Thursday, January 23
McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma man who was convicted of stabbing a close friend to death more than a quarter-century ago was executed Thursday.
Kenneth Eugene Hogan, 52, was pronounced dead at 6:13 p.m. after he received a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Hogan admitted to stabbing 21-year-old Lisa Stanley but said he did so in self-defense after she lunged at him with a knife. Prosecutors said Hogan stabbed the woman more than 25 times in the back, neck and chest in January 1988, then knocked over several objects in her Oklahoma City apartment to make it appear as though she had been robbed. When interrogated, he gave police inconsistent statements.
"I am guilty for what I'm here for, and I take full responsibility for my actions," Hogan said in his final statement, as he lay strapped to the gurney in the death chamber. "And to Lisa's family, I say I'm sorry that I can't undo it.
"And I'm sorry to my family for all the pain I've caused," he said.
Hogan went on to thank the family members who came to witness his death.
"There's a chemical taste in my mouth," Hogan said, seconds after the drugs were administered.
Hogan turned to look back at his family one last time.
"I'm going. I'm going. I'm going," he exclaimed.
Hogan's face grew ashen as he took his last breaths. About six minutes passed from the time the dose was administered until Hogan was pronounced dead.
Norma Tressler, Stanley's mother, said in a statement after Hogan was executed that Hogan never attempted to make amends to her family for what he did.
"He has shown absolutely no remorse for his actions," she said.
The state Pardon and Parole Board denied clemency for Hogan this month by a 4-1 vote. Hogan is the second person to be executed in Oklahoma this year.
Hogan's initial conviction was overturned in 1999 by an appeals court that said the jury should've been allowed to consider a verdict of manslaughter.
Oklahoma appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 2000 refused to reinstate Hogan's conviction. A different jury in 2003 convicted him again and sentenced him to die.
"Kenneth Eugene Hogan was sentenced to death by a jury of his peers for the heinous stabbing of Lisa Renee Stanley, who was a young wife and a promising student," Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said in a statement Thursday. "My thoughts and prayers are with Lisa's family and friends."
Randy Bauman, Hogan's attorney, declined to comment earlier this week.
Stanley's relatives wrote to the state in December, saying Hogan has had "26 years of appeals on his behalf, making our family relive that day over and over again."
"You destroyed me and my family," Tressler said. "I want peace and justice to be served for my daughter. I want for this nightmare to finally end. And on Jan. 23, 2014, I pray for closure. It is well past due."
Stanley's mother-in-law, Frieda Stanley, wrote that no amount of time could erase the memories she still has of the day of the crime and its aftermath.
"Lisa's little dog barking in the background, interviews at the police station and later picking out clothing for Lisa to wear at her funeral that would cover her wounds," she wrote. "Lisa's death and how she died is always with us and has shaped and formed us as individuals and a family."
At the time of Hogan's trial, his defense team said Hogan and Stanley began arguing after smoking marijuana together, and Stanley tried to stab him. According to lawyers, he took the knife from her and then she attempted to attack him with another one.
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent Bob Horn, who worked the crime scene, described Stanley's killing as "cruel and heinous." He also said the large volume of her blood found in different rooms throughout her apartment "showed that she must have been suffering a long time before she died."
"Justice demands that the execution of Kenneth Hogan be carried out," Horn wrote in a December letter to the parole board.
Earlier this month, Michael Lee Wilson, 38, was put to death for orchestrating a deadly assault on a convenience store worker in Tulsa in 1995.