Saturday, January 1, 2011

Billy Alverson: Zero

Billy Alverson is scheduled to be executed by the state of Oklahoma on  6 January 2010. I have reviewed his case for any possibility of actual innocence. I find none.

I repeat below the facts of the case as presented in Wilson v. State 983 P.2d 448 (1998). I have marked the references to Alverson in bold.
Michael Wilson and Richard Yost were employees at the QuikTrip convenience store located at 215 North Garnett Road in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wilson and his friends planned to rob the convenience store at least two weeks before this crime actually occurred. The plan commenced on February 25, 1995. Wilson had completed his shift at 11:00 p.m. with Yost beginning his shift at that time. Wilson and his three friends came into the store during the early morning hours of February 26 and waited for the most opportune time to accost Yost. The QuikTrip surveillance camera captured the events as they unfolded. The video of the events is quite telling.
Yost was cleaning the windows on the coolers with Wilson and the codefendants surrounding him. As Yost was walking near a passage way to the back room, all four defendants attacked him and dragged him to the back room. One of the defendants, identified as Billy Alverson came back out and picked up some items that were knocked from the shelves and kept watch for customers. A few moments later, Alverson and Richard Harjo walked out the front door of the store. While they were going out, Yost was yelling and screaming for help, possibly thinking that a customer had entered the store. Alverson and Harjo re-entered the store with Harjo carrying a black aluminum baseball bat. He carried the bat to where Yost had been taken. The surveillance camera picked up the sounds of the bat striking Yost. Circumstantial evidence showed that the baseball bat struck the handcuffs on Yost's wrists which Yost was holding above his head to ward off the blows. As the blows were being struck, Wilson walked from the back room, checked his hands, put on a QuikTrip jacket, got behind the counter and tried to move the safe. While Wilson was behind the counter, several customers came in. Wilson greeted them with a friendly greeting, sold them merchandise, then said "thank you, come again" or "have a nice day."
All this time Wilson continued to try and pull the safe from underneath the counter. He took money from the cash drawer and pulled money out of the currency change machine. At some point after this, Wilson left the counter area and took the video from surveillance camera recorder. The defendants then loaded the safes into Wilson's car using a dolly from QuikTrip.
Yost's body was discovered by Larry Wiseman, a customer, at about 6:00 a.m. Yost was laying on the floor in a pool of blood, milk and beer. Yost's ankles were taped together with duct tape. One handcuff was found near Yost's body. The other cuff was missing from the scene. Detectives learned that Wilson was at the store between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Wilson failed to show up for work at the scheduled time of 3:00 p.m. on the same day. Officer Allen set up surveillance on Wilson's house and at about 4:00 p.m. he spotted Wilson get into a gray vehicle. The vehicle was stopped. Wilson was taken into custody. Also arrested were the other occupants in the vehicle: codefendants Alverson, Harjo, and Darwin Brown. Large sums of money were recovered from all of the defendants except Wilson.
Wilson was questioned by Detective Folks. He told Folks that they planned on robbing the QuikTrip and that he knew Yost would be killed. He said that they had been talking about the robbery for about two weeks. The plan was for him to assume the role of sales clerk once Yost was "taken care of."
Officers searched Alverson's place of abode where they discovered the drop safe, the dolly, QuikTrip glass cleaner, money tubes and the store surveillance video tape. A search was conducted of Wilson's house but nothing of value was discovered. The next day Wilson's mother called Officer Makinson to come to her house. Once there, the detectives found several items of evidence on the front porch, including the baseball bat, a bloody QuikTrip jacket with Yost's name on it, Wilson's Nike jacket matching the one worn in the store video and the other cuff of the set of handcuffs.
With respect to the death penalty in the case of Billy Alverson, I stand mute.


Angela Chapman said...

I went to school with this guy. I was appalled to get on my Facebook account this morning only to read numerous posts of how sad my fellow classmates were for this person being executed. He killed an innocent man by beating him to death. What gave Billy the right to take another human beings life? What if the victim had been the whiners father, brother, or even own son? Don't cry for this man, cry for the victim, the victims family, and the victims friends. Billy got three meals a day and a roof over his head for years. What did the victim get? A casket and a cold dark ground. Good riddance Billy Alverson!

Kim Bump said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim Bump said...

It is a tragedy what Mr. Yost had to go through in his final moments on earth. Nobody should have to leave life that way. However, taking Billy's life does not accomplish much. Unfortunately, Mrs. Yost is too painfully aware that the death of Billy does not bring her the closure she most certainly wants and deserves.

Was Billy perfect? Of course not. But he was a living human being that was put to death by the government. If murder is so awful, the state needs to stop doing it as well. Lead by example!

Also, if you read the case file and the lead detective's testimony you will find that Billy never struck Mr. Yost. Should he have been trying to rob the place? NO. Should he have stopped the defendant who went and got the bat and actually hit and continued to hit Mr. Yost? YES.

To place the same amount of blame AND give a person the ultimate penalty of death, just doesn't sit well with me. Shouldn't they have actively taken a life?

BTW... I also went to school with Billy. And even though his role in this horrific crime was wrong, wrong, wrong, I still mourn for his family and his 4 children as well as Mr. Yost's family and children.

You can still care about a person and the people they left behind while acknowledging the heinousness of their actions.

Anonymous said...

I've known Billy from elementary school through high school and he was a really nice person. He must have been hanging out with a bad crowd when this crime happened. He was on the school's football team. Hopefully he found GOD before being executed.

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