Richard Glossip, Oklahoma
Updated: Monday, January 30, 2023
The Oklahoma execution of Richard Eugene Glossip was scheduled for Thursday, February 16, 2023. The execution is rescheduled to Thursday, May 18, 2023. It will take place inside the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma. Fifty-nine-year-old Richard is convicted of hiring someone to murder of 54-year-old Barry Alan Van Treese in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on January 7, 1997. Richard has spent the last 18 years on Oklahoma’s death row.
Richard had no history of aggression and did not have any significant drug or alcohol abuse history. He did not graduate from high school but received his GED. Richard has had continuous employment since the age of 16.
In January of 1997, Richard Glossip was the manager of the Best Budget Inn in Oklahoma City, owned by Barry Van Treese, and lived on the premises. Justin Sneed was a maintenance worker at the hotel, in exchange for room and board. Barry also owned a Best Budget Inn in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and lived in Lawton, Oklahoma. Barry would occasionally visit each hotel. During the last six months of 1996, Barry and his family experienced several tragedies and he was not able to monitor the hotels as closely as he normally did. At the beginning of 1997, Barry chose to audit both hotels, as there were shortfalls. Barry’s wife noticed that there was over $6,000 in shortages from the hotel managed by Glossip, and testified that Barry intended to ask Glossip about the missing money.
On January 6, 1997, Barry left the Oklahoma City hotel and drove to the Tulsa motel. While there, Barry informed the manager that there were several discrepancies at the Oklahoma City hotel. Barry also said that if Glossip was unable to provide the information, he would be fired. According to the Tulsa hotel manager, William Bender, Barry was extremely upset and planned to have William manage the Oklahoma City hotel if Glossip was fired. Barry returned to the Oklahoma City hotel very early in the morning of January 7.
Shortly after Barry’s return, Glossip approached Sneed and asked him to murder Barry. Gossip said he would pay him $10,000. According to Sneed, this was not the first time Glossip made the request, with an increase in payment amount each time.
Sneed entered the room where Barry was sleeping with a master key given to him by Glossip. Sneed beat Barry to death with a baseball. During the struggle, a window was broken. Sneed reported back to Glossip that Barry was dead. Glossip told Sneed to move Barry’s car, pick up the glass on the sidewalk, and put it inside the hotel room, and that if anyone asked about the window to tell them two drunks did it. Glossip also helped hide the body.
Later that day, police began looking for Barry after his car was found. Glossip gave conflicting statements to police, who eventually found Barry’s body in his room. Before his arrest, Glossip began selling his possessions in preparation for leaving. He was arrested before he could leave. Sneed, after his arrest, admitted to killing Barry and testified against Glossip in exchange for a life sentence.
This is not Richard Glossip’s first execution date. He has had several previous execution dates, all of which were stayed for varying reasons. Most recently, an independent review of Richard’s case has raised questions about his guilt. Richard insists he is innocent of the murder and alleges that recently uncovered evidence shows that prosecutors withheld evidence in the case.
Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond requested that scheduled executions of seven death row inmates be stayed. Richard Glossip is included in the request, which has been granted. Within the last five months, Oklahoma has carried out four executions, with one execution every four weeks. Drummond wants to extend that to 60 days between each execution due to understaffing within Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections and the time intensive nature of preparing for each execution.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Barry. Please pray for strength for the family of Richard Glossip. Pray that if Richard is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, evidence will be presented before his execution. Please pray that Richard may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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