405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Oklahoma Death Row Inmate Granted Second Appeal

03-Jan-2014

An Oklahoma death row inmate accused of killing a Putnam City Schools teacher has been granted an appeal by the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Bigler Jobe "Bud" Stouffer II was twice convicted of the 1985 murder of third-grade teacher Linda Reaves and the attempted murder of Doug Ivens. Stouffer was dating Ivens's estranged wife, and prosecutors allege he went to the man's home to kill him so his girlfriend, Velva Ivens, would collect a $2 million insurance policy. Doug Ivens survived the shooting and called police, identifying Bud Stouffer as the shooter.

Stouffer first denied being involved in the shooting at all, but later testified that he shot Ivens in self defense after wrestling a gun away from the man. He says that Reaves was either already dead when he arrived at Doug Ivens's home or that she was killed by a ricocheting bullet.

Stouffer was convicted of murder and attempted murder. He was sentenced to life in prison for the attempted murder of Doug Ivens, and he was sentenced to death for the murder of Linda Reaves.

In 1999, a federal appeals court granted an appeal on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel during Stouffer's first trial. The court found that Stouffer's attorneys demonstrated a "complete lack of skill," agreeing with the Petitioner's claims that the "impression left by counsel's performance was that Mr. Stouffer had no viable defense," and that the defense counsel failed to "exercise the skill, judgment and diligence of a reasonably competent defense attorney."

While Bud Stouffer was granted a re-trial, the conclusion was the same--life in prison for attempted murder and death row for first degree murder.

Now, with the federal appeals court decision, a judge must review the case to see if improper juror communication between an juror and her husband during the trial may have influenced the outcome of the case.

Stouffer's attorney says that he noticed the juror's husband "laughing, joking, handshaking and embracing" a former roommate of Ivens in the courtroom. Furthermore, a deputy testified that he noticed the juror's husband repeatedly nodding and winking at her during the trial and penalty phase as if to indicate agreement with the prosecutor. He said that he also noticed the juror looking at her husband with a questioning look on her face, to which he responded by nodding and rolling his eyes. The deputy testified that this nonverbal communication led him to believe that Stouffer was "screwed."

The trial court ruled that the testimony of Stouffer's defense lawyer and the deputy were not credible evidence of improper communication, but only speculation of improper communication. However, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the nonverbal communication was indeed improper, and ordered that an Oklahoma judge must conduct a hearing to determine whether the improper communication compromised the impartiality of the jury or affected the outcome of the case.

Learn more about criminal appeals here.



All News

More News

Poorly written bill leaves lawsuit loophole; Governor signs anyway
22-May-2017

When drafting legislation, it is imperative that language is clear..

Not Guilty Verdict in Tulsa Police Shooting; Officer's Job Status under Evaluation
19-May-2017

After nine hours of deliberation, a jury returned a verdict o..

Trial Begins in Tulsa Police Shooting Case
08-May-2017

Jury selection begins today in the manslaughter case of Tulsa poli..

Oklahoma Death Penalty Remains on Hiatus
05-May-2017

It has been almost exactly three years since the botched execution..

Oklahoma County Jail Deaths Continue at Record-Breaking Pace
01-May-2017

Last year, the Oklahoma County Jail had a record breaking number o..

Finding Solutions for Mental Illness in Criminal Justice
28-Apr-2017

When it comes to mental health care treatment in the United States..

Catholic Charities Employee Charged with Embezzlement
24-Apr-2017

A Norman woman has been charged with three felony embezzlement cou..

14 Oklahoma Drug Offenders Have Sentences Commuted
17-Apr-2017

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has commuted the sentences of 14 inm..

OKC Man Pleads Guilty to Rape of Child and Murder of Newborn Son
14-Apr-2017

An Oklahoma City man has been sentenced to life plus 20 years in p..

Legislators Pull Felony Drug Possession Bill
10-Apr-2017

When Oklahoma voters filled their ballots in November, they approv..

×