November 18, 2013
The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, by a vote of 4-1, rejected a request to recommend clemency for death row inmate Johnny Black. Johnny and his attorney were asking to have his sentence commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Family members of the victim asked the board to reject clemency. During the clemency hearing, Johnny apologized for his crime. He is scheduled to be executed on December 17, 2013.
November 17, 2013
Johnny Dale Black’s execution is scheduled for 6 pm CST, on December 17, 2013, at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma. Johnny is convicted of murdering 54-year-old Bill Pogue in Stephens County, Oklahoma on January 4, 1998. Johnny has spent the past 14 years on Oklahoma’s death row.
On January 4, 1998, Cal Shankles; brothers Jesse, Jimmy, and Johnny Black; and Robert Seale left the home of Jesse in a green Neon, to assist Cal in finding his brother. Cal wanted the group with him because Justin Hightower was looking for Cal. Cal had an affair with Justin’s then soon-to-be ex-wife. The group knew that Justin drove a black Blazer and kept an eye out for it.
Bill Pogue and his son-in-law Richard Lewis were on their way home from a local convenience store in their black Blazer, when they passed the group in the Neon at an intersection. The group in the Neon quickly began following the Blazer and flashing its lights. The Neon pulled in front of the Blazer, forcing it to stop. Bill and Richard got out of the Blazer. One man, later identified as Jimmy, ran towards Bill. Bill responded by hitting him in the face. The two began to wrestle.
Jesse and Johnny ran towards Richard, who momentarily knocked Jesse out and threw Johnny in front of the Blazer. Jesse and Johnny recovered and began fighting Richard. Cal approached the scene with a club and Richard felt some blows to the head. Evidence suggests that Cal went between the two fights, alternately hitting Bill and Richard with a blunt object.
Richard was eventually able to make his way over to Bill, who had been stabbed 11 times during the fight. Richard helped Bill back to the Blazer as the group got back into the Neon and sped away. Richard got Bill back to the family farm. Family members rushed Bill, who had been stabbed 10 times, and Richard, who had been stabbed 13 times, to the hospital. Richard survived his injuries. Bill had two punctured lungs and broken ribs in addition to his stab wounds. He did not survive.
Johnny fled to Texas the next day and he was later arrested. After his arrest, he voluntarily confessed. Jesse, Jimmy, Robert, and Cal also voluntarily confessed after their arrests. Johnny claimed that Bill and Richard attacked them for no reason and that he was only involved because he was concerned for his brothers. He also claims that he is unsure how Richard and Bill received so many stab wounds, although he had pulled out a knife to defend himself. Johnny also maintains that his group never meant to kill anyone.
During Johnny’s sentencing hearing, it was revealed that Johnny had been arrest, convicted, and served 8 years in prison for the murder of Cecil Martin in 1984. In 1995, he was arrested for unlawful delivery of marihuana and served less than two years.
Please pray for peace for the family of Bill. Please pray for peace and healing for Richard and his family. Please pray for peace for the family of Cecil. Please pray for strength for the family of Johnny Black. Please pray that Johnny may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.