The controversy continued this week when a critical witness in Richard Glossip's appeal case, Michael Scott, was arrested for unpaid fines in Rogers County.
Scott spent time in prison with Justin Sneed, the man who killed Barry Van Treese in 1997 and claimed Glossip was the mastermind behind the murder.
Scott told defense attorneys he overheard Sneed go back on that story, bragging behind bars that it was a setup and Glossip did nothing wrong.
When Scott was arrested this week, Glossip's attorneys were livid.
In a filing asking the court to mandate the state stop intimidated witnesses, the attorneys said multiple officers were involved, guns were drawn, and that Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater told Scott he orchestrated it all to force him to talk.
“You’ve probably got a combined 100 years’ experience between the three of us and we’ve never heard of something so outrageous,” Glossip’s attorney Don Knight said. “These are witnesses; they’re not defendants or suspects. They came forward on their own volition because they had information they thought was important before the state killed an innocent man and this is how they’re treated.”
But local defense attorney David Slane said Prater was just doing his due diligence.
“Wherever you can find your witness, whether it’s in jail or in their living room, you go talk to them. And that’s exactly what David Prater did,” Slane said. “On Wednesday of this week, this man could be executed. The idea that he wouldn’t go talk to a critical witness would be a reason for somebody to really throw a rock at him.”
Slane said he has tried murder cases against Prater's office and even death penalty cases against him personally, but insisted the district attorney did the right thing.
“In this case, the law was followed. The law says a lawyer has a right to interview witnesses. That’s what he did. He did nothing wrong and I think they’re really trying to make him out to be some kind of a bad guy and that’s just not the case,” Slane said.