Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Oklahoma Halts Execution of Carlos Cuesta-Rodriguez Before June 6, 2024

May 16, 2024

Carlos Cuesta-RodriguezCarlos Cuesta-Rodriguez was scheduled to be executed on Thursday, June 6, 2024. His execution at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma, has been stayed, pending a new execution date. Sixty-eight-year-old Carlos is convicted of murdering Olimpia Cardina Fisher on May 31, 2003, inside their apartment in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Carlos has been on OKlahoma’s death row for the last 16 years.

Carlos was born in Cuba. He came to the United States in 1980 during the Mariel boat lift, a time of mass emigration from Cuba. In 1983, Carlos was arrested and placed in federal prison after being convicted of possession of heroin for sale. He was released on parole after one year. For 10 years, beginning in 1992, Carlos worked for Forest Lumber. He became good friends with Dan Fioroni, Chairman of the Board. After leaving Forest Lumber, Carlos continued working at Dan’s personal residence. Carlos was also known to volunteer to help make homes safe and habitable for the elderly and those in need.

Carlos Cuesta-Rodriguez and Olimpia Fisher dated for a time before buying a house and moving in together around May 2002. Olimpia’s adult daughter, Katya Chacon also lived with them. The year after moving in together, the relationship between Olimpia and Cuesta-Rodriguez became strained. Cuesta-Rodriguez became fearful that Olimpia was cheating on him. These fears were further compounded by her working long hours as a moving company packer. Cuesta-Rodriguez would also thoroughly question Olimpia and Katya every time they went out. Both Cuesta-Rodriguez and Olimpia wanted the other to move out.

On May 20, 2003, Olimpia went to the police to make a complaint of domestic abuse. An officer observed bruising on Olimpia’s arm and stomach, however, Olimpia changed her mind about making the report and fled from the station.

Eleven days later, on May 31, 2003, Cuesta-Rodriguez called Olimpia and asked where she was. Olimpia claimed she was working, however, Cuesta-Rodriguez had gone to her place of work and she hadn’t been there. Cuesta-Rodriguez took this as confirmation she was cheating and went home. He drank some tequila before going to bed.

Katya arrived home some time later and found the empty tequila bottle and a vulgar note. She attempted to contact her mother but was unsuccessful. Katya left and found her mother getting off work. The two went out to eat before returning to the house. They initially planned to pack some clothes and leave but changed their minds and decided to spend the night. Olimpia slept in a spare bedroom. Katya was awoken around 4:30 am by fighting. Katya convinced her mother to come into her room, hoping Cuesta-Rodriguez would leave them alone. Instead, Cuesta-Rodriguez followed and shot Olimpia several times. Katya fled the house and was able to call the police from a neighbor’s phone.

When police arrived, they heard Olimpia and Cuesta-Rodriguez still fighting. As police attempted entry, they heard a gunshot and Olimpia’s screams stopped. Police stopped attempting entry and called their hostage negotiator and their tactical team. Eventually, police entered the house and arrested Cuesta-Rodriguez. Cuesta-Rodriguez confessed to the shooting, although he claimed the first shot was accidental.

Cuesta-Rodriguez was convicted and sentenced to death by a jury.

Carlos Cuesta-Rodriguez’s execution date has been halted at the request of Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond. Drummond requested that several of the upcoming scheduled executions in Oklahoma be rescheduled to allow more time between executions. Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections is currently understaffed and preparing for an execution is time intensive.

Pray for Katya and the rest of Olimpia’s family. Pray for strength for the family of Carlos Cuesta-Rodriguez. Please pray that if Carlos is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided before his execution. Pray that Carlos may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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