. Stremlow returned to his house December 10; although there were no signs of forced entry, a dresser drawer was disturbed, a Jim Beam whiskey bottle was on the dresser, and ten dollars in cash was missing. Hooper's fingerprints were on the Jim Beam bottle, and other evidence showed Hooper and Cindy drank that brand of whiskey.

¶5 Cindy and her children were reported missing on December 9. Police attempted to interview Hooper; he failed to come to the station and denied seeing Cindy for the past six months. Hooper appeared nervous and had a fresh scratch on his arm. Also on December 9, an area rancher noticed damage to his gate leading to a northwest Oklahoma City field. Inside the field he found broken glass, tire tracks, a bloody sock and a pool of blood. After hearing the missing persons report, the rancher contacted police. The next day police searched the field and found broken glass, tire tracks, a footprint, shell casings, a child's bloody sock, a pool of blood near a tree with a freshly broken branch, a blue fiber near the tree, and a grave site covered by limbs, leaves and debris. The grave appeared to be soaked with gasoline. Tonya, Timmy and Cindy were buried atop one another. Each victim had been shot twice in the head. There was a hole in the hood of Tonya's blue and purple jacket, and the white fiber lining protruded. A 9mm bullet pinned a white fiber to a branch on the grave. The branch appeared to have been broken from the tree near the pool of blood.

¶6 Police arrested Hooper and searched his parents' house. They found the 9mm pistol, two shovels with soil consistent with soil from the grave site, two gas cans, and broken glass consistent with glass found in Tonya's coat and near the gate. Police found a 9mm bullet in Hooper's pocket. His shoe print was similar to the footprint at the scene and DNA evidence showed blood on Hooper's shoes was consistent with Cindy's blood. Shell casings found where Hooper went target shooting matched bullets shot from his gun and casings found at the crime scene. In the past, Hooper and his ex-wife Stefanie Duncan had regularly visited the field where the bodies were found.

1 Comment

Too bad it has taken 19 years.

A mandatory death penalty should be available for cases like these. A truly monstrous crime.

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