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June 22, 2006

Gore found guilty

Jurors to begin hearing witnesses in sentencing phase of trial

ADA — Armed deputies stood guard inside the Pontotoc County courtroom Wednesday as Judge Thomas Landrith read the guilty verdict reached by the eight woman, four- man jury convicting Glen Gore of first degree murder of Debra Sue Carter. Jurors will begin today hearing the witnesses and other evidence to be considered in deciding Gore’s sentence.

Gore’s mother wept quietly, holding hands with her daughters, while Glen Gore was consoled by his attorneys. Carter’s mother, Peggy Sanders stayed in another room until she was told of the verdict. “I’m OK, now,” Sanders said.

Jurors deliberated more than six hours, requesting evidence three times to view or review including the torn panties, diagrams and a confession letter. Several documents and a taped interview discussed during the trial were also requested by the jury, however they contained additional information the judge had ruled should not be used to influence the jury. Attorneys spent more than 30 minutes finding case rules and formulating questions to ask if the jury had disagreements over the items. Within minutes the answer from the jury was read by Landrith, “No disagreement, we worked it out.”

“The jury did a good job, obviously spent time deliberating what at times was very technical, over the times (of events) that were contentious, and asked for exhibits to look at for themselves, which was a good sign,” said Assistant District Attorney Chris Ross.

“I am disappointed for the Carters that we had to go through this again, but justice was served,” Ross said. “We gave the defense every chance at retrial, allowing the alternate suspect evidence to be used.”

Carter’s brutally raped and lifeless body was discovered Dec. 8, 1982, in her Ada apartment. Originally convicted in the crime were Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz. DNA testing later excluded Williamson and Fritz as the murderers. The two were released in April 1999 after spending 12 years in prison. Fritz had been sentenced to life in prison and Williamson was five days away from execution. Williamson died in 2004.

DNA testing also demonstrated that Gore had been at the scene and he was convicted of the crime in May 2003.

In August 2005, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Gore was denied a fair trial.

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