Investigator Who Worked Murder Case Remembers Stephanie Neiman

Wednesday, April 30th 2014, 11:08 pm
By: News 9

Through all this, those who knew Lockett's victim don't want her overshadowed by her killer. Stephanie Neiman was shot and buried alive.

News 9 tracked down the man who was the police chief in the small town of Perry when the crime happened. He knew Stephanie well and says the case is very personal for him.

"I think the emphasis should not be on Clayton Lockett, the emphasis should be on her and what happened to her," said former Perry Police Chief, Fred LeValley.

LeValley can't shake the image of finding Stephanie Neiman in a shallow grave in June 1999.

"She was a very sweet, nice, young girl and she had her whole life ahead of her," said LeValley.

Stephanie and two friends were kidnapped and beaten, then Stephanie was shot twice with a shotgun and buried alive.

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"No one seems to be zeroed in on what Stephanie went through, or what her family went through, what they're going through now to hear all about what's happened to him," said LeValley.

LeValley says he feels compassion for Clayton Lockett's family after Lockett's execution did not go as planned Tuesday, but he feels nothing for Lockett.

"I'm a Christian person with a lot of compassion, but knowing the case and knowing the fear and the torment and the pain that he put her through, I felt very little compassion."

Stephanie's parents say she loved children and going to church. She was excited about going to college and wanted to go into law enforcement. Their only child would bound through the door, full of enthusiasm, anxious to share her day with them.

They say part of them died along with her as did their dreams of seeing her fall in love, get married and have children. They were grateful to finally see Lockett's execution day arrive.

"The end result was there was an execution. It was an intended execution and it happened."

Stephanie's friend Bobby Bornt, who survived the 1999 attack, says Stephanie was "the nicest person in the world, she had a big heart and was going to be someone special."

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