MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

December 7, 2013

State set to execute two this month


Associated Press

— OKLAHOMA CITY — The state of Oklahoma is scheduled to execute two convicted killers this month.

Ronald Clinton Lott is to be put to death Tuesday for the deaths of two elderly women in the 1980s while Johnny Dale Black is set for execution on Dec. 17 for the stabbing death of man in Ringling. The two men will be the fifth and sixth people put to death by the state of Oklahoma this year.

Lott, 53, was convicted in Oklahoma County of two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths Anna Laura Fowler, 83, in September 1986 and Zelma Cutler, 93, in January 1987.

Authorities said Lott broke into the women’s homes and brutally attacked them, causing broken bones and bruises. DNA samples taken from the victims were matched to Lott.

At a clemency hearing in November, Lott apologized to the victims’ families and asked for their forgiveness.

“I’m so sorry for what I’ve done. And I’d ask them to forgive me,” Lott told board members, victims’ family members and others during a teleconference from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlester.

“I caused them so much hurt and pain.”

Lott initially told members of the state Pardon and Parole Board that he wanted to waive his clemency hearing, but made a statement after his attorney pleaded with him to do so. He refused to ask the board to spare his life, though, despite his attorney’s pleas.

Jim Fowler, the son of Anna Fowler, urged the board to spare Lott’s life “and let him rot in that damn cell.”

The Board voted 4-1 against clemency.

Black is to be executed Dec. 17 for the 1998 roadside attack that killed Bill Pogue, 54, a horse trainer from Ringling.

Black, 48, said he and others mistook Pogue and his son-in-law, Rick Lewis, for someone they had been searching for. A van carrying the Blacks pulled up to the Pogue’s SUV and a fight broke out.

Pogue was stabbed multiple times and suffered broken ribs and punctured lungs. Lewis suffered 13 stab wounds but recovered.

During a November clemency hearing, Pogue apologized for his actions to members of the victim’s family and his own family.

“I’m truly sorry. It’s been on my mind every single day for 15 years,” Black said from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlester.

The state Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 to deny commuting the death sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.