As a convicted murderer on death row waits to learn his fate from Gov. Kevin Stitt, a small group of supporters rallied Wednesday at the state Capitol.
Last month, the state pardon and parole board recommended clemency for murderer Bigler Stouffer, who was convicted in the 1985 murder of Putnam City School teacher Linda Reeves.
Thirty-six years after the murder, a week before his scheduled execution, Stouffer’s son delivered a letter to Stitt’s office.
Bigler Stouffer III said he delivered 10,000 signatures proclaiming his father's innocence. He said the chief evidence exonerating Stouffer is a lack of physical evidence.
“The blood splatter was behind the couch, approximately 5 feet 9 inches and whoever shot Linda Reaves would’ve been covered in blood,” Sotuffer III said. “I can’t even fathom how they misconstrued that.”
“He's had two trials, both with guilty verdicts, both with death sentences. He’s now been in prison 36 years and 10 months,” Reaves’ sister Dana Wheat told the pardon and parole board.
She said her family lives in fear of her sister’s murderer. Prosecutors alleged Stouffer staged the 1985 crime scene to look like a murder-suicide. However, his second victim, Doug Ivens survived after being shot in the face.
According to testimony in the trial, he placed a jailhouse phone call to his girlfriend and said, "I left them both for dead."
“When I think of Linda’s murder, I think of how she died. It never leaves me. I can see her face. I hear her voice. I can just hear her screaming ‘no,’ and she didn’t have time for a prayer, either,” Wheat said.
“I’m truly sorry for their loss. Dad didn’t do it,” Stouffer III said when asked if he had a message for Reaves' family.
Stouffer's execution is scheduled for December 9.