December 17, 2013

Shortly after 6 pm CST, on December 17, 2013, Johnny Dale Black was executed at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma.  Johnny was 48 years old.  Johnny was executed for the murder of 54-year-old horse trainer, Bill Pogue, in Stephens County, Oklahoma on January 4, 1998.  Johnny spent the last 14 years of his life 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 to go 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 were watching 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 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 hit him in the face.  The two began wrestling.

 

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 during the fight.  Richard helped Bill into the Blazer as the group got into the Neon and sped away.  Richard took Bill back to the family farm.  Family members rushed Bill, who had been stabbed approximately 10 times, and Richard, who had been stabbed approximately 13 times, to the hospital.  Richard survived his injuries.  Bill had two punctured lungs and some broken ribs in addition to his stab wounds.  He did not survive.

Johnny fled to Texas the next day and where 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.

Jesse and Jimmy each received a 25 year sentence for first-degree manslaughter plus seven years for assault with a dangerous weapon.  Cal received a life sentence, plus 10 years for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

During Johnny’s sentencing hearing, it was revealed that Johnny had been arrest, convicted, and served 8 years, out of 15 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.  While awaiting trial for the murder of Bill, Johnny escaped from jail and left a threatening note for the sheriff.

 

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.

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