791 S.W. 2d 396
Richard Oxford was executed on August 21, 1996
Case Facts: On November 11, 1986 Richard Oxford and his cellmate, Richard Brown escaped from the Conner Correctional Center in Hominy, Oklahoma. On November 14, 1986 Oxford and Brown were identified as leaving the Paint Stallion tavern in Joplin, Missouri with a local married couple Harold and Melba Wampler.
The Wamplers were missing until the Missouri Highway Patrol received a tip on January 2, 1987 that the Wamplers’ car was seen at the airport in Kansas City, Missouri. Further investigation revealed the Wamplers’ bodies wrapped in a blanket in the trunk of their car.
An autopsy determined that the Wamplers had both died as a result of gunshot wounds to their left temples. Their hands and feet had been bound and duct tape covered their mouths. According to the physical evidence of their bodies it was determined that the Wamplers had been dead for approximately six weeks.
Richard Oxford was arrested on December 22, 1986 as a fugitive in Las Vegas, Nevada. Found in his possession was a wristwatch that belonged to Harold Wampler. Oxford’s fingerprints were later found on groceries in the Wamplers’ automobile and his hair was found on the blanket in the trunk.
While incarcerated in Nevada awaiting return to Missouri, Oxford told a fellow cellmate that he killed the Wamplers. The cellmate later testified at Oxford’s trial.
01/23 – Oxford was convicted of Burglary First Degree in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
10/04 – Oxford pleaded guilty to Attempted Larceny of an Automobile in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
03/29 – Oxford pleaded guilty to three counts of Rape First Degree, four counts of Forcible Sodomy, one count of Assault with Attempt to Rape, three counts of Burglary First Degree, Robbery by Force, Knowingly Concealing Stolen Property, Attempted Robbery with a Firearm, Possession of a Sawed-Off Shotgun, Robbery with a Firearm and Burglary Second Degree. Oxford was sentenced to terms of 20 years and 65 years consecutively in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for the above offenses.
11/11-Richard Oxford and Richard Brown escaped from the Conner Correctional Center in Harmony, Oklahoma.
11/14-Oxford and Brown are seen at the Paint Stallion in Joplin, Missouri with Harold and Melba Wampler.
1/2-The Wamplers’ bodies are found in the trunk of a car parked at a hotel parking lot in Platte County, Missouri.
8/29-An amended information charging Oxford with first degree murder is filed in Platte County, Missouri. Oxford was originally charged with felony murder.
8/29..9/3-Oxford was tried in the Circuit Court of Platte County and was found guilty of first degree murder. The jury recommended a sentence of death.
10/26-A motion for new trial was denied and Oxford was sentenced to death for killing the Wamplers.
11/2-Notice of appeal was filed.
1/30-Oxford filed a pro se post-conviction motion in the Circuit Court of Platte County, Missouri.
4/5-Oxford filed an unverified post-conviction motion in the Circuit Court of Platte County.
10/6-The Circuit Court of Platte County denied Oxford’s postconviction motions.
6/19-The Missouri Supreme Court affirmed Oxford’s conviction and sentence and the Circuit Court’s denial of the post-conviction motions.
1/14-The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari.
1/28-Oxford filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the
United states District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
9/29-The petition for writ of habeas corpus was denied.
7/6-The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court’s order and denied the petition for writ of habeas corpus.
4/1-The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari.
4/18-Oxford files a second petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri challenging his competency to be executed. Oxford’s second petition is still pending in the District Court with a hearing scheduled for June 7, 1996.
5/3-The Missouri Supreme Court set June 12, 1996, as Oxford’s execution date.
6/11-The United States Supreme Court grants a temporary stay of execution for Oxford.
7/10-The Missouri Supreme Court set August 21, 1996, as Oxford’s execution date.