Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Oklahoma Executes Phillip Hancock on November 30, 2023

Phillip Hancock, Oklahoma

Updated: Thursday, November 30, 2023

Phillip Hancock

On Thursday, November 23, 2023, Phillip Hancock was executed in Oklahoma.  He was pronounced dead at 11:29 am local time inside the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma.  There was a short delay in starting his execution due to waiting for Governor Kevin Stitt to announce his clemency decision.  The governor ultimately decided not to grant clemency.  Phillip was 59 years of age.  He was executed for the murders of 37-year-old Robert Jett and 57-year-old James Lynch on April 27, 2001.  Phillip spent the last 21 years of his life on Oklahoma’s death row.

Phillip Hancock grew up with an abusive biological father and a loving stepfather. His broth was disabled. At the age of 18, Phillip Hancock was convicted of manslaughter and served two and a half years in prison. He claimed it was self-defense. He also had several other felony convictions. While out of prison, he worked in construction.

On April 27, 2001, police responded to a report of shots being fired. Upon searching the area, they discovered Robert Jett lying on the ground in his backyard. Although he was moaning, he was unable to tell the police what happened. Inside Robert’s home, the body of James Vincent Lynch was discovered. He had been shot to death. Drugs and drug paraphernalia were found inside the home. The shooter had fled the scene.

Later that day, police identified a witness to the shooting, Shawn Tarp. Shawn was able to describe the shooter and his vehicle, but she did not the name of the shooter. After nearly 13 months, a private attorney approached the police and told them he believed Phillip Hancock killed Robert and James.

Hancock had been arrested and was in prison at the time. During his arrest, a gun had been taken from him. The gun was later determined to belong to Robert. When police went to talk to Hancock, he waived his Miranda rights and confessed to killing Robert and James. However, Hancock claimed the shootings were done in self-defense.

Shawn testified that Hancock had been at Robert’s house that night. A fight broke out between Robert and Hancock. Shawn fled to a bedroom, where she heard several gunshots and Robert pleading for his life. When she eventually emerged from her hiding spot, she discovered Hancock waiting for her. He apologized and told her she could live, but not to watch him leave.

Please pray for the families of Robert Jett and James Lynch.  Pray for strength for the family of Phillip Hancock.  

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